As an experienced volleyball player and coach, I have always been curious about why volleyball players wipe their shoes. Since volleyball is played on a hard surface, it seemed strange that players would think it necessary to wipe their shoes before the game or practice begins.
So, what are they trying to accomplish by doing this? The answer might surprise you…
Why Do Volleyball Players Wipe Their Shoes? (9 Major Reasons)
There are many different types of volleyball shoes available in the market. Still, they all have one thing in common – slippery on the ground. The problem with slippery shoes is that they can cause severe injuries to your feet and ankles if you don’t take steps to prevent them. To help you avoid those nasty injuries, here are some reasons why volleyball players wipe their shoes before they play volleyball.
1. Removes The Dirt
The most apparent reason why volleyball players wipe their shoes is to remove dirt and dust. Many sports are played on the field, which means they’re exposed to a lot of dirt and dust from the floor. With all that in mind, players must remove these foreign substances from their shoes before playing. If not, those can obstruct the player’s movement and affect their performance.
2. Cleans The Shoes
Professional volleyball players always try to keep their feet as clean as possible. The reason for this is that the shoe needs to grip the floor correctly for the player to move around quickly. When a player wipes their shoes, dirt and dust are removed from them, which allows them to grip the floor better than before.
3. Prevents Slipping During The Serve
When a player is serving, he should plant his feet firmly on the ground for stability. If there is dirt on his shoes, it will be hard for him to plant his feet, as there will be no friction between his shoe and the flooring.
For this reason, volleyball players would wipe their shoes before serving to prevent slipping during the serve.
4. Covers Sweat On Hands
Volleyball players sweat a lot because they need to run around, jump and hit the ball during their games. Some people might not even notice that their palms get sweaty from time to time, especially when they feel nervous or excited about an upcoming competition. And suppose you don’t wipe your hands with a towel before touching the ball. It can easily slip out of your grip during gameplay, so wiping down your shoes helps prevent these types of accidents from happening too often!
5. Signaling To Teammates
Some volleyball players wipe off their shoes to signal their teammates that they’re ready for play. This is especially common in beach volleyball, where there aren’t as many coaches as in indoor leagues.
6. Signaling To Opponents
When players wipe their shoes, it signals to their opponents that they are ready to start playing again. This means that both teams have their feet ready for service or attack.
7. Improves Traction
Removing dirt and dust isn’t just about keeping your shoes clean; it also improves Traction. As we mentioned earlier, volleyball requires quick movements, so Traction is significant in this sport.
With the help of a towel or cloth, players can easily remove the debris stuck between their shoe soles and the floor. This allows them to have better control over their movements as they play, thus improving their performance and reducing any risk of injury during gameplay.
8. Getting A Better Grip On The Ball
In indoor volleyball, it’s essential to make sure that you have a good grip on the ball when passing it to your teammate. If your hands are sweaty, or if they’re full of sweat, this can be challenging.
Wiping the sweat off your hands with a towel or wiping your shoe on a towel can help you better grip the ball.
9. Stalling Tactics
Sometimes players will wipe their shoes as a way to stall on purpose, hoping that the other team gets distracted by this action and loses focus as a result. This is not an unsportsmanlike thing to do per se. Still, it can be frustrating for the opposing team because it takes away valuable playtime, which could have been used to score points or win the game.
Why Do Volleyball Players Tape Their Fingers?
Wrist and finger injuries are common in volleyball. The tape helps to support and stabilize the injury. This alone is not sufficient, though. The athlete must also rest and ice the injury. All athletes tape their fingers. Taping fingers protect them from the impact of hitting the ball and from the spike finger protection or glove.
Concluding About Why Do Volleyball Players Wipe Their Shoes
I hope you enjoyed reading this article showing why volleyball players wipe their shoes. Hopefully, it gave a better idea of how and why we do this.
Most athletes wipe their footwear before stepping out onto the court or field, nor do they realize the reason is to prevent ankle injuries. After a long flight of steps, it is common to feel unsteady on your feet.
If you do not give yourself time to adjust, your ankles will be at risk of twisting and rolling. A quick wipe of a cleat with some Listerine can give you that all-important stability.