It is rare for a player not to sprain their ankles during a basketball career. The relatively confined space of the court, the speed, the jumping and variable surfaces provide a combination of circumstances that increase the odds of ankle injuries.
Ankle injuries can occur when a player jumps and lands awkwardly, sometimes on another player’s foot, turns sharply on a non-slip floor, or if a player stands on another player’s foot as he is about to jump, or turn. There doesn’t have to be heavy contact, or contact at all to cause ankle injuries. A simple loss of balance at the wrong time, the right leverage and you may twist an ankle.
Because of the danger of ankle injuries, coaches, particularly at the elite level, refuse to allow their players to play unless they have their ankles taped, or braced. Taping can prevent a great number of ankle injuries, or at least minimize the severity of the injury. Where there has been no previous history of ankle injury the player may be allowed to use a non elastic crepe bandage to strap the ankle. In Australia it is rare, except at the highest level, for coaches to impose the regulation requiring taping as taping ankles for daily training can become very expensive. However I strongly recommend that players with a history of ankle injuries should be taped for each training session.
It is advisable to prepare the ankle by wrapping with a very fine under-wrap ( there are brand names like ‘Pro Wrap”) A nylon stocking may be an alternative under-wrap These may also become expensive if long term use is required. But they will protect the hairs on the skin and prevent skin rash which can occur with constant taping.
1. Apply two anchors (using 5cm tape) one around the arch of the instep and the other about 10 cm above the ankle bone.
2. The first stirrup is then started from the calf anchor on the inside of the leg bringing the stirrup under the heel and up the outside of the leg to the calf anchor. The next strip is the horizontal strip running from the inside foot anchor around the heel to the outside foot anchor.
3. Three stirrups and three horizontal strips are then applied alternately, with each strip over-lapping the previous strip by at least 2cm.
4.Horizontal strips are then continued up the leg as far as the first anchor strip.
5. To add support, apply a figure eight starting at the lateral ankle bone. Bring the tape across the instep under the arch up across the instep and back to the starting point.
6. To finish strapping, apply a heel lock. Staring at the lateral ankle bone, bring the tape across the instep under the foot and around the heel on the inside of the foot. Continue around over the instep, down under the foot and heel and finish on the lateral aspect of the ankle approximately where the strip started.