How to Prevent Ankle Sprains in Basketball

One of the most common injuries in sports, especially basketball, is an ankle sprain. With all the jumping, cutting, and running involved in basketball, players sprain their ankle very frequently. In this article I will attempt to show u how to minimize the chances of spraining your ankle.

Types of Ankle Sprains

The two most common ankle sprains are inversion and eversion. In an inversion ankle sprain, which occurs more frequently in basketball players, the ankle falls inward causing the outer ligaments of the ankle to stretch to far. Pain will be felt on the outside of the foot. This is what happens in 90% of sprains. An eversion ankle sprain is just the opposite. The ankle falls outward causing the inner ligaments of the ankle to stretch beyond comfort. Pain will be felt on the inside of the foot

Why Tape is Not a Good Idea

Most players, trainers, and coaches remedy for this problem is to heavily tape or brace the ankle. While this may decrease the severity of the sprain it does not prevent it. Actually taping or bracing the ankle can do more harm than good.

Body is Interconnected

You see the body is interconnected. We are like one big chain link. If one part is not functioning properly it throws everything out of whack. The ankle joint needs to be mobile for the body to perform optimally. So by taping or bracing the ankle we are restricting a joint that needs mobility. This causes overcompensation in other parts of the body( ex knee).  So by trying to prevent an ankle sprain we may be causing more serious damage too the athlete.


A good practical way to start strengthening the foot muscles is to warm up bare foot. There is a reason we were born without shoes. Our bodies work optimally barefoot. Now I’m not advocating playing barefoot, but a ten-minute dynamic warm up will do wonders for your foot strength.


A common argument is that players don’t feel stable without the tape or brace.  If this is the case make the change in steps.  Start using less tape gradually.  Next try to use a brace, as the brace is less restrictive than the tape.  Lastly, move completely away from the brace and let your ankle move freely as it was intended to. So next time you are trying to prevent a sprain by wearing tape or brace think about the unintended consequences that decision could have.