A compression arm sleeve, often referred to as a shooting sleeve is an accessory that is becoming increasingly popular on the basketball court, with the ever-growing popularity being fueled by a number of high profile NBA stars.
Shooting sleeves are often referred to as basketball sleeves, arms sleeves or even shooter sleeve, however they originate from compression sleeves that are often used for medial purposes
History of shooting sleeves in the NBA:
Allen Iverson was the trailblazer in terms of bringing the shooter sleeve into popularity throughout the NBA, and he was in fact the first individual to wear the accessory in the NBA, during the 2000-01 season.
It is suggested that Iverson initially wore the shooting sleeve to assist a bursitis condition of his right elbow. Due to Iverson’s popularity and elite standing within the game, the accessory began gathering cult fashion status. It was not too long until fans began sporting sleeves in the stands, and a swag of other NBA players followed suit soon after.
What do shooting sleeves do?
- Medically, compression sleeves have been used for many years as a way to treat medical issues such as:
- To reduce pain and swelling, particularly in post-operative settings
- To reduce movement and thus prevent aggravation of an arm injury
- Support damaged or healing ligaments and muscles
- Control swelling of the arm that is brought on by lymphedema, a common swelling issue associated with patients being medically treated for breast cancer.
How do shooting sleeves assist basketball players?
Although the exact benefits of using a basketball arm sleeve are still un-proven, many of the long-standing medical uses for compression sleeves indicate a sound rationale for their use during games of basketball. Common reasons for wearing a shooting sleeve include:
- Maintain warmth in a shooting arm
- Compression, which assists with healing injuries
- Assist shooting form by aiding in a straight shooting elbow
- Cover up or prevent wounds, cuts and abrasions
Cynics of the benefits of shooting sleeve use often argue that the use of shooter sleeves is more commonly due to sponsorship deals, players wanting to be stylish and make a fashion statement, or even to cover up offensive tattoos.