Why do basketball players wear sleeves on their non-shooting arm?

Why do basketball players wear sleeves on their non-shooting arm?

Are you curious for the answer on why do majority of the basketball players wear sleeves o just one arm? It is not just a trend; there are several technical reasons behind this tactic. One of the major reasons why people wear sleeves is to keep their arm warm. The trend began with the famous legendary player Allen Iverson about 20 years ago. He was the first player who started wearing sleeves on one arm.

Iverson was advised to wear the sleeves as he suffered from bursitis and so wearing sleeves reduced the pain during the game. Post the benefits were visible, about 65% of basketball players started to wear sleeves on their non-shooting arm. Even the young players are following the same trend in basketball from school to college. Arm sleeves have their own benefits during the game.

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Why do basketball players wear sleeves on their non-shooting arm?

1. Compression benefits

Arm sleeves help in compression that further benefits the player from avoiding any sort of swelling, blood clot, and fatigue. In fact players also wear sleeves on their non-shooting arm to avoid any injury during the game. Even if you are in the list of star players, injuries are part of game. The discomfort in elbow can further pain and cause fatigue if you miss to wear sleeves.

2. Warm-up of muscles

Sleeves can keep your arms fit and flexible all the time. Basketball is one such game that needs flexible arms. The warmer you keep your muscles in sleeves, the flexible your arm will be. Stiff arms would not give you the desirable shot.

3. Protection shield

Sleeves also act as protection shield throughout the game. Whether you get assaulted during the shot to the hoop or whether you get caught up in the ball scramble, your arms are the first point of risk. Arm sleeves keep you away from the bruises, cuts, scratches, and sprains.

4. Appearance

A sleeved basketball player looks cool and trendy. From the fashion sense point of view too, you look presentable like a pro on the court. The feel good factor makes you play better than otherwise. Thus, some players prefer wearing sleeves on their non-shooting arm too. 

Basketball sleeves are one of the essential accessories and are generally made of spandex or nylon to give protection. It covers the biceps and reaches till the wrist. Some people also refer to is as arm sleeve or shooter sleeve. You would even find most NBA players wearing it. Thanks to Iverson that the trend was started by his followers and fans in the game.


Arm sleeves are preferred by most basketball players today due to their therapeutic benefits. They feel more confident and professional to play the game. Click here to find out a list of good brands that deal with arm sleeves and choose the one that fits your budget as well as requirements. If you have ever used arm sleeves on your non-shooting arm and experienced the benefits of the same, do share with the readers and help them know. 

Sean Lockwood

Sean is a programmer with a passion for extreme sports. Favourite extreme sports discipline is biathlon. Started this blog because of the great love for nature and adrenaline which results in something extreme like Extreme Sports Lab (ESL).

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