Sports massage is one of many possible career tracts for people in the massage therapy profession. Sports massage is applying various methods and techniques to athletes of all levels – from weekend athletes to professional sports teams and everything in between. It is not a particular type of massage but how you apply various techniques to the issues that athletes have to deal with.
Sports Massage is a type of massage that is geared toward working with athletes for treating and preventing sports related injuries as well as enhancing the performance of athletes both professional, masters and the amateur athlete.
There are specific types of massage movements or strokes that are called sports massage but it also can be just taking any type of massage such as myofascial release or deep tissue massage and applying it to athletes to enhance their performance and prevent and treat injuries. The important thing is to understand exercise physiology as well as understand the bio-mechanics of each sport.
Massage is applied to athletes before events, during events and after events. You will need to know what type of massage is done during the different stages of competition to enhance their performance and reduce the risk of injury. You can also do sports massage with athletes during their training seasons when they prepare for their competitions to help them increase their strength and endurance and prevent injuries. Injuries take the athlete out of their training periods and delay their training making it difficult to compete so it it important to help keep athletes injury free.
Sports massage can be applied to every and all sports. You will need to learn the sport that you are working with in detail and learn how the athletes move to be able to be more effective in applying massage. You will need in depth training in anatomy and physiology and also learn to work with injuries.
You can also learn basic sports massage skills in basic massage school and can start working on weekend athletes right away. You can work your way up the ladder and get more experience so that you can start working with Olympic Athletes and NFL/NBA/MLB professional athletes and professional athletes in any and all sports!
Sports massage is a growing field working with athletes of all calibers. You can become a massage therapist and learn to work with Professional Athletes and Sports Teams of all types – baseball, soccer, football, golfers, cyclists, track and field, and just about any type of sport.
Sports massage is done during training for seasonal sports, during the season using techniques to support the athletic performance pre-event and post-event and also dealing with any injuries that arise during the training and competitive cycles of athletes. There are some professional sports massage associations that provide free or low cost massage at events where you can promote your business to amateur athletes.
Salaries: Most massage therapists who work with sports teams are subcontractors or independent contractors for teams meaning that they are self employed. You may be able to find or create a sports massage job where you are a full employee too. The salary will vary depending on your skills, your ability to sell your self and your self confidence as a massage therapist. Entry level sports massage therapists can expect to charge $60 and more per session depending on your area, the level of skill you have and the results you get when you work on athletes. As a business owner you will also have to deduct your expenses. If you are an employee, you can negotiate your salary to meet your needs and skills.
Job Opportunities: There are also opportunities to work with younger athletes and people of all ages really. Masters athletes are older people who still want to compete in their sports. You can also work with the so called weekend athlete very successfully too. Each group will have different issues and needs that you will need to be aware of. Each sport also uses different physical movements so you will need to know what the major actions and stressful areas that will apply to the sport you will be working with most.
As a massage therapist for professional sports teams you will be working closely with the coaches and trainers for the team along with coordinating massage sessions with training and competing. You will have to have a good understanding of the inflammation process, flexibility and strength conditioning principles and know how to apply massage most effective for various situations. The appropriate massage at the appropriate time can enhance training and reduce injuries. If you apply the wrong type of technique at the wrong time you can seriously influence the results of the athlete’s performance. It is important that you know what you are doing. You may be hired as an employee or be an independent contractor who is self employed.