Lets talk about the sports massage field... What's it take to be a highly recognized, educated and talented sports massage therapist.
There are various levels of sports massage.
1. Event - volunteer @ community events
2. Education level - what you learned in school vs actual real world application
3. Continuing education - what you should focus on, subjects that are relevant to working within the athletic community
4. Experience - where have you worked, what level of athlete have you worked with? Where are you going? What is your focus, what athletic group are you targeting?
5. Credentialing - there is NO standardized test for sports massage.. what i think is the highest standard & credential for sports massage is the OLYMPIC ~~ PARALYMPIC one.
Questions that should be asked:
- what drives you to participate in the sports ~ athletic genre?
- is it for the recognition?
- is it for the money $$$?
- is it for the resume`?
- is it to support the athlete?
- do you like the athletic environment?
- are you looking to increase your exposure in this field & with this clientele?
- are you a TEAM player?
- can you take direction from other sports medical personal?
Personally, if you answered yes to the first three (3), maybe you should look in another area of massage and stay in the "office"setting. Also just as important is if you can't take direction & be a Team Player... this specialty field is NOT for you.
My experience has always been a good one, I am part of the TEAM ~~ I embrace this concept. I take direction when given and carry out the objective ( providing excellent, goal orientated sports massage to the athlete in question) and have follow up, chart the progress and make modifications if needed.
I also know when enough is enough, not overworking an area or issue creating additional issues with unnecessary muscle damage which will impede the healing process.
Communication with various sports medical professionals & coaches along with the athlete is critical. Make sure everyone is on the same page in the same book!
If you don't know something, that's OK ~~ research it, study it & practice it! Make it better for the future, this is important, as long as you continue to "invest in yourself" , you will see improvements in understanding the subject matter we work with... THE HUMAN BODY ( muscles & movement)
Now put it all together for the benefit of the athlete ~~ who will recognize your efforts, knowledge & skill.
You also want the athlete / client who is coming to see you for this specific modality to understand the following:
- one (1) massage will not resolve the issue, there must be 3-4 consecutive sessions & a follow up.
- chart the progress or lack of
- introduce & implement a "self care" aspect of the treatment construction plan. The athlete / client must understand they have to contribute to the overall healing - recovery process.
- continue with sports massage sessions while progress is being made
- transition to maintenance sports massage
- REFER OUT if all else fails
- It may be beneficial to athlete / client to see other health care providers to supplement the massage work. ( chiropractic, athletic trainers, physical therapy, orthopedic, acupressure etc..)
The overall goal of sports massage is to resolve muscular issues~ injuries & improve athletic performance. Remember ~~ we are the 1st line of defense for an athlete... we recognize muscle imbalances, increased muscle and or tendon tension, dehydration & fascial issues in muscle tissue.
It is our job to place the athlete / client in a more conducive healing environment.
Athletes recognize good work and ultimately want to be on the playing field, do your job ~~ do it well and you will be recognized for it!
If you have questions, please contact me.
I'm out! ~~ Always!