Sports Massage

Sport Massage – A Rant


In searching the web I have come across many sites and videos claiming to do “Sports Massage”. But do these massage therapists really know and understand exactly what it takes to do sport massage and are they a Certified Sport Massage Therapist SMT(C)?

In Canada there is an examination process to be able call yourself a Sport Massage Therapist. Many massage therapists claim they do sports massage who have either passed their registration or licensing exam yet they have not gone the route of getting the proper training to perform Sport Massage.

A Certified Sport Massage Therapist SMT(C) has taken the appropriate academic and practical courses along with maintaining clinical and event hours. Once they meet a specific criteria of hours they may apply to do the written and or the practical exam.

For the longest time I did not think that there was much of a difference between what I did at sporting events for massage than what a certified sports massage therapist did.

Then I took a course from Remo Bucci, wow was I wrong! I was performing techniques that I thought would benefit my athletes like heavy percussion. Did you know that many athletes find percussion as a loud and irritating technique? You did learn in school that percussive techniques are stimulating…

After taking the advanced sport massage course I realized that I may have put my athletes into harm’s way.

Certified Sport Massage Therapists know the proper techniques and timing to use for pre, inter and post event, training or game massage.

Sport Massage is a specialization within the field of massage therapy. This is no different than an orthopedic surgeon who does extra schooling to perform ligament or muscle repairs compared to a family physician. Would you want a family physician to repair your ACL?

The key here is to know the qualifications of the massage therapist performing sports massage.

Articles like this: Sheer Hell of a Sports Massage are misleading because they suggest Sports Massage is deep tissue massage. The treatment in this article is something that any student would learn in a recognized massage therapy school.

Furthermore there are misleading sports massage videos out there as well, like this pre-event video. It lacks pace, uses oil, effleurage and petrissage. If I was swimmer I would not be going back!

Pre-event sport massage is performed within an hour of compettion as part of the athletes warm up . No oils is used! The pace used is at the speed of CPR compressions. This video gives you an idea of the of the techniques used.

Specific Sport Massage Techniques are used to treat the athlete for pre, inter and post event competition massage. You can learn these techniques by taking the Advanced Sport Massage Technique course put on by CSMTA Certified Sport Massage Therapists.

The CSMTA in Canada is the certifying body. There was a need to have a certification process to belong to the ‘Expert Provider Group” in order for massage therapists to be eligible for selection to Health Care Teams of Major Games. This is acknowledged by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC).

Massage therapists have the opportunity to get their Sports Massage Certification by becoming a member of the CSMTA and passing both the written and practical exams. For information on how to become a sports massage therapist go to the CSMTA website.


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