Sports massages include a variety of different massage styles which get chosen accorded to the prefrences and requirements of an athlete preparing for a sports event. When selecting a massage style to be used by an athlete, several factors are put into consideration. The timing of the sporting event in relation to the period of the massage is important. Its critical to understand the training schedule that is being used by an athlete.

A good massage therapist also knows the health condition of the athlete as some might be recovering from an injury encountered during previous sporting activities. Sports massage aims at looking at the athlete in a wholesome manner and the service can only be rendered by a qualified massage person/therapist.

Eligibility Criteria For Sports Massage

Anybody from an office worker to a trained and skilled sportsmen can benefit from sports massage. 

A tired tradie will find massage therapy reenergising and setting tone for upcoming jobs. Moreover, a trained bodybuilder will find sports massage beneficial in preparing his or her muscle for future weight lifting events. An amateur who is beginning training can embrace sports massage as a way to prevent post exercise pain associated with training/race/sport events.

Can You Go To Training/Sport Event After A Sports Massage?

Absolutely YES! The main aim of the sports massage is to prepare the athlete not only physically but mentally to embrace the next sporting event/activity.

A fast and light massage is very great in ensuring increased blood flow to muscle groups preparing them for an impending athletic event. Many coaches avoid heavy and tedious massages prior to the events because this can render the athlete sore, tired and unable to perform. However, a contrary opinion by some athletes suggest that rigorous sports massage can actually be beneficial in loosening the tight body muscles and body tendons hence improving their performance.

To avoid being on both sides of the coin, as a beginner, it is advisable to still leave the heavy and deep muscle massage just a little bit earlier and not just before the training/sports activity. Better be safe than regret if you do not know what works for you.

Should Sports Massages Be Painful?

NO PAIN NO GAIN is a very popular tearm when it comes to training and when it comes to therapy, this belief holds strong. While sometimes this does hold true, there are other times when this is not necessary. A pregame rub down should not be painful, nor should a recovery massage. Often when massaging out particularly tight muscles, the therapist can start with a light massage, building up to increased pressure as the athlete can tollerate it. This often gives better results that just a 100% pressure massage from the get go.

Is Sports Massage Different From Deep Tissue Massage?

There is a huge difference between the above quagmire. It is crucial to emphasize that although some deep tissue massage can be incorporated in sports massage, it is not a must. Deep tissue massage, as the name suggests, is much more intense and is only determined by a certified sport massage therapist when deemed appropriate. A tight achilles tendon from a previous calf injury might require deep tissue massage as decided by your sport massage therapist. On the other hand, muscle stiffness after a rigorous game might require a sport massage without the need for deep tissue massage.

How Can Professional Sports Person Utilise Sports Massage To Outperform?

The benefits of sports massage have for decades been made known to professional teams and athletes. The main advantage of these massages lies in the ability to promote recovery. During periods of increased workload or play, athletes need to recover quickly to embrace the upcoming sporting events. Injuries and errors committed during routine training can be set off by pre-season sports massage especially from a month break.

Common among players after repeated muscle contusions is a condition known as myositis ossificans. The condition leads to deposits of calcium in the muscle belly with fibrosis caused by microhemorrhage within the muscle due to repeated traumas. Such stiff muscles can impede athletes’ performance. Sports massage is known to increase blood supply to this muscle which in turn clear the toxic metabolic wastes setting the muscle into performance tone.  

Delayed-onset muscle soreness is a great threat to training. Heavy practice is known to hinder muscle relaxation easily. Chronic muscle use causes inflexibility which is a major risk factor to tears and muscle pools. For athletes to reach maximal potential during training, sports massage becomes key to getting the muscle tissue ready for exercise.

A healthy brain and mind are necessary for any athletic performance. Besides increasing muscle flexibility, reducing fatigue and improving muscle blood circulation, Sports massage improves mental health by unclogging and focusing the mind to ensure that the player performs to his or her best. Massages activate the autonomic nervous system, relaxes the mind and reduces overproduction of stress hormones during training. The overall effect is a marked rise in mental clarity and acuity to perform various sporting events.

Preseason Sports Massage

Preseasons are the best time to work on painful contusions and relax stiff muscles. Sports massage during this time, gives the massage therapist an ample opportunity to work on the athlete’s body weakness and difficult muscles. Sports massages will offset the anxiety and joint hinges during the season.

Midseason Sports Massage

The sports massage during the season has three components. First is the postgame massage. The main aim of the immediate post game sports massage is to help elevated soreness that comes with building up lactate after muscle metabolism. It also clears the build up of toxic metabolites and radicals within the muscle. Other midseason sports massage includes midweek and a pre game massage.

Midweek Sports Massage

Midweek massages are short, intense and highly focused. These kinds of sports massages are directed towards a particular contusion and normally aid in fast recovery as well as loosening stiff muscle groups. They can be used by a massage therapist to help return the full range of movement of a particular joint in athletes.

Pre-Game Sports Massage

The pregame massages are light and fast. They are made for relaxation and making muscles normotonic.

How To Make The Most Of Sports Massage

The key to making the most of sports massage is communication. It is a good idea to communicate with your massage therapist on your individual goals. An athlete is advised to point out clearly to the therapist his or her area of weaknesses. For instance, if a player is sore after a rigorous game and has minimal time of recovery, it is important to tell the therapist who will in turn build the pressure and intensity gradually. Depending on the time frame given to the next upcoming event/match, the therapist is aware of how much work to put on a particularly troublesome muscle.

Lastly, if as an athlete, one feels a need to improve performance and maximise his or her full potential, look no further than exploring sport massages. Sports massage not only improves athletics but also aids in lowering risk of injury during sporting events or training. The invaluable mental fitness that comes with embracing sports massage cannot be underrated. The advantages are numerous and the best of all is that sports massage can be undertaken before, after and even during an event in an attempt to improve athletic performance.