How To Become A Sports Massage Therapist
Sports massage therapy is a specialty of proven usefulness and therefore high demand in athletics and professional sports. It can reduce the likelihood of athletes getting injured during competition and help them recover from certain kinds of injuries. Here’s how to get qualified as a sports massage therapist in the UK…
Who should become a sports massage therapist?
Many people who train in sports massage therapy are new to fitness, and do a sports massage therapy course to launch their new career in that specific field. Other people who do such courses are already qualified personal trainers, and understand that getting qualified in sports massage will add another very useful skill to the services they can provide their clients.
To have the right mindset to be a sports massage practitioner, you should be someone who cares about helping other people and who is also fully comfortable touching and massaging other people’s bodies for an hour or more, whether they be elderly, disabled, or male or female.
What is required to become a sports massage therapist?
There are a number of training providers in the UK, including us, that provide accredited sports massage courses.
Almost all vocational training courses in every industry in the UK are grouped into one of nine levels by the National Qualification Framework. Sports massage courses, like personal trainer courses, usually sit at level 3, 4 or 5 on that spectrum.
Our sports massage course is a level 3 qualification, as are the equivalent courses from most training providers, but there are a few providers who deliver level 4 or 5 courses and teach more advanced aspects of sports massage therapy.
Sports massage therapists should have a friendly personality and enjoy helping others.
To make sure you’re getting a sports massage qualification that will open the right doors among employers in the sports and fitness industries, you should only do a course at level 3 or above.
You do not need any prior qualifications to do a level 3 sports massage course, but you will need to be aged sixteen or above and should be competent in written and spoken English.
What does a sports massage course involve?
You will learn about the muscular structure and anatomy of the human body and about what all the common muscle groups are used for.
You will learn how to use your hands to apply pressure to specific muscle areas in a way that will loosen the muscles, making straining or tearing injuries less likely to befall them.
You will learn how to use massage technique to stimulate the flow of blood to carry nutrients into injured muscles and ligaments, accelerating the bodies natural recovery process.
You will learn how to identify contraindications of massage, which are situations in which a massage should not be performed on a certain area of the body because it would do damage rather than good, such as a broken bone or a deep vain thrombosis.
With our courses, students have access to an online learning environment where they can study the course material in their own time to help them prepare for their final assessment.
At the end of the course, you will be assessed by professional tutors and required to demonstrate your knowledge on a volunteer massage recipient.
How much does a qualified sports massage therapist earn?
This depends on a number of factors such as how many hours you work, what clients or organizations you work for, and how good you are.
If you’re already a practicing personal trainer who wants to do a sports massage course to augment your existing array of services, then you’ve probably got other clients and other income streams already in place and are better able than anyone else to judge how much the sports massage qualification will boost your earnings.
If you’re new to fitness and intend the sports massage course to be the starting qualification with which you launch a new career, then you’ll likely start out working in-house for a clinic or some other sort of health and fitness establishment. The starting salaries for these kind of roles are usually less than £20k a year, but after a few years can rise to between £25k and £28k.
The most lucrative rolls for sports massage practitioners are with professional sports clubs and athletics teams. Such organizations have teams of medical professionals working to provide care and support to their athletes, including sports massage therapists.
Large professional football and rugby clubs tend to pay between £40k and £70k a year, with smaller clubs tending to pay up to £35k. Positions at these kind of organizations are usually only open to highly qualified candidates with many years of experience.
To those who are just starting out in fitness with their sports massage course, we advise you to eventually expand and become a personal trainer. Personal trainers who can provide sports massage services in addition to the usual personal training services can build very enjoyable and lucrative careers for themselves in the health and fitness industry.