The sports industry has a wide scope for massage therapists. Athletes need to get massaged after taking part in sporting events for various reasons. The strain they put their bodies under virtually guarantees that they pick up niggles and sprains along the way. Further, certain repetitive motions common in sports lead to muscle fatigue and soreness in certain, targeted areas of the human body.
If they don’t get a proper rubdown after putting in the hard yards, the injury is likely to worsen. An athlete cannot compete if he/she is under discomfort. Therefore, they need massage therapists to be on call at the events they compete in. This means that, as a massage therapist, you can find work in the sports massage niche. This can certainly involve traveling with the team as well.
The Sports Massage Niche
You might not be aware of it but sports massage in itself is a big niche in massage therapy. There are several therapists who specialize in providing massage therapy to athletes of all sorts. You can receive special training and education that could enable you to work in the sports niche.
If you love sports and want to make a career in it as a massage therapist, this is a great way for you to get the best of both worlds. If you had the dream of becoming an athlete, but didn’t get the opportunity to, working in the sports massage niche is one way of doing something close to it.
In financial terms, working in the sports massage niche can be extremely lucrative and profitable for you. Since the top athletes make a lot of money, they are willing to pay their support staff wages which are higher than the norm.
This is why you find many students aspiring to enter this niche and consequently, the competition within this niche is increasing as you would guess. Needless to say it may take a lot of time and effort for you to break into the sports massage industry.
The Degrees of Sports Massages
When it comes to sports massages, there are different degrees you can obtain. You might not believe it but some massage therapists even provide their services free of charge. They make their way to community events and marathons where they provide free massages to the participants.
You may feel this is a waste of time as you cannot make any money from it, but it is a great way to give back to the community. Moreover, you might pick up a client or two from amongst the athletes. Word of mouth and recommendations go a long way just like they do in any other field or profession.
In addition, some massage therapists provide their services exclusively to schools. They sign up for the sports programs at schools, colleges and other educational institutions. There, they provide massages for the student athletes who participate in the college sports events.
This is again, a great way to give back to the community and also make some money. The budget for the sports programs at schools and colleges can be substantial, and hence you may be able to make a decent sum of money there. Not to mention that many student athletes go on to become professional athletes. Guess who they would call upon when in need? This is a great way to break into the profession at the professional level.
Another great option for massage therapists within the sports massage niche to explore is to find jobs in health clubs, spas and gyms. The clients there pay to get massages from experts. As a trained professional, you should be able to deliver what they are looking for.
You are likely to be employed on a salary, but it is possible that the clients may give you tips as well. This ensures that you make a decent living working at a health club or gym.
The highest aspiration for any sports massage therapist is to work in any of the major sports leagues. However, getting a job there requires you to put in a lot of time and effort. It is rare for a massage therapist to get a job here right after graduating. But once landed, this could be all you need to set you up for an outstanding career personally and professionally.
You may have to work on the sidelines for a while. You might have to assist the professionals already working with the athletes. As you gain experience and build contacts in the sports massage niche, you are likely to find a job with one of the professional teams.
You don’t necessarily have to apply for a job with a team. Individual athletes are also on the lookout for massage therapists they can hire for their support staff. They need someone to give them rubdowns so that their bodies remain fluid and active even after they have competed in an event. These are the numerous job opportunities you may have in the sports massage niche.
Other Benefits of Working in the Sports Massage Niche
In addition to being highly lucrative, it is a great niche for people who love intense jobs. A sports massage is quite different than the usual massage that a person gets to feel relaxed. The pace is quicker and there is greater overall intensity.
This is why sports massage therapists have to receive proper education and training so they can step up to the level required by athletes and others who are involved sports. This also means that you will need to understand the human body better than regular massage therapists. Some knowledge of physiology is also required to fully satisfy your clients.
Things You Need to be Careful of
There are many things to be taken care of when giving an athlete a massage. Athletes can suffer from sprains, injuries, cramps and strains as well as small niggles. As the massage therapist, you will not only have to identify the ailment the athlete is suffering from, but also know the proper way to treat it.
If you cannot take care of the pain, there is no point in giving the massage. Needless to say, it could be stressful to figure out the problem on the spot, especially once you have started the massage.
In addition, massage therapists need to understand the requirements of athletes in different sports. For instance, the treatments given to marathon runners would be different to basketball players. Different groups of muscles are involved in each sport.
Moreover, you need to understand the psyche of the athlete. If they have performed well, they might be on a high. But if they have failed in their endeavor, they may be feeling low. In this case, the therapist has to show patience and compassion while providing the massage.
If you are looking to enter the sports massage niche like many other students are, you need to know about the different types of massage jobs that are available in this space, as well as the various things you have to mindful of that are outlined in this article. We wish you all the best as you pursue this excellent and lucrative field of massage.