How to Become a Sports Massage Therapist?

How to Become a Sports Massage Therapist

Professional Sports has come a long way. Athletes now go great lengths to reach superhuman capabilities. But this has also led them vulnerable to injuries. This is where the sports massage therapist fits in. If you are looking for how to become a sports massage therapist you are in the right place. This career guide will give you all the necessary information and instructions you need to know how to become a sports massage therapist. You will also learn how to gain and develop your skill with training. You will also learn to use them to make a good living as a professional sports massage therapist.

What Do Sports Massage Therapists Do?

For regular participants of sports and physical exercises, proper conditioning of muscles and joint is an important issue. Sports massage is a great tool to aid recovery and maintain flexibility. Though it is a form of massage it has earned its name from targeting sports-related injuries and irritations.

Sports massage therapy is the maintenance of the body from particular stannous activities related to sports and athletics. In competitive and recreational sports there are knots, inflammation and irritation created in the muscles and joints. These days not only people involved with sports but people with postural issues and workload are being helped by massage therapists. Its is designed to help people avoid physios.

People are much more enthusiastic about several indoor and outdoor games in their daily life. So In the last few years, the viability of sports massage to treat common sports or posture-related irritations have come to light. This is why sports massage has now been Relatable to people more than it ever was.

Sports Massage Therapist Qualifications

To get certified as a massage therapist firstly, you need to complete your GCSE’s before you decide to get certified. The entry-level qualification to practise as a massager therapist is the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy. Appearing the course will get you through the door and work as a trainee or an apprentice in a professional setting.

Sports massage is not yet a regulated profession. So you can still volunteer to become a sports massage therapist fulfilling the minimal requirements by completing an online course. You won’t need to get accredited by any awarding bodies to work like a pro.

You can also become a sports massage therapist by attending a massage course in a vocational school. This will need you to attend formal classes as well as many practical training sessions. A vocational training course can last from 12 to 18 months based on the type of course you pursue. But it will also cost around £2,185.

You may also seek to become a sports massage therapist in an academic setting in a College or a University. The academic route to becoming a sports massage therapist normally takes around three years. Generally, it is earned in the form of an undergraduate degree.

This degree is offered to emphasize more on sports science-related and recovery from injuries. A candidate who pursue such courses will have a much broader scope to work rather than becoming a common practitioner. They will be able to work in a clinical setting and or get involved in professional sports teams.

Courses to get you started

Apart from college courses and vocational institutions you can become a certified Level 3 Diploma in sports massage therapist simply by appearing online courses. You will be able to achieve practitioner certification just from the comfort of your home. Getting a qualification like this will both save your time and money.

The Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy

This is the minimum entry-level qualification needed to practice sports massage in a commercial setting. The course involves a range of topics related to sports massage treatments.

  1. This involves the study of anatomy and physiology of the human body.
  2. The course approaches how to massage different parts of the body such as Head, Neck, Back and Full Body Massage.
  3. The course will also give you an overview of several massage techniques such as Swedish, Thai, Baby massage as well as sports massage in details.
  4. You will also get a detailed idea on soft tissue dysfunction, common sports injuries, evaluate their treatments and get insights on practising massage as a professional.

The Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy

The level 4 certification is an advanced form of the level 3 sports massage therapy course. This course covers a broader range of subject matters. The discussions go deeper into each of the topics. Likewise, This also includes advanced therapy techniques used to treat sports-related injuries.

It is important to note that it’s beyond the Sports massage therapists scope to diagnose an injury. A sports massage therapy can be prescribed by general practitioners, orthopaedic doctors, physical therapists and so on after diagnosis of the condition.

To clarify sports massage therapists are trained to condition the muscles of athletes with their specialized techniques. They mainly prepare the athletes for better performance, enhance recovery and injury management. The treatment enhances the circulation of body fluids properly and reduces muscle tensions.

Steps to Become a Sports Massage Specialist

After you finish your level 3 course firstly you need to get your desired work experience.

  1. To train to be a sports massage therapist the best way to start off is to work as an apprentice.
  2. You can look for apprenticeships by yourself. Contact your nearest facilities that provide such services. Drop by and see by yourself.
  3. For instance, you may also seek help from the National Career Service to find yourself an apprenticeship to get you started off. Or may also look online to look out for anyone who gives out apprenticeships in sports massage therapy.
  4. Either way, it won’t that long to get you employed. As sports massage therapists is an in-demand profession

Skills needed to become a sports massage therapist

It can easily be said that a career as a sports massage therapist is a rewarding one. It’s a career that’s based on the basis of helping athletes boost their performances. Your responsibility is to keep athletes in their top physical condition. This way you also get to be a part of their journey.

To add up with that you always get to learn something new every time you treat someone. Therefore, you get valuable experience and build your rapport. The more experience you gain and the expertise you build you can climb higher up the pecking order. Treat more elite athletes and get hired by more prestigious clubs and sporting events.

The skills that will particularly help you through your journey to becoming a sports massage therapist are:

Great interpersonal skills

As a massage therapist communicating with your clients is one of the most important aspects of the job. You have to understand the clients problems. You will also need to communicate back to your clients the measures you are taking to easy his discomforts.

Ability to work well with hands

You will be practically working hands on with your clients individually. This will require you to be very good with your hands as you will use your hands in sensitive areas that may have been subject to injuries.

Empathy and understanding

You will face many clients who are frustrated and in down state of mind due to their injuries. Handling such clients with a positive outlook on their future recovery is your professional duty.

Dedication for your job

As a massage therapist you will be working very closely with your clients. So you have to be genuinely interested to do better in this profession. Therefore, if you find the right motivation you will do great once you start enjoying your job.

What does sports massage therapists treat

Sports massage therapist approach the problem spots by applying pressure on muscle. This opens up channels for blood flow and tones up the muscle. Increased blood circulation cures the build up of lactic acid. As a sports massage therapist you have to recognize the unique need of your client according to the body type and specification of the sports.

Types of treatment are given by sports massage therapists


This is the type of massage given prior to any event involving intense physical activities. It conditions the athletes body to attain peak performance.

Post event

This type of massage is given after intense sessions of physical activity. This promotes healing and recovery from the intense workloads.


Restorative massage is during training to allow athletes to train with greater intensity without much risk of getting injured. This massage is done to revive from previous strains anyone might have suffered.


This type massage may be applied anytime to relive athletes from pain and inflammation from any injury. Its goal is to increase circulation and quicken the healing.

Why athletes choose sports massage therapy?

Recently experts has recognized the importance and effectiveness of massage therapy. Sports massage therapy is Swedish massage that uses techniques such hydrotherapy and strength training achieving specific goals. This method involves targeted pressure used to reach the deeper tissues of the spinal and other joints.

Massage can improve people from athletes to common people. Athletes suffering from strain damage in their soft tissue will get a lot of benefits and improve their performance. It may even help

How sports massage works?

Sports massage works by applying pressure to the damaged muscles. By applying pressure to the soft tissues subjected to inflammation. By working on the muscle the blood circulation on the muscle increases and tones down the pain and discomfort.
Maybe you have played a long game or after a hard day of work in front of your desktop. Your back may get messed up and sore due to maintaining constant postures. The sports massage therapist navigates the pain.

Job Opportunities for Sports Massage Therapists

Sports massage has gone way beyond professional athletes. Now athletes, as well as people looking to live active lifestyles, are availing the benefits of sports massage. Since its use fullness to living a healthy life has become widespread more and more people are now availing the services.
The common sports massage therapists jobs are:

Gym and fitness clubs

Gym and fitness clubs

People are moving towards exercise in huge numbers. More and more people are joining the gym to rejuvenate their energy. In the process they are also feeling presence of knots in their joints and soft tissues. So to avoid any injury people seek the services of sports massage therapists more than ever. So it’s easier to get access to more clients if you associate yourself with any health club.

Sporting clubs

Participation in various sports such as cricket, football, hockey, tennis and so on are at an all-time rise in the UK. Injuries may occur anytime in these competitive sports like this. So there is a rising demand of sports massage Therapists both on an expert and trainee level to help the clubs operate with their events.

Sporting events

Many sporting events such as marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, cycling races and Iron Man competitions are attended by sports massage therapists. This allows the therapists to give pre and post event massage to participants on demand.

Working freelance

Many sports massage therapists are working freelance operating on their own. Along with several sporting injuries people are facing postural problems just by doing desk jobs. So people of all walks are now pursuing to massage services. This has increased the scope of sports massage therapists as well.

How much a sports massage therapist can make?

Whether you work in an organizational setting or work freelance you are sure to make a fantastic and secured living. The average sports massage therapist salary in the UK is around £17,000 annually. This will go even higher to as much £35,000 or even more once you gain more experience and degrees in relevant fields.

Concluding remarks

While working as a sports massage therapist there is also scope for you to move out to several relevant fields. You can also work as a fitness consulting, personal training, health promotion or even teaching according to the qualifications you achieve. But you have to give emphasize on improving your expertise.

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