How I became a sports massage therapist
During my teenage years I always enjoyed learning about anatomy and physiology. I have a keen interest in sport injuries too. How-ever football (as it does with many), took up most of my time and attention.
After being released by Northampton Town I started at sixth form and started to study an A Level in Sports Science. I enjoyed up, but again always feel I should and could have done better. Practical elements where great and the Anatomy side no problem. Again, though playing semi pro football and going out took the majority of my focus!
Roll forward starting work and ultimately joining the prison service in 2004. Quickly I trained to become a PTI within the service and started training. A course six months long, lots of physical testing and teaching, re-igniting my passion for all thing’s fitness.
So, I enrolled on a sports massage therapy course. During my studies it was a real opener. I always thought massage in a sporting context was pre-game rubs. But how wrong I was. The discipline caters for many differing aspects of sport and fitness as well as remedial treatment. Learning many different aspects of the qualification, I quickly understood the massage was a very small part.
Client analysis, subjective and objective assessments are vital. They really do make the difference from your average therapist to a highly skilled and trusted one. As I moved through the levels 3,4 and then 5. It was shocking the level of skill and knowledge base you need to make a good therapist. Functional testing and special testing, something completely alien to me at first.
Over the years I have learnt that you are ALWAYS LEARNING! Also not to water down my knowledge base with too many courses. CPD is vital and reading, but by specialising in sports injuries I have been able to develop a successful client base and I hope a good reputation!
Dan is currently a lecturer at Body Aid on the Sports Massage courses in Peterborough.