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Could a Sports Massage Qualification Win More Clients For Your Massage Therapy Business?

Could Sports Massage Training Win More Clients For Your Massage Therapy Business?

Sports massage often carries a reputation of being just for athletes or gym bunnies. However adding this modality to your roster can open up a wide range of possible clients and opportunities to grow your massage therapy business. 

What are the benefits of sports massage? 

Sports massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue usually to benefit a person who engages in regular physical activity. Sports Massage can be applied before, after or during the activity and is designed to help in correcting issues and prevent further injury or trauma. The benefits of sports massage include;

  • Increased mobility 
  • Increased agility 
  • Mentally helps athletes unwind 
  • Release tight muscles 
  • Reduce stress 
  • Aids with recovery from injuries 
  • Boost confidence and general sense of well being 

But don't just take our word for it! Below Susan Findlay director of North London School of Sports Massage and author of Sports Massage: Hands on Guide for Therapists shares a rundown of the top benefits of sports massage!  

Is sports massage for everyone? 

Despite its slightly misleading name sports massage isn't just for athletes! Anyone who is active can benefit from this type of treatment and in fact for any clients who spend most of their day walking or on their feet, they will really feel a difference after regular appointments. 

However sports massage therapy is not suitable for all clients. For example clients with chronic pain or anyone looking to unwind with a relaxing treatment might find this is not the modality for them.

How can sports massage grow my massage therapy business? 

Some sports therapists go on to work in gyms or with sports teams either full time, pitch side or both, helping athletes to be at their best and take the team to new heights! 

But even if you don't decide to go down this route, adding sports massage as an extra string to your bow is an effective way to grow your therapy business. By having the skills to deliver a deeper treatment if needed will see you going above and beyond a spa like experience for clients in severe pain. Alternatively if you don't want to work pitch side or within a sports club you could still target local running clubs, gyms or simply promote your new modality as a separate service to reach a wide range of new clients online. 

What techniques are used in sports massage? 

As with all modalities sports massage encompasses a wide range of techniques and as with all your clients adaptability is key! Approaching each treatment as unique and tailored to the person on your massage table is always the best way to go but there are certainly deeper tissue techniques as well as more active movements involving the patient that are utilised in sports massage therapy. 

Especially when working with athletes you may need to take into account their training schedules or if you find yourself working pitch side you might need to think on your feet to get them back up and running fast! This can be an exciting challenge that helps keep your practice fresh and you constantly developing as a massage therapist! 

What training do I need to add sports massage therapy to my skill set? 

Sports massage therapy does require training as there is a different set of skills and knowledge of anatomy and physiology that is required. Whilst different courses will focus on different aspects with some schools preferring to focus on rehabilitation and others perhaps taking a most soft tissue approach, all in all most sports massage therapy courses will cover the following; 

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biomechanics
  • Assessing injuries  
  • Treatment of injuries 
  • Injury Rehabilitation 
  • First Aid 
  • Taping 
  • Advanced Massage Therapy techniques 
  • Trauma 
  • Working as a sports massage therapist 

Two highly recommended providers for sports massage therapy courses are Susan Findlay at the North London School of Sports Massage or Tim Paine's Academy, Sports Therapy UK.

Do I need specialist equipment as a sports massage therapist? 

As a sports massage therapists you will need very similar supplies to that of a massage therapist working in other modalities. However there will be certain options for your massage therapy equipment that will be more suited to the type of techniques you will be using and potentially the type of clientele you will have. For example when looking at massage tables you might want to consider a massage table that is wider and with a higher working weight capacity in order to treat clients like rugby players for example. A lighter weight table is also more beneficial as you could be carrying the table a lot to sports events.

So let's run through a few bits of kit you might consider. 

Recommended Sports Therapy Treatment Tables:

The massage table which is perfect for you will depend on dimensions, whether you are mobile and need an ultralight table and of course your budget. At Massage Warehouse we are all therapists ourselves so if you have any questions at all you can always give us a ring or email and we can point you in the right direction! Below are three tables we regularly recommend to sports massage therapists. 

1. Porta-lite Delta II

The Porta-lite Delta II is our best selling treatment table, particularly to sports therapists. It is also the most comfortable, lightest and strongest lightweight treatment table available. It comes in 2 widths, 28 inch and 30 inch so is suitable for larger patients which often is the case with professional sports teams.

lightweight massage table

You can read more details and see all the specifications for the Porta-Lite Delta II by clicking on the image above. 


2. Porta-lite Delta I

The Porta-Lite Delta I features the same quality and components of the Delta II table but is narrower at 25 inches wide. This makes it even lighter to carry and the narrower width can be more suited to quick pitch side treatments and assessments. If you are undecided which width to go for, find out the width of the treatment tables you trained on at University and decide if you want to stick with that width or go wider or narrower. For most sports massage therapist it is best to stick with a minimum of 28 inches for the width of their massage table to ensure better patient comfort. However if you want to make the table as light as possible then the narrower 25 inch wide massage table may be more suitable for you.

lightweight massage table


You can read more details and see all the specifications for the Porta-lite Delta Iby clicking on the image above. 


3. Earthworks Perform

If having a very light weight treatment table is not your main priority then the Earthworks Perform is hands down the best massage table on the market for sports therapy. It is the same high quality and has the same components and features as the Porta-Lite Delta tables outlined above except it has a lifting back rest for seated treatments, enabling therapists to raise the patient for increased comfort.

Having a lifting back rest increases the weight by around 3KG however, the Earthwork Perform is still the lightest full dimension treatment table with a lifting back rest available. There are lighter tables available but these do compromise client comfort by reducing the table size and width. 

We already supply this model to national teams, premiership football and rugby clubs and it is the backbone of many high performance sports treatment centres.


high quality massage table


The Earthworks Perform is available in 2 widths - 25 inches and 28 inches. You can see more details and all the specifications for this massage table by clicking on the image above. 


Sports Massage Waxes:

Our favourite waxes for sports massage therapists are from Songbird. 

songbird fascial release wax

Sports therapists asked for a massage wax with a tighter grip for greater control over the tissues and as a result the Fascial Release Wax was born! 

Developed in consultation with James Earls an international lecturer in fascial release techniques and anatomy, the new blend gives fantastic grip into the connective tissue making it perfect for sports massage therapy. The wax allows the therapist to manipulate the tissue it in a wide variety of ways - lengthening, differentiating and mobilising it.

You can try the Fascial wax in an economical 100g tub and then if you like it you can save buy purchasing one of the larger tubs.

Are you considering adding sports massage therapy to your skill set? Do you have anything that is holding you back? Let us know in our Facebook thread.

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