The faster an athlete can recover from an injury, the more likely he is to have a successful career. In addition to the usual stretching and training, some athletes turn to sports massage therapy to help them overcome injuries and keep their bodies in optimum condition. According to the London-based Sports Massage Association, sports massage therapy is the management and manipulation of soft body tissues. Sports massage is considered to be an advanced branch of massage therapy. To become a sports massage therapist, you must be licensed in massage therapy.
Enrol in massage therapy training. The number of educational hours you'll need to complete to become licensed varies depending on where you live, however it usually ranges from 400 to 1,000 hours. The American Massage Therapy Association website, AmtaMassage.org, features a comprehensive list of state educational requirements. You can find a massage therapy school in your local phone book or also through the American Massage Therapy Association website.
Obtain your massage therapy license. Again, depending on where you live, the requirements and payment for licensure may vary. Refer to the American Massage Therapy Association website for links to your state's regulations.
Find a school that offers a sports massage curriculum. Not all massage schools are created equally, meaning you will not find an emphasis on sports massage offered everywhere.
The International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego offers a sports massage course that emphasises the treatment of injuries, pain and other physical problems. The Oregon School of Massage has a sports massage certification program that includes an on-site internship. The American Massage Therapy Association website has a Continuing Education Calendar featuring additional sports massage training opportunities.