Sports Massage – Preventing Injury and Enhancing Performance

Sports massage focuses on the individual need of the athlete and is used before, during, and after athletic events.

The purpose of sports massage is to prepare the athlete for peak performance. It alleviates muscle stress and tension, relieves swelling, drains away fatigue, promotes flexibility and prevents injury.

Aiding recovery and enhancing performance, whether you are an athlete or an occasional sports person, sports massage helps you perform to the best of your ability.

How Sports Massage Differs From Other Types of Massage

Continued overuse of the body which occurs from systematically increasing levels of training can cause minor injuries and lesions, causing imbalances in the soft tissues.

Massage has been used for many years as a healing therapy and benefits the body as a whole in a number of ways.

Sports massage works predominantly to alleviate the build up of stress and tension which occurs in the soft tissues of the body during physical activity. The approach may differ depending on the area of concern to be addressed.

Depending on the athlete’s need, the technique may involve a blend of Swedish massage and shiatsu. Three main strokes are used in sports massage. These include:

o Effleurage:

Gliding strokes with the palms, fingertips and thumbs usually carried out at the beginning and end of a sports massage session.

o Petrissage:

Kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and fingers used on deeper tissues to induce relaxation, stretch muscle fibres and mobilize fluids.

o Friction:

Circular pressure with the palms, thumbs and fingers. Used primarily for exploratory purposes or for deeper more painful movements, this stroke breaks down lesions and recent scar tissue and separates muscle fibres. Friction should only be used for short periods as longer periods can cause irritation and inflammation.

How is Sports Massage Used?
Sports massage can involve prevention, maintenance and rehabilitation and is used:-

o pre-event: aimed at decreasing injury and improving performance;

o inter-event: helping the athlete recover and prepare for the next event;

o post-event: focusing on tissue normalization and repair, promoting mental and physical relaxation.

What are the Benefits of Sports Massage?

The continual build up of tension from overuse can stress the joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles.

Resulting muscle imbalances, if untreated, can lead to discomfort and impede performance.

Sports massage benefits the athlete in many ways and is very affective for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to the musculo-skeletal system helping athletes prevent injuries.

It is also beneficial for:-

o reducing muscle tension

o improving flexibility

o improving blood circulation & lymphatic flow

o reducing heart rate and blood pressure

o relieving pain

o assisting in the removal of metabolic waste

o sedating or stimulating nerve endings

o increasing/decreasing muscle tone and length

o assists in mental preparation

Is Sports Massage Safe?

Sports massage is relatively safe. However, as with all massage therapies there are times when sports massage could be detrimental rather than beneficial to you.

You should not receive sports massage if any of the following is present:-

o cancer

o melanoma

o haemophilia

o varicose veins, phlebitis, thrombosis

o tumours – where there is swelling, which is inconsistent with recent bruising.

o open wounds, recent bruising, muscle tears, sprained ligaments, contusions, chilblains, burns.

o infectious skin disease, bacterial infection, lymphangitis, fungal and viral infections

If in any doubt, it is advisable to consult your physician before receiving sports massage and in particular if you feel unwell, have a high temperature or have any symptoms that may require medical advice.

Why Have a Sports Massage?

Massage is now considered an integral part of most professional athletics regimes. Sport coaches and high performing athletes alike are of the belief that massage provides an extra edge.

Including regular sports massage into your conditioning program can have physiological and psychological benefits resulting in improved power and performance.

How to Get a Good Fitness Coach

Getting a good fitness coach is one of the most important things if you want to get the best fitness training program. A good fitness coach should have several qualities. One of the qualities of a good fitness coach is he should know the sport well so that the teaching will be effective. The in depth understanding of this sport should be from the fundamental skills to advanced strategy and tactics. Here you should note that not all students of fitness training programs can make good training coaches.

Another quality of a good fitness training coach is the ability to seek new information that will help in the process. This should include information on some of the ailments that affect the way the fitness program should be conducted. Here the fitness coach should also stay up to date with new rehab and training information and new research information. This can be done by attending fitness coach clinics or camps as well as seeking of some of these tips from other elite coaches. Another quality of a good coach is the ability to motivate which will mean that they have to always have a positive attitude as well as enthusiasm.

If a coach can motivate and inspire you then success will definitely be achieved. It is very important to believe in yourself and this can only be accomplished if someone is showing you some encouragement by motivating you. This can be achieved by the coach if there are performance goals and outcomes stated clearly. Another quality of a good coach is to know each of their trainees well and this is because each person is different from another. There are some people who react well with some emotional displays while there are some who may react negatively.

A good fitness coach is also supposed to be an effective communicator and this should be able to exude authority, respect, competence and credibility. It should be easy for the coach to explain instructions clearly to all trainees. Another quality of a good fitness coach is to be a good listener which is part of effective communication. The coach should be able to listen to the trainee’s ideas and questions and use them to modify their training plans whenever necessary.

Discipline is the other quality of a good fitness coach as all the trainees are supposed to adhere to the set of rules. These rules should not be broken and in case they are broken relevant discipline measures should be taken. A good fitness coach should also be able to lead by example and this means that the same rules that trainees are expected to adhere to should also be followed by the coach. A good fitness coach should also have the passion and professionalism required. They should display a clear commitment to their work at all times. It is not easy to find all these qualities in one individual but you have to go with the one who has most of these.

12 Benefits of Basketball Coaching Certification

The question of why the gap has been closed in international basketball is a pressing one. The United States once dominated international and Olympic play. Those days are gone as our coaching structure leaves a lot to be desired. The quality of our coaching has deteriorated, therefore other countries have made great progress due to a motivated coaching movement. Coaching certification for basketball coaches was once just a topic for discussion. It has become an urgent topic and must be seriously be considered by the United States coaching community.

This article addresses the benefits of a coaching certification. Following the lead of countries such as Canada and the UK, the following list represents a good reason for us to follow.

12 Benefits of a Basketball Coach Certification program


  1. By becoming certified you will increase your knowledge of the game of basketball.
  2. You will immediately be part of a small group of certified trainers to facilitate your learning and application of the game. Your knowledge will be sought by other coaches.
  3. Certification will prepare you to run your own training program or youth basketball camps.
  4. A comprehensive learning approach with a classroom setting and on floor setting will enhance your learning curve.
  5. 12 hours of learning will equal the amount of learning gained in several coaching clinics.
  6. Can be completed in a 2 or 3 day period to fit your schedule and other responsibilities.
  7. You can add references to your resume to grow your coaching network.
  8. Your will gain access to hundreds of coaching contacts in high school, college and NBA basketball.
  9. You will begin to compile your coaching philosophy in your own “Black Book” of coaching.
  10. You will demonstrate initiative and enhance job prospects.
  11. For the cost on ONE Nike clinic you will exposed to every part of the game from a teaching and philosophical standpoint.
  12. You will develop your own coaching philosophy, techniques and methods of teaching the game.


The main step to take in this process has to come from those in leadership roles. The National Association of Basketball Coaches, the NBA, the NCAA, and the thousands of coaching associations around the country must all embrace this effort toward improving basketball coaching. Until we do our game will continue to struggle for identify and quality.