We often get asked if we do intensive sports massage courses or fast track courses and the short answer is no. Here’s why. Sports massage is a practical skill and needs to be practiced time and again and a week just isn’t long enough. There are lots of nuances within sports massage and techniques that can’t be expressed in an intensive sports massage course.

Off piste…

I have been in the sports massage industry for a long time and again I come at this from experience. I originally trained as a beauty therapist and quickly found it wasn’t my cup of tea. However, I did find I had a natural talent for massage. Someone suggested sports massage might be the way to go. So I looked into it and decided to give it a go. The first training I did was an intensive sports massage course, it was a week long and based in London. When I qualified no governing body or insurance company would cover it. I’m not saying that’s the same for all fast track sports massage courses but it was for this one.

Not all intensive sports massage courses are accredited

Back to the point, many intensive courses aren’t accredited. This isn’t the case for all but a lot aren’t. I wrote a blog a while back about accredited courses if you want to know more. In short if its not accredited many governing bodies won’t accept you and nor will insurers. You may also find it hard to get a job. That’s the first point.

No two sports massages are the same

Secondly and I have already briefly mentioned this, you will miss out on understanding the nuances associated with sports massage and treating clients. Not only are there slight differences in the way you can use a technique. Everything you treat will be slightly different no two issues are the same. This means adapting your treatment. Finally, no two clients are the same and will respond differently. Furthermore, sports massage unlike many other forms of massage is not delivered as a routine, for want of a better word its prescriptive, bespoke. This can’t be covered in an intensive sports massage course.

Knee and leg massage
The nuances of sports massage

Practice makes perfect

They say to become proficient at anything you need to do at least 10,000 Hours, true or false you need more than a week of practice to be competent in sports massage. The difference between an intensive sports massage course and a 6 month course is partly the amount of access to tutors. In a course over 6 months you may not see the tutor every week but you will have time to experiment and then get guidance on those thought processes. It gives you time to ponder things and come back with questions. It gives you time to make mistakes and have someone that can help you figure out why they’re mistakes. These are all forms of practice and having that guidance to hand means you can experiment.

Final thoughts on intensive sports massage courses

These are the things that can make a difference between a practitioner that can think on their feet which is what you need to do and one that works through the same routine. The need for time to practice with support is important and another reason we give mentoring after completing your qualification.

A lot of sports massage therapists are self employed and don’t have the luxury of a supportive work teams around them. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t rush your training the more support and guidance you get at the beginning the more likely you are to be a successful practitioner.