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Posted 03/15/2022 in Category 1

What Is a Sports Therapist

What Is a Sports Therapist

If you have an interest in working with someone to help improve your physical performance in sport, or recover from injury then you may be considering working with a sports therapist. You may also be considering a career in this profession. As such you may be interested in understanding more about the knowledge and skills required to work in sports therapy, and what the role entails. In brief, a sports therapist works in the broad areas of injury prevention, injury assessment, injury rehabilitation such as soft tissue injuries, and sports massage. A sport therapist is someone who addresses recovery, performance maintenance and performance enhancement. 

Most sports therapists have been educated to degree level and there is a growing number of post-graduate courses in sports therap. However, it is true to say that individuals working as sports therapists do have a range of backgrounds, experiences and educational qualifications.

As a sports therapist you can work with individuals across a range of ages, experiences and level. For example, you could work with someone an elite junior tennis player providing one-to one support around optimising performance, a recreational adult golfer who may have hurt their back, or a first time runner who has tweaked a hamstring on their first ever outing. Not surprisingly sports therapists are increasingly in demand at an elite level for their skills, such as sports massage and indeed, during the London 2012 Olympics, sports massage accounted for around 36% of the treatment provided to athletes, which was second in volume, only to physiotherapy. Interestingly, sports massage is also reported to have a psychological benefit in elite athletes. Most sports therapists are either self-employed or have two or more contracts with organisations. Typically sports therapists who are practising are based in amateur or professional sports clubs, sports injury clinics, private health clinics, health and fitness clubs, or leisure centres,. 

Earlier we mentioned that not all sports therapists have a degree, and many good ones do not. However, if we take the United Kingdom as an example to become a sports therapist int he UK increasingly many jobs now require a degree-level qualification and membership of The Society of Sports Therapists (SST). 

Members of the Society of Sports Therapists must have five key areas of competency related to injury and illness in a sport and exercise environment. These are

  • Prevention
  • Recognition and Evaluation
  • Management Treatment and Referral
  • Rehabilitation
  • Education and Professional Practice Issues

In addition to these competencies members of SST must also have a valid and assessed first aid certificate, which is maintained to keep the membership. 

So what is a sports therapists salary? Working as a sport therapist in the UK you can expect to earn between £18,000 to £28,000. But this can be greater working privately or with a professional sports team. Typical fees per private session are around £25 to £45.

We hope that this brief overview of what is a sports therapist is helpful. As a sports performance directory we are proud to have a number of sports therapists listing their services with us. You can search for a sports massage therapist near you on our database.

If you would like to read some of our material relevant to sports therapists, including articles on sports injury rehabilitation, sports massage and fitness training and sports massage then you can find relevant articles on our blog page.

Image by Alexander Fox | PlaNet Fox from Pixabay