I am excited to be the new Director of the AMTA Sport Massage Team. Our team is in a new phase, and I encourage you to stay tuned! My goal is to work with Race Directors to pay us directly or to be able to charge the athletes directly at events. Other states have incorporated similar programs, and I believe that it enhances our profession. Of course, we should all continue to volunteer individually, at events that are of interest to us. Finally, it is a great opportunity to connect, to network, to get to know other professionals in our field, and to market your business. Remember, as James Keller once said, “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”. It is a great advantage to our clients to have contacts all over the state!

WTA Massage Therapist, Lee Stang, says to “start getting involved with your AMTA chapters’ Sports Massage Team; this provides excellent hands-on experience and each event looks great on a resume.”

If you have never worked at a sporting event (WHY NOT???), here is a quick synopsis of what a regular shift at a road race or sporting event may look like. First, we ALWAYS begin with coffee and donuts. Some of the athletes may request pre-event work–a short, upbeat, specific treatment given immediately before the event. The goal of  this massage is not to make any structural changes, but rather to increase circulation, flexibility, and mental clarity, thereby improving athletic performance. There is usually a break in between the action as the athletes undergo their event, and this is a great time to get to know each other and share your contact information. We begin our post-event massages once the athletes complete their courses, and the goal here is recovery! The tempo is much slower, and the focus is on increasing circulation, reducing muscle soreness, and increasing range of motion through stretching. We encourage you to make connections with the athletes and to share your business cards.

If you are looking to mingle with other therapists, this is a great opportunity to have some fun and support each other! At the end of our shift, I would also like to invite you to a “social hour” at a spot nearby (to be determined). We will have the opportunity to answer any questions and to share any stories!

To join the team, you must have 16 hours of sports education. To earn your red, SMT shirt, you must volunteer at two events and work on a minimum of 20 athletes (documented at the events). Your red shirt will then be presented at the volunteer appreciation event. Don’t have your 16 hours? No problem! We always need help at the registration desk.

I look forward to educating athletes about the importance of massage and bringing Connecticut’s Licensed Massage therapists together as a profession at local events.

Tama Mackay, SMT Chair