How to become a Sports Massage Therapist

If you are excited to learn how you could start a career in deep tissue massage to help people, you are in the right place.

After all, we are the UK’s most experienced fitness training provider and have helped develop over 125,000 careers in the industry. We helped shape the industry and we understand what it takes to help people succeed in the fitness world and start their careers.

This is a great time to join the fitness industry.

The fitness industry is continuing to grow as more people are taking care of their health and wellbeing. Sports Massage Therapists are highly sought-after fitness professionals. It can be used alone to help aid in recovery or alongside sports and fitness to ensure athletes can reach their fitness goals. Our essential guide will help you navigate this exciting career within the fitness industry.

Step 1: Research your new career

Sports massage can play a vital role within the fitness and health industry. It is important to fully understand what the role is, and what skills you will need to be successful. 

Sports Massage Therapists can help anyone – from athletes to occasional gym users and will need to prevent injuries as much as treat them. Their role is to treat injuries and to help injuries before they occur. A role as a Sports Massage Therapist will differ depending on whether you are employed or freelance with how much money you make, where you are based, what sort of clients you have to what hours you will have. 

A career as a Sports Massage Therapist means you’ll need to be caring both about the physical and mental state of your clients. This means you’ll need:

To enjoy working closely with people.
Good communication skills.
To be able to put clients at ease and make them feel comfortable.

Step 2: Invest in the best course for you

There are two main ways to qualify as a Sports Massage Therapist; a 3-year degree course with an academic approach or a Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage

A Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage is widely recognised and gives you all the skills and knowledge you’ll need for a long standing career. With practical workshops and treatments from peers leading to an internationally-recognised qualification. This is the perfect grounding you need to start your career in fitness.

When choosing a course, you need to consider:

Course content: Which one will provide the best content?
Course Support: Which course provides you with the best support based on your needs and requirements?
Funding and fees: What funding or fee options are available to me to help pay for the course?
Industry accreditation and respect: What course provider has the best employer and industry reputation and how will that help me in my career?

Our fantastic course advisors can help you discover the best course for you and will be able to answer any of your questions.

Step 3: Learn and qualify

It is an exciting time studying Sports Massage. There is a wealth of new knowledge and skills for you to discover. Our Tutors are the best in the industry (82% of our students have said they are “exceptional”) and will teach and inspire you to be the best you can be. Make the most of this time and and take advantage of the support you will have available. 

There is a lot to learn in the Level 3 Sports Massage course but we’ll give you all the tools, knowledge and support you need to complete your qualification and go on to have an amazing career. 

We have invested in building a fantastic support team to help you along the way. As a YMCAfit learner you will get kickstart sessions, an on-hand support team, a designated learning support tutor, support workshops, a revision tips hotline and more.

Contact us to find out more about becoming a Sport Massage Therapist

Step 4: Get Insured

If you are planning to freelance or set up your own business, you will need to get insurance. Without it, you will not be able to offer your services and you could find yourself liable for costs if any clients are injured.

You will need to research what service is best for you as insurance can drastically differ on the level of coverage, additional support and cost. 

Read our short guide about Insurance for fitness professionals for more information and advice.

Step 5: Join professional bodies

Many Sports Massage Therapists choose to join professional bodies such as CIMSPA, the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT).

As well as credibility, professional bodies also provide career support or opportunities. Joining one or more can help open up a lot of exciting avenues for you to excel and boost your earnings.

Step 6: Start a business or find a job

Once you have completed your Sports Massage qualification, you will be able to immediately apply for jobs at government and private medical organisations as well as spas, hotels, sports clubs and gyms.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you could also start your own massage therapy business. If you decide to go down this route you will need a massage and special treatment license.

Step 7: Explore how to improve yourself

After you have gained a Level 3 qualification, there are a lot of options out there on how you can expand your range of clients and boost your revenue. Continued Professional Development courses (CPDs) will help you explore new skills, clients and help to maintain your certification as a Personal Trainer.

You could gain a CDP qualification in Exercise Referral or Emergency First Aid to expand your skills, and your knowledge of health and fitness.

Other options include diversifying your offerings as a Personal Trainer , STOTT PILATES® Instructor or Yoga Instructor

Talk to us

Take a closer look at our courses or speak to our Course Advisor to find out more.