It is no longer an unusual scene to find even the world’s best basketball players succumb to injuries and other physical setbacks during or after a game. When this happens, we often see their personal therapists rush to address the issue. However, apart from what we see during a game, it is also expected for these physical therapists to be with an athlete in a long-term scale.
With basketball being one of the most physically demanding sports,massage therapies have been one of the essential elements to a player’s performance and overall well-being. Although the basketball may not necessarily be a contact sports, it can still be damaging leg joints and upper back. This is why it shouldn’t already come as a surprise to find the presence of the sport massage therapist throughout the career of a basketball player.
Sports Massage and Athletic Performance
The role of sports massage in any athlete’s performance goes beyond marketing for a certain service, or a luxury that only the well-paid athletes can afford. It has has been largely supported by scientific researches that there is truly clinical and psychological benefits that an athlete can gain from a quality sports massage.
On the surface, a sports massage service is one of the most effective and time-efficient recovery mechanisms for athletes. It can directly address problematic areas of the body, the joins and back area for basketball players, particularly, allowing the players to feel the least fatigue as possible. A fully recovered body can easily translate to a better and more active performance on the next game or training. Moreover, sports massages has also been linked to lessening the chances of injuries, mainly due to the holistic conditioning of the body, which includes but is not limited to relaxed muscles, better blood circulation, and pain relief. All these physical benefits are already considered substantial to boost the energy and overall athletic performance of the basketball players. Some researches even claim that a regular massage for an active person also contributes to building the muscles by aiding in the muscular recovery.
While these physical benefits of sports massages come pretty obvious, what is less talked about is how it actually influences the psychological state of the players. Apparently, athleticism goes beyond physical capacity. One can have an athletic body, but simply does not have the right mental state to back it up, enough to create a topnotch performance. Sports massages, as backed by scientific researches, contribute largely to enhancing or improving the mental state of the players by significantly lowering tension in the body and increasing their dopamine and serotonin levels – two hormones attributed to a generally positive outlook in day to day lives. Sports massage hits the right spot where a player feels relaxed, yet not lethargic.
Sports Massage vs. Normal Massages
So what makes sports massages extra special in the realm of basketball and other popular sports? Both massages promote relaxation and proper blood circulation, but the significant difference lies in the technique. If you simply want to be relaxed and be lured to sleep, then you can certainly go for the normal massages offered in different spas and clinics. But, this is something that players don’t necessarily need especially during training and game season.
Simply put, sports massage has a more direct approach to massage, which means that it can be more fast-paced than a usual massage, and hits more specific areas of the body whenever necessary. Sports massages are not for the weak, too, as it can be truly uncomfortable – something that a true athlete may only be able to understand and appreciate. It’s also important to remember that sports massages are not done after a game alone. Sports massages are tailored to the athlete’s need for the day, whether it’s a quick muscle warm-up, injury therapy, or a good stretch. Every sports massage therapist should know when to do what.