Fitness & Massage

Thinking About Becoming a Sports Massage Therapist? 4 of the most frequent questions answered

Vector training sports massage course gymology
11 October 2021

Since the pandemic we’re seeing more people wanting to look after their health and this has seen an increase in people taking care of themselves with sports massage treatments. This has provided an opportunity for larger potential client pools for therapists and we’re seeing more people wanting to become sports massage therapists. Whether that is personal trainers expanding their business, or those who are brand new to the fitness and health industry.

Regardless of the backgrounds of those who become sports massage therapists at Vector Training, we have certain questions that always get asked before or during the course.

We’ve outlined 4 of the most common questions below:

How do I become a sports massage therapist?

To become a certified sports massage therapist, you will need to complete a recognised qualification. The entry qualification is the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy.

This course will give you the skills and confidence to treat a range of different clients and develop the basics of sports massage.

There are slight variations of the course depending on what awarding body the training company you study with uses, but in our opinion the top awarding bodies for sports massage courses are Active IQ, VTCT and YMCA. We’ve written a blog in the past that covers the Active IQ course that we deliver here at Vector Training.

Once you have qualified you can get insurance straight away and start treating clients for sports massage treatments. Effectively it is that simple to get started as a sports massage therapist.

What treatments am I qualified to provide?

Although it is pretty straightforward to get started as a sports massage therapist, as a level 3 qualified sports massage therapist there are limitations to the treatments and clients you can treat in your business. On the level 3 you will cover a range of topics and learn how to provide massage treatments, but it doesn’t train you to be able to objectively assess clients in detail or treat soft tissue injuries.

To expand your services and business you may want to continue your studies and undertake the Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy. We’ve written a blog here that tells you the differences between level 3 and level 4, and how level 4 is delivered.

Is it worth becoming part of an association?

At Vector, we would always recommend becoming part of an association, for 3 reasons; support, recognition and benefits.

There are a number of associations that sports massage therapists could become part of. In the UK, 3 of the bigger associations include Sports Therapy Association (STA), the Sports Therapy Organisation (STO), and the Association for Soft Tissue Therapists (SMA).

Each association will provide a range of benefits and support to their members. This may include CPD discounts, newsletters, webinars, and conferences, and specialist insurance links for members and their business. They may also provide opportunities to go and work at sports events like marathons and runs. Being part of an association can also bring validity and recognition to your business for future clients when deciding if they want a treatment from you. As part of your association you will be able to use their logo on your promotional material.

Though, a point to consider is the level of membership. As the industry becomes filled with more online and distance learning level 3 courses, associations are now asking members to have at least a level 4 qualification or be working towards that qualification to become a full member.

How much does it cost to set up a sports massage therapy business?

There are a few basics that you will need to get up and running, presuming you will start as a mobile therapist with no overheads for rent.

Massage bed

As a starter bed we recommend a cheap and light bed from Amazon. You can usually pick these up between £80 to £120. If you are more experienced and what a bed that is a little more high quality, we would recommend checking the beds with Physique.

Amazon massage bed


You can get a solid tub of massage lotion for around £5-£10. You can pick a range of brands up from Amazon, Physique, Physio Supplies or firstaid4sport.

firstaid4sport lotion

Couch roll

To use with your massage bed, again we would recommend either Amazon or Physique. Both are a similar price.

Physique couch roll


can get insurance between 50-70 a month. We would recommend either using your association and their preferred insurance company or using Fitpro.

Fitpro insurance

Thinking about becoming a sports massage therapist?

Get in touch today via our course page here.

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