Massage is vitally important in the speeding up of recovery time and improving the athlete’s flexibility.
It is not good for the athlete to get any massage though. The wrong muscle tone will seriously impinge on performance.
The Goldilocks effect
If the muscle is too stiff from lack of tissue work then you will not be able to perform well. You will be at risk of developing an injury. If the muscle is too loose from a deep tissue massage equally you will not be able to perform well. That is where a skilled massage therapist is so important.
An unskilled therapist or the wrong type of massage can undo all the hard work you have put into training coming up to the competition.
The athlete should always feel fresh and awake after a massage.
With the muscle you want them a little loose to enable for faster muscle contraction and more strength. But not too loose where there is no sharpness and stretch reflex.
Tight spots within the muscle seriously impinge the power output of the muscle. A tight spot in the muscle is constantly contracted in that area and therefore is not able to assist you in performance. As a result your muscle is operating at a fraction of its true potential. Also with tight spots the areas above and below that area are working much harder. That is because a smaller percentage of the muscle is being asked to perform the same task. This means you are much more susceptible to injury. These tight spots need to be worked out as soon as possible by a skilled massage therapist.
When an athlete is receiving the right regular massage treatments they can increase their work in relation to quality of high intensity training by as much as 40% in some cases. So they can perform more intensive work in training more often. Also their reaction times are quicker.