Research suggests that massage has both physiological and emotional benefits both before and after the event which help you have stronger, better, faster athletic performance.
Athletes routinely prepare both physically and mentally prior to an event. Typically they incorporate static and dynamic stretching, warm-up drills and mental imagery. A pre-event massage has been suggested as a strategy to decrease pre-competition anxiety and prepare muscles.
If muscle prep is the goal, pre-event sports massage, performed by qualified massage therapists, works well for many. Sports massage is a more vigorous type of massage that includes a combination of techniques such as joint mobilization, stretching, post isometric relaxation, cross-fiber friction and trigger point massage. The goal of the session is to invigorate muscle tissue and stimulate (not relax) muscles to get ready for fast-twitch response, improve flexibility, and increase strength. This massage typically happens within 72 hours of the event.