Sports Massage: Right on Track in a Field of Dreams
Published on June 14, 2013 by Tiffany Coleman
(BOISE) When it comes to discovering the job of her dreams, Deserae Wilcox believes it is right at her fingertips. The massage therapy program student at Broadview University-Boise recently landed the opportunity of a lifetime. She had a shot at her dream job as a sports massage therapist through an externship at Boise State Universityâand she literally jumped at the chance.
Deserae was chosen to work on BSUâs track and field teamâan opportunity that made her a pioneer.
âDeserae is here as part of a pilot program,â Lauren Rodgers, the athletic trainer for BSUâs track and field team, said. âGetting one person for the team is a first, and so far, I have heard nothing but positive comments.â
Deseraeâs job is setting up a massage table directly alongside of the track. As soon as the table is up, an athlete is on it. A distance runner is first and Deserae is already at work.
âHow does that feel so far,â Deserae says. âItâs painfulâbut itâs a good pain,â the runner says.
A few minutes later, a line is already forming. For the most part, someone is on Deseraeâs table all day long. While she works, the events continue on the field nearby. She will massage anywhere from 15 to 20 athletes during each of the seasonâs track meets.
âIt is busiest right before events and right after,â she says. âSometimes, I will work on the same athlete a few different times throughout the day.â
With her sports massage expertise and relationship to the team, Deserae is highly respected by both coaches and athletes track side. She works in conjunction with the trainers to assess athletes and make sure they are getting what they need. When they rise from the massage table, she gives them advice and tips for stretching that will help in their on-the-track performance.
âOne thing I like is when you tell them to stretchâthey do it,â she says. âThey care and they will follow through.â
Another thing Deserae likes is that she gets to watch their progress day-by-day, meet-by-meet.
âI get to see issues in action,â she says. âI can watch their performance and say âAh ha! I see why that hurtsâ and âhere is what we can do to fix it.ââ
Deseraeâs job does not end at BSUâs home track. During the course of her massage therapy externship, she got the opportunity to go on the road with the team as wellâtraveling to Utah, California and Nevada.
Deserae wrapped up her externship in May but stayed with the team through the end of the season. She is set to graduate with honors from Broadview University in mid-June with her associate degree in massage therapy. Her experience with BSU solidified her dream of entering the world of sports massage therapy.
âI canât wait until I graduate,â she says. âI absolutely know this is what I want to doâŚ and I love it!â
Deseraeâs reflection on her time spent at BSU can be locatedÂ on the Broadview University-Boise blog.