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 University—and she literally jumped at the chance.
Deserae was chosen to work on BSU’s track and field team—an opportunity that made her a pioneer.
“Deserae is here as part of a pilot program,” Lauren Rodgers, the athletic trainer for BSU’s track and field team, said. “Getting one person for the team is a first, and so far, I have heard nothing but positive comments.”
Deserae’s 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.
“How does that feel so far,” Deserae says. “It’s painful—but it’s a good pain,” the runner says.
A few minutes later, a line is already forming. For the most part, someone is on Deserae’s 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 season’s track meets.
“It is busiest right before events and right after,” she says. “Sometimes, I will work on the same athlete a few different times throughout the day.”
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.
“One thing I like is when you tell them to stretch—they do it,” she says. “They care and they will follow through.”
Another thing Deserae likes is that she gets to watch their progress day-by-day, meet-by-meet.
“I get to see issues in action,” she says. “I can watch their performance and say ‘Ah ha! I see why that hurts’ and ‘here is what we can do to fix it.’”
Deserae’s job does not end at BSU’s home track. During the course of her massage therapy externship, she got the opportunity to go on the road with the team as well—traveling 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.
“I can’t wait until I graduate,” she says. “I absolutely know this is what I want to do… and I love it!”
Deserae’s reflection on her time spent at BSU can be located on the Broadview University-Boise blog.