Sports massage, as the name suggests, is dealing with managing sports people, both on and off the playing field. No matter what 'sport' you are associated with, there is a certain level of exertion and physicality that wears and influences soft tissue, joints and skeletal articulations. Sports Massage deals with ensuring the 'player' is in good condition to 'take the field'. It's about managing a person's physicality but also understanding their focus and mentality in approaching sport. It's about getting them 'across the line' or 'back on the court'.
The techniques involved in sports massage and type of massage is usually a very vigorous, fast, free flowing treatment that aims to circulate blood, get muscles flushed and loose or ready for the upcoming event. If you are having pre-match sports therapy, it is a flushing fast motion that stimulates muscles without loosening them. The focus is on warming up the tissues and ensuring good blood supply. The muscles and neurons are about to be put under stress, so you want them warm, active and 'pumped'.
Post event sports massage has a similar focus but is also more to do with flushing out the toxins and waste by products accumulated in tissues after exercise.
Lactic and Uric acid are the two main 'waste' products of muscular contraction and these need to be flushed out of the tissues and muscles and into the lymph system to be excreted. This treatment is about assisting recovery and getting the player in the best possible shape for his/her next event. That could be the next day or next week. The fast, flowing nature of this massage is generic and aimed at fluid flow. Blood, lymph, Lactic Acid all need to circulate through the system quickly and efficiently both before and after sports activity.