Massage therapy schools prepare students for a wide array of career possibilities. One of the potential paths a graduate may take can lead them into an exciting and thriving profession, such as a career in the arena of sports medicine. Sports massage therapy classes can be taken during massage therapy school programs or as an additional class outside of the school’s core program.
Sports massage therapy can pay off for many students who have what it takes to succeed in the competitive genera of the healing arts. As one student found, massage therapy school can also take much less time to complete than traditional college. After graduating from high school in 1993, Westminster resident Jennifer (Millar) Roberts attended community college for about a year before she realized it was time for a change.
“I was 18 that first year out of high school,” said Roberts, who at the time lived in Prince George’s County and graduated from Laurel High School. “I remember telling my dad, ‘This is (going) too slow. I am going to massage school.’
“My dad said, ‘Are you sure?’ ”
Her father, Curt Millar, may have known the ups and down of that particular profession. He was — and still is — the massage therapist for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League.
But Roberts was convinced of what she wanted to do. She entered Potomac Massage Training Institute in Washington at age 19 — so young that PMTI had some reservations.
“PMTI was very structured. They did not want young females or young kids coming in and ruining the program and not passing the courses,” said Roberts, who added that the unsavory reputation of massage parlors also worked against a young person getting into the legitimate side of the business at that time.
She sailed through PMTI and, nearly 20 years later, runs her own massage therapy company, Pro Sports Massage Unlimited.
And she has followed her dad’s footsteps in more than one way — since 1996 she has worked withD.C. United, Washington’s Major League Soccer team. Roberts also has private clients, including entertainers, and has worked with players from the Baltimore Ravens.
She also works with several teams at the University of Maryland, including the women’s basketball team coached by Brenda Frese.