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Sports Then and Now



A History of the Sports Massage 25

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse

sports massageEvery good athlete knows the benefit of a sports massage, and it is often a factor in their success. Some elite athletes even have sports massage therapists who travel with them to help them improve performance, prevent injury and feel better as they are exercising or playing their sport.

Ancient Massage
Massage generally has been in existence for thousands of years. In China, there are documents claiming that massage was used 8,000 years BC for ailments. The ancient Persians and Indians were also known for healing with massage, and the Ancient Romans were treated to a massage before and after Olympic events. Knowledge of massage continued to progress until the Chinese created the first schools of massage in 100 AD.

Late 1800s
There is debate about who introduced the theories and techniques of medical massage to the scientific community. Some attribute them to Johann Mezger, and others to Pehn Ling. However, terms such as effleurage (gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (pounding), friction (rubbing) and vibration (shaking) were used at this time, and they continue to be used to this day.

The Finnish School of Massage officially laid out sports massage methods in 1900. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

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