Client Profile: Competitive Swimmers Use Massage in Training
Jodi Jun 24, 2014
As a professional swim coach to elite Olympic-bound athletes and owner of a competitive USA Swimming program based in Southeast Florida, Kathleen Prindle lives and breathes fierce competitions, dedicated training and a commitment to excellence.
Just as she expects the best from her swimmers, she also expects her personal massage experience and the massage experience of her athletes to be first-class. For the past five years, the team of massage therapists at Elements Coral Springs has provided exceptional massage therapy services for Kathleen and her team of athletes.
“Massage is important for me in my life and my well-being, but it’s also important in my line of work,” explains Kathleen. “It adds to my credibility to only offer the top professionals in the area for my athletes. I only recommend the best and, unanimously, I only recommend Elements to my athletes.”
"Elements has never let me or my athletes down over the past five years.”
Kathleen describes the Elements Coral Springs studio as providing high-caliber massage therapists who are professional, accommodating and constantly working toward bettering their skills through continuing education and training. She sends a multitude of athletes to Elements -- from age group swimmers to Olympic medalists -- because she can trust the therapists to provide a high level of service that is specific to each athlete’s individual needs and goals.
“As a studio, we pride ourselves in not just being about one of our therapists, but about the consistency of the experience,“ explains Louise Casper, studio owner at Elements Coral Springs. “All of our therapists are trained in the Elements Way to listen to the client and really deliver what the client is looking for. We specialize in the whole spectrum of massage levels and gear our massages to the level of the client.”
Kathleen typically sends her swimmer athletes to Elements as part of their recovery program after competing in meets or hard training sessions, as well as to prepare them for a big competition. For pre-competition massages, Louise’s therapists will provide athletes with a more relaxing massage to help them relieve any mental or physical stress so they’re prepared to swim their best in the upcoming swim meet. For post-race massages, the therapists will focus on relieving soreness and reviving tired muscles through a more deep pressure sports massage approach, says Louise.
“A big part of my coaching philosophy is to focus on coaching the whole athlete, which includes more than just their workouts in the pool,” explains Kathleen. “It’s all about how much recovery is built in, especially with the more elite athletes.”
"I often have to find ways to help my athletes recover and massage is one of the ways I do that. Recovery is the wave of the future in swimming and massage is a huge part of that for my athletes.”
“Our Elements studio provides service to the community, but we also serve high-performing athletes by helping reduce injuries, promote peak performance, and release anxiety or stress,” shares Louise. “We aren’t just a mom-and-pop shop. We cater to Olympic athletes, coaches and professionals striving to be top performers in their respective sports.”
As a former competitive swimmer from northeastern Pennsylvania and now as a head coach and owner of Performance Aquatics in Florida, Kathleen feels that massage is important to personally maintaining her health both physically and mentally. Most former swimmers suffer from poor posture with forward leaning shoulders and heads as swimmers tend to be over-developed in the front and under-developed in the back of their bodies, says Kathleen. Regular massage helps keep her body healthy and posture in check as she stands on a pool deck looking into the water all day as she coaches.
Mentally, massage helps her relax and unwind, even if it’s just for the 60 minutes she’s on the massage table. During all other times of the day and night, Kathleen is locked in to helping her swimmers train for and achieve their competitive swimming dreams.
“For me, the physical benefit is undeniable. But the mental benefit for me is equally important because that’s the only time in my month or week that I can tune out,” shares Kathleen. “The first 20 minutes of my session, my mind is spinning about all of the things I have to do. But before I know it, I’ve either fallen asleep or I leave there and all my worries and stress are gone.”
"With all of the technology today, you can never get away from it all -- unless you’re swimming in a pool or getting a massage.”
As Kathleen continues to help her swimmers advance their careers to the collegiate, national, and international levels, she is dedicated to coaching the entire athlete as it pertains to training, competing and recovering. When it comes to promoting recovery for her athletes and maintaining a balance of health and wellness for herself as a coach, Kathleen will continue to turn to massage therapy as a resource for both her and her athletes.