This is why:
The use of massage before and after a sporting event has both physical and mental effects on exercise and performance for the athlete or sports person.
Massage is often used by runners before a race or training as part of their warm up routine. Most sports therapists and coaches acknowledge that initial 'warming up' exercises are a necessary preparation for safe athletic activity. Massage is not to replace but adds to pre race/match warm ups.
A massage can also stimulate the release of the body’s own anti-inflammatory pain relieving agents assisting in the body’s natural healing. By raising the core temperature of the muscles massage allows the muscles to work more efficiently and the athlete to be more able in exercise.
As well as physically preparing the muscles before an event, massage can also help the athlete to mentally relax and focus on the event in hand.
Massage works on so many levels, all of which aim to reduce any symptoms that can cause a negative sensory input and lead to an increase in the positive input. This accounts for the general feeling of well being that players feel after any treatment.