CINCINNATI— As a child, Zechariah Scheiding’s biggest dream was to play for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Scheiding, 26, grew up playing basketball, football, baseball and running track for Arcanum-Butler until an injury ended his sports career.
However, that didn’t stop him from achieving his dreams. As an upperclassman at Arcanum-Butler High School, Scheiding studied sports medicine at the Miami Valley Career Technical Center.
“I took a sports medicine specific program,” he said. “I ended up going to Wright State University for a little bit for college. Then I went to The Massage Therapy School.”
Following massage therapy school, Scheiding took a course in South Florida, where he met multiple college athletes that would later be drafted to the Bengals.
At the start of 2017, he started his own sports massage therapy company called Scheiding Sports & Rehabilitative Massage in Cincinnati. The connections he made in Florida allowed his company to get in the Bengals locker room just months after its creation.
“I’ve worked with the Bengals since 2017,” Scheiding said. “Currently for them, I do treatments. I don’t travel with them on the road or anything. I do all the treatments in Cincinnati. For FC Cincinnati, which is the pro soccer team in town, I travel with them and like fully contracted through their program. I travel to every away game, home game and I’m at training camp currently.”
Scheiding’s main duty is to assess, and to try to figure out what’s tight on the athletes.
“We typically stretch, we do like manual therapy, other sort of modalities, cupping, red light therapy and graston, which is like a scraping technique,” he said. “Pretty much my job is to keep the guys healthy, recovery wise, allow for them after they’re done training to get stretched or get manual therapy done. So that way they recover more rapidly so they can stay healthy and on the field and not have any injury.”
Scheiding said the Bengals team members are respectful of his duties.
“They listen very well to what I have to say,” he said. “They respect that if I think they need to rest or if they need to come in for extra treatment, they believe and they trust to do that. So it’s been really cool.”
However, when asked if there are any stand out players, Scheiding had a couple.
“Sam Hubbard is one of the guys I’ve worked with since he began,” he said. “He’s a local Ohio guy, he graduated from Cincinnati, he played for Ohio State, and now he plays for the Bengals. He’s always a super respectful guy, he’s really nice. I don’t have any big complaints about him, he’ll help carry stuff in. He is a lot more than what you would expect for somebody to do. I work with Joe Burrow as well, he’s kind of the same way. Super respectful, really kind, listens, trust kind of the process and everything. So those two guys are usually, they’re more talkative.”
As for what’s next, his company is in talks to work another major sports team from the area.
“I’m currently in the midst of starting a contract with the Cincinnati Reds,” he said. “We kind of have all the three major sports in Cincinnati that we see.”