Article reposted from Illinois State University
Author: Barbara Schlatter
Dane Langellier ’12, M.S. ’14, of Donovan, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in athletic training from the School of Kinesiology and Recreation. He had never heard of the field until he received treatment from an athletic trainer in high school for an injury sustained during a sports competition. Surprised to learn that athletic training was a profession, he decided to pursue the major in college with the goal of providing injured athletes with treatments that would help them recover and return to their athletic activities.
An exciting turn of events occurred when Langellier was offered an assistant athletic trainer position right out of graduate school with the Illinois State football team! After just two years, he became the head athletic trainer. “Working with a football team you have a lot of athletes to take care of, and the coolest part of that is getting to know each of them as individuals and learning their unique backgrounds.”
Langellier said the job is challenging because of the high number of athletes he works with during the hectic football season. “Things start off relatively slow and controlled during summer workouts but quickly move into the full speed during training camp in August. Once the team is in season, injuries happen at a much faster rate, and it becomes more of a challenge to treat injuries and keep the athletes on the field with limited ‘off time.’”
For Langellier, seeing athletes return to their peak level of performance after injury is the most rewarding aspect of his job. It can be a long process for an athlete to return to full participation after injury. Along the way they may get frustrated or disappointed with their injuries. Helping them through the physical and psychological aspects of the injury can be challenging, but when they do finally return to their full performance level it makes it all worth it.
Langellier encourages new athletic training graduates to develop solid career goals early in their career. This way when it becomes time to enter the workforce they will have a clear direction for where they want to go and the motivation to get there.
One of Langellier’s fondest memories at Illinois State was the 2014-2015 football season. The run to the National Championship game was an unbelievable experience that he hopes to experience many times over in his career.
He feels very fortunate to have met so many great people at Illinois State who have helped him get to where he is today, and he will never forget what they have done for him. Perhaps most importantly, though, Illinois State holds a special place in his heart as being the place where he met his wife, Larissa Zalite Langellier. They were married earlier this summer!