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NATM Spotlight
National Athletic Trainers Month Spotlight
Thursday, March 21 2019
Day 21 Athletic Trainer Spotlight - Israel

Israel Montaño MS, LAT

Hometown, Graduated High School (include year), Undergrad (year), Masters/Licenses/Certifications, etc.

I was born and raised in Weslaco, Texas and graduated from Weslaco High in 2004.  I attended Cisco Junior College, and then went on to receive my Bachelors of Science (Kinesiology) from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2008. Shortly after being employed by La Joya ISD, I enrolled at California University of Pennsylvania where I received my Masters of Science (Sports Management-Intercollegiate Athletics Administration) in 2012. I have been a American Red Cross Instructor since I was 18 years old, I currently Instructor Certification in Lay Responder, CPR Professional Rescuer, and Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers.

Current City and School/Workplace

I have been employed with La Joya ISD for 11 years, and had the pleasure of serving the athletes of Juarez-Lincoln High School.

Any involvement with other organizations or community services positions?

I currently serve as the Board of Director for Continuing Education for the Valley Athletic Trainers Association and have proudly served that position since 2016, and also part of the Student Affairs Committee since 2009.

How many years in the profession?

I am now in my 11th year as a Licensed athletic trainer.

How/when did you become interested in the field of Athletic Training?

I became introduced to Athletic Training by Coach Jim Hite, who was trying to recruit me to join the football team. It was his first year back at Weslaco, so he was trying to gather up a football team. I told him I was interested, so he then offered me a job as equipment manager, I declined again. He then asked if I was interested in becoming a student trainer. I asked what that entailed, he replied “ they help the athletes when they are injured and help them get back in to playing condition”. I hesitated at first but agreed to join, that is how I got to know the funny Israel Pena, and Griselda Fino. It is because of those two, that I fell in love with the profession of athletic training. I owe my career to Jim Hite for introducing me to the profession.

If from out of the valley, how did you end up at the position you are currently in?

Valley Born and Raised

What drives you to do your job?

It’s very simple, these high school kids are what drive me to do my best. The fact that I get to be a part of their lives, and instill some wisdom in them. Jackie Robinson was quoted as saying “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” and I strive to impact as many lives as I can while I’m here on earth.

Has Athletic Training provided you an opportunity to travel, either in or out of country? What is your favorite memory from this experience?

                Athletic Training has given me the opportunity to travel a lot both in college, and professionally with the Rio Grande Valley White Wings Baseball Club and Corpus Christi Hammerheads arena football club. I have traveled to over 30 states, and even spent two weeks in Alaska with the Corpus Christi Hammerheads in Anchorage and Fairbanks. My favorite experience traveling was also during Alaska, I decided to take a stroll in Fairbanks, and experienced the nature Alaska had to offer. The beautiful mountain ranges in the background, summer snow, never ending daylight, and even a close encounter with a moose.

Do you have any advice for other ATs or students contemplating a career in Athletic Training?

Take care of yourself first. I know it’s in our blood to want to help others and give the best care, and devout ourselves to the profession. We must also learn to take a step back and take care of ourselves because if we’re not well, then how can we expect to help those who need us. For the younger AT’s, here is some advice I learned over the years, learn to pick your battles. Not everything is worth the fight or argument with your superiors or athletes. There are some principles worth fighting for, and others that are not. Trust me on this, your stress level will dramatically reduce, and overall relationship with coaches and athletes will improve and make your job easier.

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