Athletic Trainer Spotlight: TCNJs Jonathan Laing
Below is a Q&A with TCNJ assistant athletic trainer, Jonathan Laing, who’s been with the institution since January 2016.What initially drew you to The College of New Jersey? What is it about The College that keeps you coming back?
- The first few years of my career as a certified athletic trainer were primarily focused on working with football players. I wanted an opportunity to continue to do that but also work with a variety of athletes. The student-athletes are what motivates me to be the best athletic trainer that I can be, and they are what keeps me coming back. I’m dedicated to providing our student-athletes with the best care and support.
How did you get into athletic training originally?
- I played football at Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. I didn’t interact with our athletic trainer, so I didn’t really know a lot about the profession. As a high school senior, I knew that I wanted to go to college and study something involving sports or coaching. A class project on careers led me to athletic training, and I was really intrigued by the profession. I decided to attend Lock Haven University, and that was the best decision I’ve ever made.
What are your favorite parts about athletic training?
- I love watching our athletes compete. The ultimate reward is getting them back to full activity and helping them prevent further injury. As athletic trainers, we’re there during difficult times. The most important aspect of our job is putting as much effort as possible into protecting the safety and well-being of our athletes. When our athletes put it all together and head back onto the field, it’s an amazing feeling.
What do you find most special about the TCNJ community?
- It’s our reputation at TCNJ that is really special. When I am traveling with one of our teams, or simply wearing a TCNJ sweatshirt and I run into an alumnus or someone who just simply knows of our college, they have nothing but the nicest things to say. For a brief moment, a stranger becomes a friend through this “TCNJ connection”. I feel honored to be a part of this community.
What is it like getting to work with TCNJ student-athletes on a daily basis?
- I love it. We continue to build strong relationships with our student-athletes. The athletic training room is certainly a safe space for them. An important aspect of our job is to keep education at the forefront. I aim to help them find ways to optimize their athletic performance through injury prevention. Whether a student-athlete gets injured or not during their time at TCNJ, they have access to us. We will always remain an important resource for them on and off the field.
Who are the people who have helped you the most in your career?
- My family has helped me the most. My wife, Nageena, is an amazing wife and mother, and she constantly reminds me of how important self-care is for me to give my athletes the best version of myself each day. She makes our lives so much easier, especially with a two-year-old running around.
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- The certified athletic trainers and faculty of the athletic training program at Lock Haven University helped me build a strong foundation within this profession. The LHU ATEP is a family, and everyone that I’ve interacted with at LHU has helped me become the athletic trainer I am today.
Outside of athletic training, what do you think people would find interesting about your day-to-day life?
- Although I consider myself a homebody, my family and I love to travel. With a large family living in Belize, we try to make a trip there as often as possible. My wife and I have zip-lined in Thailand and have toured the streets of Siem Reap, Cambodia. We plan to create more memories as our family continues to grow.