Q&A with Rosemount girls tennis coach Dana Hansen

ROSEMOUNT, Minn. — A Q&A with Dana Hansen who is the head coach of the Rosemount High School girls tennis team.

How long have you been coaching?

Dana Hansen: 22 years.

What is your background in this sport?

Credit: Dan Beise/D&L Photography

Hansen: I played varsity high school tennis at Washburn in Mpls and played at Winona State University. I currently play competitively and captain women’s and mixed doubles teams through USTA tennis leagues.

What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned from being a coach?

Hansen: The biggest life lesson I have learned from being an athlete myself and a coach is that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes in sports and in life things happen and you need to figure out how to bounce back. Bad things are going to happen and how you react to those things is going to shape and mold you into the person you are. Having supportive people around you is key.

What are one or two things that the team does in training that are keys to their success?

Credit: Dan Beise/D&L Photography

Hansen: I have dedicated and motivated athletes who play in our off season, including attending our Rosemount summer program through RAAA for match play and skill development. The captains and booster club are also key to our success as they do an amazing job coordinating captains practices and team events for our 90 athletes in the program in the off season so players can connect and grow their games.

How do you encourage the team after a disappointing loss?

Hansen: My athletes know they are supported by myself and their teammates after tough losses. We also talk about leaving it all out on the court and one key phrase we have been focused on this season is playing with no fear which means its okay to take risks and makes mistakes as that means you are learning and growing as a player. If athletes tried their best, that is the only thing I can ask of them.

Describe your proudest coaching moment.

Credit: Dan Beise/D&L Photography

Hansen: Some of my proudest coaching moments were when my players showed acts of kindness or sportsmanship towards other teams, even though those characteristics may not have been reciprocated towards them. The importance of my athletes competing with good character and integrity is very important to me as a coach and makes me feel very proud, especially when you see it translate into real life situations on and off the court.


What legacy do you hope to leave as a coach?

Hansen: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others” – Pericles. This quote sums up my hope for my legacy. I hope I positively impacted the lives of my players and they can look back at their high school tennis experience as one of the best in their lives.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Hansen: I am especially proud of my program, which is a no-cut program. This year we have 90 girls participating in the girls’ tennis program at Rosemount High School. We have 5 teams. I couldn’t have this success without my dedicated and passionate coaching staff, Traci Jacobson (JV), Savannah Janzen (JV), Melissa Handler (10A), and Azlynne Halla (10A) who have stepped up to support this vision of mine that tennis is a lifelong sport and provides so many opportunities for athletes, even beyond high school tennis, just like it has in my life.

The Girls Tennis Booster is also key as well with fundraising for additional coaches, equipment and off season opportunities for athletes to connect through the sport of tennis. I appreciate Shannon Halla, Ronna Johnson, and Jami Wilander. I would also like to give a shout out to Athletic Director Will Finley who has been supportive of the tennis programs and my vision of keeping tennis at Rosemount High School a no-cut program.

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