Q&A with Our Director, Jon Carlson

Head Women’s Tennis Coach at Gustavus Adolphus College 

Do you have any nicknames?


Do you have any unusual talents or absurd things that you love?

I coach swimming, as well as tennis at Gustavus

If you can eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?


What is the latest show, series, podcast or book that you binged on?

During this time, I think I’ve seen every comedian available on Netflix

What is the one or more things that you take with you or do every day before you greet the team at practice? This can be something tangible or non-tangible.

A smile

What purchase of $100 or less has positively influenced your life in the past 6 months or recent memory?

5 pairs of “cheater” glasses from Walmart. Didn’t realize how much my vision was blurred when I read until I got glasses. A true (inexpensive) game-changer!

Do you have a quote, phrase or motto that you use on a daily basis or during tough times? or maybe something you think of often or live your life by.

Work hard, have fun, and always focus on “what’s next”!

What advice would you give a smart, driven 14 year old athlete about to enter high school and what advice should they ignore on the other hand?

It’s the players who hit the most, who compete the most, that end up being successful in tennis. It’s always been hard work over talent. Remember, there was a time when pro players were only as good as you are now.

In the last 5 years, do you have a specific season, match, or tournament that changed your life? What advice or realizations do you have for people in the coaching field who are trying to achieve their team’s potential?

One thing that has become very clear to me is that the more my team smiles, the better they perform. They appreciate hard work, and want to be pushed; but combining challenging them and making them smile has always made us play better

Is there a moment from your youth that set you up for career in coaching?

I was honored to have a father who was a very successful coach. Following him around exposed me to how cool a profession coaching is.

Tennis Camp - Forehand Training
Tennis Camp - Tennis Campers Camaraderie


Northfield, MN
JULY 19 – 23