Since 2017, coach Tanya Skjefte has been at the helm of the Durant High School girls’ lacrosse team, but her involvement with the high school does not end there, as Skjefte has also worked as a teacher there since 2017 and helped coach the girl’s wrestling team this year as well.
Coaching is nothing new to Skjefte, as she has been involved with a variety of middle and high school sports teams for the last decade. This has led her to coaching all over the state, having had head coaching jobs in Collier County in addition to Hillsborough County at both the high school and middle school levels. At one point, she was also the head coach of the boys’ soccer team at Durant, which goes to show she is highly versatile as a coach.
“I started coaching when I started teaching at a middle school in Collier County. Once I moved to Hillsborough County, I wanted to continue coaching at the high school level,” Skjefte said.
Skjefte’s ability to influence and shape the young athletes on her team is not confined to the field either. She prides herself on the strides her players make personally and athletically from when they first show up to play lacrosse to the time they leave the program.
“I enjoy seeing the girls’ progression throughout the season. We notoriously have girls try out who have never played lacrosse, so it is very rewarding to see how they improve from the beginning of the season to the end,” Skjefte said.
This is actually very indicative of how Skjefte runs her team, as there are rarely, if ever, cuts during the tryout process, even with the number of players playing for the first time. This helps foster an environment where players are not afraid to make mistakes and allows them to truly grow and develop their skills and confidence.
There is a great environment and culture associated with the girls’ lacrosse team at Durant and a lot of that can be attributed to the coaching by Skjefte. With an effective mix of fun and hard work, she has managed to create a place where players are excited to practice the game and work on their skills, rather than look at it as something that they have to do.
With no plans to move on, it is easy to say the future of the team is in great hands with coach Skjefte at the helm.