There aren't many sports that compare to tennis for building strength of character, says Jon Altringer.
At the end of the day in a singles match on court, you are responsible for the outcome and how you manage it, whether you win or lose.
That alone requires incredible mental aptitude and helps builds skills you can use in the game of life, says the new head coach at Thurgoona for Margaret Court Tennis Academy (MCTA).
The academy recently took over the coaching role at Thurgoona Tennis Centre after the retirement of long-time coach Barbara Martin.
Altringer, who has re-located from Sydney and hails from the US, brings with him a volley of ideas for growing the sport in the region.
He laments that tennis is all but "dead" in schools these days (unless it's the private sector), and wants to see the sport make a resurgence for all the right reasons.
He's keen to introduce more Davis-Cup-style tournaments among schools to foster that team spirit of inclusiveness and mentoring.
Part of that is expanding the UTR (Universal Tennis Rating) program, a global movement to provide a unifying standard for tennis players across age, geography, gender and economics.
It encourages people to play and compete in more tennis matches and effectively means you could walk into any clubhouse on the planet and find realistic competition on a level playing field.
"A professor in Austria found something like 75 per cent of boys and girls quit tennis forever at about the age of 13 in North America, Western Europe and Australia," Altringer says.
"One of the biggest problems with tennis is there is not the mentoring you see in other sports; typically the coach doesn't go - and parents may or may not go - to games."
While he's still "learning the ropes" at MCTA, it's on the Border Altringer can see the potential for advancing the sport and fostering young talent.
He agrees a lot of that is due to the unwavering dedication of academy director Phil Shanahan, who has earned an OAM for his lifetime of commitment to teaching and tennis.
"At Margaret Court Tennis Academy, I can see the opportunity to build something that would rival academies in Florida," Altringer says.
"Currently if you think your kid has potential, we send them overseas and Tennis Australia takes a few of the top ones.
"I say let's grow our kids here and make them really good players; build a strong tennis culture and they will come to you."
Shanahan is thrilled with the wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm his new coach brings to the Border and the opportunity to provide a regional springboard for the UTR program.
He believes this region is providing a pathway for kids to achieve their dreams and his track record over the past 20 years already speaks for itself - 27 junior titles, Sam Groth ranked 53 in the world and 24 kids who secured scholarships in the US.
"Tennis is the greatest sport in the world because you can play it your entire life," Shanahan enthuses.
"Tennis gives you an understanding of spatial awareness and movement patterns that lay the foundations to play any other sport.
"Plus a lot of life lessons can come out of tennis."