FOR Reece Harman, playing tennis is not about winning and it has been that way since his junior days.
He started playing tennis in under-12s and said he has been around tennis clubs ever since.
“I’ve been playing for around 10 or so years,” he said.
“I was at Central Park in juniors and the first couple of years I remember playing in a premiership. We didn’t win it but that’s a good memory I’ve had to reflect on.
“You’re out there to have fun and if you win that’s a bonus.”
Harman has played at Central Park, Horsham Lawn and now Haven.
He said the quality of the competition in the Wimmera was tough, but that was something that had kept him playing each week.
“There are some really good players out here and when you go out on a Saturday, you’re always going to have a good hit – no matter who you come up against,” he said.
“You don’t want to go out and have a really easy day. Everyone is at a high enough level that you want to do well and challenge yourself.”
Harman is still chasing his first premiership, but has played in plenty of finals.
“We’ve made a few finals but no actual wins, which is a bit disappointing,” he said.
“It’s been good to make it to the finals, that’s always half the challenge.”
In recent times, Harman decided to turn his focus to another aspect of the game – coaching.
He said his inspiration for coaching came from his personal experiences learning the game as a child.
“I’ve always enjoyed tennis and throughout the last two or so years I realised coaching was something I really wanted to pursue,” he said.
“I’ve started doing the coaching course. I really want to teach juniors because when I was younger we didn’t really have a lot of coaches around. I wanted to give people that opportunity to have a local coach in the area.”
Harman hopes to instil a more modern approach in his coaching.
“I think from when I was a junior, a lot has changed in the way you coach. You don’t just stand in a line and hit balls. We are teaching juniors to rally from a younger age now,” he said. “A lot has changed and that’s important for me to bring that new way of coaching.”
Harman does not have to look far when searching for motivation to help grow the game in the Wimmera, with plenty of volunteers having helped out with tennis for decades.
“You look at them and they’ve helped tennis grow so far in the past for so many years,” Harman said. “That’s something I want to continue, to keep growing tennis in the region and making it a sport kids grow up and really love and enjoy.”