break the love: tennis and community
Many say that entrepreneurship starts by someone, somewhere, seeing a problem and deciding to come up with a solution. For Trisha Goyal, founder and CEO of Break the Love, that problem was a lack of accessibility when it came to getting back into the sport she loved–tennis. With a desire to not only get back into the game but to connect with people following a move to a new city, she searched high and low for options and was left with nothing but dissatisfaction. So, she decided to solve the problem herself.
Today, Break the Love has grown to become far more than just a meetup to play tennis. We caught up with Trisha to learn more about how Break the Love has evolved and where she hopes to see it go in the future.
Can you tell us about your first tennis memory? What drew you in? How did you get started?
My first tennis memory was with my brother and my dad in Pennsylvania where I grew up. My brother and I had a couple of racquets and my dad took us out to the local park and my brother and I started hitting the ball back and forth with ease. What drew me in was a combination of finding it fun and being able to bond with both my brother and my dad in the process.
If you had to choose, what would be the thing you love the most about the sport of tennis?
You are never finished learning. No one is really a master at tennis (even when you think you are), there is always something to improve on whether it’s something with your technique, strokes, strategy, or mental game.
What was the inspiration behind Break the Love? What problem were you trying to solve?
Break the Love started out of a personal pain point. As a young adult out of college starting in the workforce, I wanted to get back into playing tennis but I realized I only had one of two options –either join a country club which was intimidating or DIY it yourself by cobbling it together through meetup.com, Facebook groups, & WhatsApp chains which was inconvenient and very hit or miss. I realized that I wasn’t alone–so we created Break the Love to unlock access to recreational tennis through group based tennis classes and competitions across public and private courts run by vetted pros.
What has been your biggest success so far when it comes to Break the Love and what are you trying to achieve?
It is definitely the community. Tennis is truly a social sport and unlike a dating app or a networking app, people genuinely connect with each other on a much deeper level through our platform. We believe that sport has the power to not only get people to be active, but it's also the medium that can connect people in the process. That is what we are trying to achieve.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Men’s Tennis League and the celebration of Movember?
We are hosting a men’s league for the first half of November in NYC and Washington DC. We're bringing together men to play and compete in a welcoming environment across 2 weeks in celebration of Movember–in partnership with Rhone!
Was there any specific reasoning behind wanting to support men and mental health?
This past year and half with COVID, we have seen increasingly more men come out to Break the Love Rallies & Tourneys and tell us how our tennis community, classes and competitions are one of the top things that keeps them feeling mentally well after a long week of Zoom meetings. Tennis has the power to keep people active while also allowing them to connect with others on a deeper level. We're so thrilled to be creating a safe space for men to play, compete, and connect to their fullest self, all while opening the floor up to the conversation around Men’s Mental Health.
What would you tell someone who’s looking to get into tennis?
Start. Tennis can be intimidating but once you get started, most people get hooked. Once you are hooked, don’t give up. While it takes time, the payoff is worth it.
What does tennis look like for you personally? How often are you playing?
Tennis for me is a way for me to unplug and be present with those around me on the court. Right now, I'm typically playing between 2-4 hours per week.
How has the game of tennis shaped you as an individual?
It has definitely influenced how I've evolved as a person. As you play different people, you have to pivot the way you play and I think as an individual not being afraid to pivot to evolve into the person you want to be has been valuable for me.
Where do you hope to see the sport of tennis go in the coming years?
I hope that it becomes more inclusive when it comes to diversity and that it becomes more community centric.
What’s next for Break the Love?
We are looking forward to our expansion to more geographies beyond our home base in New York with really great partners like the USTA. We're also looking to have more community and performance features to empower anyone to connect through this sport & channel their inner athlete in an accessible way.
Join Break the Love and Rhone out on the courts for an exclusive Men’s League in honor of Men’s Mental Health Month this Movember.