How the 28-year-old CEO of a sports company backed by Adidas’ venture fund spends her day

Break the Love Trisha Goyal
Goyal cofounded Break the Love with Tess Szymanski. Courtesy of Break the Love / Gabby Perez
  • Trisha Goyal is the CEO and cofounder of Break the Love, an app that allows people to book tennis classes and enter tournaments.
  • She spends a lot of her day assessing design with her team and her customers.
  • To Insider, she breaks down how she spends a typical day.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It all began with a Google search in 2017.

Trisha Goyal was in Connecticut looking for a place to play tennis, and quickly realized her task wasn’t so simple.

Most of her options were either too expensive or not flexible enough to fit with her schedule. In 2019, she co-created Break the Love, a digital platform that allows people to book tennis lessons, enter tournaments, and meet other players.

Tennis has a stigma attached to it: It’s exclusive and expensive, said Goyal, who’s now 28, lives in New York City, and has been playing the sport since she was eight years old. That’s why she wanted to build inclusivity into the company’s ethos.

Break the Love started by partnering with nonprofits around New York City but has now entered into revenue partnerships with the United States Tennis Association and Wilson Sporting Goods. Spread across 10 cities in places such as New York and California, Break the Love hosts its own classes, is creating its own tennis tournaments, and has 5,000 active users.

The company saw record growth amid the pandemic as people sought to go outside during times of isolation and there are 20,000 on the waitlist for the locations in which Break the Love has yet to launch. Declining to share exact revenue, Goyal says the company won the Adidas’ Reimagine Sports Grant through the iFundWomen’s grant program and was accepted into the Adidas-backed incubator program leAD.

To Insider, Goyal breaks down what a typical day looks like, from taking partnership calls all morning, to tennis classes late in the evening.

She wakes up at 7:30 a.m.

After making a cup of coffee and walking her dog for 20 minutes, Goyal opens Instagram to post the scheduled morning marketing for Break the Love, highlighting upcoming classes and other events.

Around 8 a.m. Goyal takes a shower, grabs another cup of coffee, and begins going through her emails. “I usually scan through all of my emails and list down which emails are the highest priority that I need to respond to in the morning versus the afternoon,” she said.

Her first-morning meeting is around 9 a.m.

Goyal stops checking emails around 9 a.m. and begins meetings. There are only about four full-time employees at the company, and her first meeting is usually with her engineering team, as Break the Love is both an app and website. They spend an hour testing new features.

Break the love Trisha Goyal
Goyal and her team have been making flyers for Break the Love to market the company. Courtesy of Break the Love

Break the Love already offers classes for beginners and advanced players, and charges users a fee to attend classes and tournaments. Classes start as low as $39. The platform also trains athletes who, afterward, can serve as instructors for the classes.

Goyal says Break the Love builds all the tools it needs in-house, and it’s something to which they must pay close attention. There is a big difference, for example, between launching a new tennis product in New York versus Florida, Goyal says, and the team must know how to have a product be effective in both markets.

In New York, for example, the problem is typically where to find courts and where people can learn about tennis without spending too much money (private lessons can cost an average of $125 an hour, she said.) In places like Florida, however, it mainly comes down to finding people to play with, and places to learn the sport that are comfortable and inclusive for everybody.

On this day, the company released a map view so people can pinpoint the exact location of tennis courts before deciding to join a class or enter into a tournament. “After we feel good about what we are about to push out, we spend the second half of our hour doing discovery around new features,” Goyal added. The team then spent thirty minutes mapping out features that could better predict weather patterns.

After morning meetings, she connects with investors

Goyal spends about thirty minutes reviewing scheduled programs for the week, then goes back to her inbox and starts answering emails from investors.

She gets another cup of coffee, and around 11:30 a.m., she takes a quick break to get fresh air and lunch. While eating, she starts working on a creative partnership deck as well as more proposals. “For us, partnerships are a big part of how we grow our number of courts we have access to,” she said, citing, for example, how the company works with various Parks and Recreation Departments throughout the nation.

Aside from partnering with both public and private tennis courts, Break the Love provides tennis rentals for beginners.

Break the love Trisha Goyal

Around 2 p.m. she has more calls

Goyal grabs another cup of coffee then hops on another call. On this day, she spoke to Wilson Sporting Goods to plan a new series launching this summer called “Access Courts,” which seeks to help get more people into tennis.

Since she’s often on back-to-back phone calls, Goyal likes to schedule “walking calls” outdoors. Afterward, she squeezes in calls with some customers to receive feedback on programs. Gen Zers and millennials are outspoken in what they like and don’t like these days, she said, predicting more will start demanding inclusive and convenient tennis access. The goal is for her company to be at the forefront of that push, the same way Parade makes inclusive underwear or FENTY Beauty makes inclusive skin foundations.

Break the love Trisha Goyal
Goyal on her way to a practice. Courtesy of Break the Love

“What you see on pro-circuit tennis doesn’t trickle down fully to the club system which is where tennis predominantly lives and is predominantly run by the same kind of people that can make the sport feel intimidating,” she said. “Just like golf.”

After the calls, she looks at ways to modify existing program formats based on the customer feedback.

Around 6 p.m. she tries out her classes

She spends time sending personalized welcome emails, then changes into her tennis clothes to join one of Break the Love’s tennis classes. “This is one of my favorite parts of my day because really our product is the on-court experience so it is always really rewarding to experience it myself,” she said.

Break the love Trisha Goyal

At around 8:30 p.m., she finally makes it back home

Goyal showers and makes dinner. She tries not to check her emails but, instead finds herself designing new marketing material. Before bed, she walks her dog again. Around 10:30 p.m., she falls asleep, so she can wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.