64 minutes | May 12th 2018

The Journey from Professional Tennis to the 'Real World' with Neha Uberoi

Former professional tennis player Neha Uberoi joins the podcast to discuss her life journey. She tells us of her unique experience as a first generation South Asian immigrant growing up in a household of 5 girls in Princeton NJ and breaking the stereotype by excelling in sports(4:30). Her talent in tennis was obvious and at a very young age she moved(5:30) to Florida to join her older sister Shikha and Andy Roddick at Saddlebrook academy. At the academy she was in for some social and culture shocks as a girl with short hair beating many of the boys(9:30). Going undefeated in her freshman year at Princeton, Neha had a very different experience in terms of wins and losses on the professional circuit. Dealing with wins and losses on tour was a stressful and solitary experience(15:00). The anxieties on tour with a toxic coach manifested themselves in a bout with depression and an eating disorder, binging and purging even after big wins(25:00). At 22 years of age she has to make the most difficult decision of her life, to quit tennis(29:00) and start a new life by going back to another pressure cooker of academia at Princeton University. It took her a long time to adjust to the "real world" and find the perspective of trusting the process(41:00) over her goal-oriented prior experience. Balancing lofty expectations with the competitive drive and ego required to become a professional athlete can be difficult in a world where success is not solely defined by wins and losses(49:00). Neha tells us about a non-profit organization that she co-founded with another Neha: South Asians in Sports(51:00) and the opportunities to be found in the Sports Industry moving forward. She finishes this episode telling us about masters degree she is pursuing in social work(59:00) and her outlook on life going forward. You can follow Neha's organization South Asians in Sports: a network for sports industry professionals.  It's free to join! Website: sainsports.com  Twitter: @sainsports  You can follow the Nothing Easy Podcast: instagram: @nothingeasypod email: nothingeasypod@gmail.com twitter: @nothingeaaaasy