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Student-Athlete to Counselor: My AddedSport Journey

As I begin my day in AddedSport during the current work-from-home situation in Kochi, I recall my journey as a tennis student-athlete which began over 8 years ago right here where I currently sit. From the small city of Kochi to Singapore, then the United States and finally back, my journey has been exhilarating, challenging, and most of all – fulfilling. Throughout this journey, I have been both a client for AddedSport and now a counsellor – supporting clients just like myself not too long ago.

Recalling my move to United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore, it had been sudden and drastic, yet in retrospect seemed much needed. From living in the cushioned environment of a small city in India, I was now living in a boarding house with 200 strangers from over 50 different countries. The change was very demanding, since the competition both on and off the court had also increased dramatically. Not only was balancing academics and tennis challenging, living away from my parents also became a great adjustment I personally had to make. Nonetheless, my boarding school experience made my transition to college all the more easier. A huge advantage of it was the exposure to various different cultures and perspectives, which prepared me well for the culture shock one typically experiences entering college. During those 4 years in Singapore, I also had my first experience with AddedSport; in this case, as a client. With the help of Akshay, founder of AddedSport, and his team, I was able to get recruited to play tennis at Haverford College, a top Division 3 liberal arts college in Philadelphia. People say that college is the best time of one’s life and my experience lived up to the hype.

My 4-year stint at Haverford was the perfect balance of learning, opportunity, and fun. A liberal arts education allowed me to focus on the subjects of my choice, economics and psychology, and to try different classes such as sociology, philosophy, and even archaeology. Most importantly, as a student-athlete, Haverford has provided me with a wonderful platform to pursue my studies on one hand, and a great support group in the tennis team on the other. Tennis has always been a huge part of my life, and its Division 3 environment has helped me to pursue my passion, all the while receiving abundant academic knowledge for my future business endeavors.

The passion I hold for sports fueled my decision to later join AddedSport as a consultant. My experience of having been on both sides of the coin has helped me guide families in their decision to study abroad. Having to learn time management, adjusting to life abroad alone, and balancing sports and education, these made me relate better with my clients and their families’ thought process, goals, and emotions as a counselor in AddedSport.

Arnav Patodia Associate Consultant