Flourishing the power of work and passion into a lifetime opportunity.
Most of us find it difficult to balance our full-time jobs and follow our true passions. It can be difficult to choose between the two at times. However, this 28-year-old 1st Generation, Half-Indian, Half-Pakistani, Muslim American, is showing people that work and passion do not have to be mutually exclusive. Khalil Pillai has already represented the United States Tennis Association on three occasions and is pursuing the highest levels of tennis as best as he can. All of this while working as a full-time manager at a consulting firm!
Khalil’s Tennis Journey
Khalil Pillai is someone who, once he puts his mind to something, will go to any length to achieve it. This is how his journey to becoming a professional tennis player began. Khalil decided to reenter the competitive tennis space around the 2018-19 season. He realized he needed to train like a professional tennis player if he wanted to be one. To overcome the first hurdle in his tennis journey, Khalil began training with Chris Clark, head coach and owner ofToss & Spin in Chicago in order to relearn the basics, transform his body, and gain a fresh perspective. Khalil transitioned to coach John Morris to perfect his technique, improve his approach, and establish a strong mental game. To keep his body and mind in top shape, he worked with several personal strength trainers and recovery specialists.
Although the pandemic disrupted training for a time, Khalil returned to exercising and re-building his tennis body after the gyms reopened. Khalil’s game evolved substantially in 2021, after competing on three USTA teams and facing a variety of opponents. In order to take his training to the next level, he travelled to Barcelona Tennis Academy to be trained by some of best coaches.
Regardless of his late start, Khalil is committed to giving it his all and remaining consistent. Khalil’s mental and emotional well-being, as well as his outlook, differentiate him from his competitors.
Apart From Tennis
Even when he began his tennis training, Khalil did not have to quit his job. He continued his tennis career while also working a full-time job. In addition to being a consultant and a tennis player, Khalil is a UNICEF USA Next Gen Board Member and emphasizes giving back to a community which has given him so much.
Khalil hopes that by watching him grow, people would realize that they don’t need to wait for someone to show them the path or plan their strategy for them. He advocates that others should create their path, stumble, fail, and keep growing as best they can. One quote that Khalil lives by is “Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient, and the best things come to those who don’t give up”.
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