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Mar 23, 2020

Hi, my name is Ondrej and this is my story. I was born in 1993 in Pardubice, Czech Republic. Pardubice is city with 90,000 citizens.  Our city is known as a city for sports and for gingerbread. I grew up in a sports family, my father did decathlons and my mom played volleyball. We have a soccer field behind our house and my parents were the ones who brought me there for the first time. I played soccer throughout my whole childhood on a great team in my hometown, but as I got older I realized that soccer is not everything. I wanted to be a professional soccer player ever since I was a kid. My parents supported me, but they also emphasized education. 

When I went to high school I really didnť know which school to choose, because most of the high schools in the Czech Republic are specialized in different areas. Also there are gymnasiums that will generally prepare you in all subjects equally so you are well prepared and able to attend university. It is a very hard decision for students who are in  the 9th grade to know which career path they want to take in their life. I finally decided to choose a gymnasium where I was year and half  and then I changed to a sports gymnasium where I could have additional soccer training. I knew nothing beside soccer, school, soccer and homework and that was every day for four years.

I signed my first professional contract when I graduated from high school, but I also wanted to go to University. I chose sport studies at Masaryk University in Brno. This university was my dream and I was very happy for that. I was able to study something that I enjoy while maintaining my sport lifestyle. 

I developed great friendships at school. With a year left in school, I went to play soccer in Slovakia. This was when I realized that it is almost impossible to combine school and professional sport in the Czech Republic. Some professors did not care that we had a soccer match and that we couldn't come to classes. They were saying choose sports or school. With all my strength I graduated with bachelor's degree and enrolled in my master's degree. It was very difficult, I had to choose between school or soccer so I chose soccer.  

I have been a professional soccer player for almost 10 years now, and I played in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and in Austria. I also have a Bachelor of Science in Sport Studies. I have experience first hand on what it is like when school and sports don't work together. That is why I want to help other student athletes navigate these difficult decisions; to make sure they know what options they have. I believe every student athlete should be able to compete at the highest level of their sport and study at the highest level together with no compromise. For that reason I couldn´t turn down working with USA SPORT & STUDY. I want to be able to pass on my experience and knowledge to all of my students.

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