Oct 24, 2018

     My name is Tim Srkala and I’m from Switzerland. I practiced in the National Tennis Federation for 5 years. I reached Top 100 ITF, won the National Title several times, and competed for the national team. One of my best wins was against Nick Kyrgios, who is Top 20 ATP. Just like any other tennis player, I dreamed to compete for Grand Slam titles and could not imagine my life going any other way. However, it doesn’t always go the way we plan. In my case, everything turned out to be better when I chose a different path.

     At the age of 19, I made a radical change in my life and committed to a university in the United States. That was truly never my goal before but that decision impacted my life in a good way and made me a better person. At one point, I just felt that I had to do something more with my life besides only playing tennis. I realized that I have to follow in the footsteps of my brother who also played college tennis at the University of Texas/Arlington.

     Being a student-athlete in the United States gives players a lot of opportunities and open doors. People simply respect you more. It’s a combination of the sports that you love and the education that you need.

     I never had a person who could help me with all the application processes and that’s what made it so complicated. I was offered scholarships at top schools, like Penn State or the University of South Carolina, but in the end, I couldn’t go anywhere because I was ineligible. So, my only option was to go to Junior College in New York called ASA. It was a tough time for me because I didn’t have anybody to talk to and it was a waiting game with the NCAA. I would have been so happy at that time to have had a consultant who would have told me to take certain core classes which would make me Division 1 eligible earlier! Nonetheless, I spent 2 great years at ASA New York where we won the National Championship and I was named All American two years in a row, earning a full scholarship to a top 20 Division 1 school the University of Memphis.

     Mistakes were made yet another time and because of 3 credits of Biology that I didn’t finish in time, and because of miscounseling by the compliance office I had to transfer out again to the University of South Alabama where I played top of the line-up for 2 years in a row and finished with First Team All-conference achievements. This is an important story and experience that will help me to be the best guide to my clients on their journey through college in America. I have made many mistakes and learned, even more, lessons about the college life and system in the USA. The networks I made over the past 5 years are essential for every college athlete’s searching for a new school. Already during my first year in college, I realized that I would love to help talented athletes find the right schools in the United States and help them understand the system better.

     I got my Bachelor’s degree at the University of South Alabama and I am now finishing my Master’s at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. My story is completely unique in terms of dealing the NCAA and moving from one school the other, but in the end, I am where I want to be. I am proud to be a part of USA Sport and Study, help players avoid having any kind of issues and make college experiences as memorable as possible.

     I believe I was a big-time junior like many of the young guns out there, but especially in Tennis, it is extremely hard to crack the Top 100 ATP and make a living off playing professionally. There will be one point at some tournament in Thailand, Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Turkey where it will be enough of professional tennis for you and that is when an advisor can come in and help you prepare and enjoy your next 4 years in the United States still playing Tennis while getting a degree.


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