Good Sports

Aulden Bynum current CAES student and Bulldog football offensive tackle and tight end. Photo courtesy of UGA Sports Communications.

CAES Student-athletes put Time-management Skills into Practice

Student-athletes in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences learn to balance challenging coursework with the sports they love, but it’s not always an easy task. 

They have to study and complete assignments while juggling workouts, team meetings, practices, mentor meetings, classes and tutoring sessions. Their academic progress during their first year determines their tutoring schedules and whether they need academic mentoring.

Aulden Bynum, a senior from Valdosta, Georgia, double-majoring in agribusiness and agricultural and applied economics, said having a jampacked schedule – starting at 7 a.m. and ending as late as 10 p.m. during the football season – can feel overwhelming at times. Student-athletes are required to sign in at each class and tutoring sessions. Any late or missed appointments lead to extra miles run during practice.

Torri Allen
Torri Allen, current CAES student-athlete. Photo courtesy of UGA Sports Communication.

“You can’t try to fight the system,” Bynum said. “It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s all worth it.”

Torri Allen (BSA – Biological Science, ’13) came to the University of Georgia from her hometown of Stafford, Virginia. She arrived at UGA with plans to play soccer, earn her bachelor’s degree and then attend the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, where she is currently enrolled. She grew up playing soccer, but found college sports to be particularly demanding. 

“In veterinary school, we sometimes have three or four tests in one week, so learning to prioritize has helped a lot,” Allen said.

Heath Holder (BSA – Agribusiness, ’16) from Loganville, Georgia, now plays baseball for the Colorado Rockies. While at UGA, he played baseball for five seasons and described it as a year-round sport. The UGA team practices are two to three hours long, with scrimmages throughout the fall semester. The regular season starts in February and games are played on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until May.

“You have to stay on top of things because if you get behind, it’s hard to catch up,” Holder said.

Kristin Schnake (BSA – Agricultural and Applied Economics, ’09; MS – Agricultural and Applied Economics, ’11), from Richview, Illinois, was a star softball player at UGA. She now works at Bunge North America, a global agribusiness and food ingredient company.

Schnake recalls the tight scheduling and balancing of responsibilities that occur as a student-athlete. She said that she used practice and game time to release any stress.

“The time management and overall life skills I gained as a student-athlete definitely translated into my professional life,” she said. “A coach can be just as hard as a boss.”

Myria Shipman (BSA – Animal Science, ’04; MAL – Agricultural Leadership, ’06) teaches animal science, veterinary science and small animal care and management at Islands High School in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia.

Equestrian became a varsity sport just before Shipman’s sophomore year. She remembers having team workouts at 5 a.m. on Wednesdays, individual workouts three days a week, practices twice a week and competitions on Fridays and Saturdays.

“I learned to keep lists and I still do now,” Shipman said. “You have to know what your long-term plan is and create short-term goals to help achieve that plan.”