Alley Taylor is a UWG senior who has been a successful student athlete for the past four years. Taylor is studying sports management and is a key player for UWG’s fastpitch softball team.
Taylor’s interest in sports began at a young age. She began playing baseball at the age of five and softball when she was eight. Taylor continued to play softball throughout her life and played for a premier travel softball team called the Gold Coast Hurricanes in South Florida where she is from. Taylor committed to play at UWG in the summer of 2017 and has played every season since.
While playing softball for UWG, Taylor has had big achievements. During her freshman year, Taylor was named the Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Year and was a finalist for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Freshman of the Year award. Taylor said that one great accomplishment for both her and the team was during her sophomore year when they placed second in the Gulf South Conference tournament, which was the closest they had ever been to winning the tournament.
“The conference tournament was definitely a highlight of my sophomore season,” said Taylor. “Even though we didn’t finish first, we had worked so hard and felt like it finally paid off.”
Softball isn’t the only thing Taylor has been focusing her time on while being at UWG. She takes academics seriously and has maintained good academic standing. Taylor has kept her GPA at 4.0 for the past two years, which she said has been difficult as a student athlete. She was also named Academic All-District by the College Sports Information Directors of America, a special recognition for student athletes’ performances both in their sport and in the classroom.
“Balancing being a student athlete and a full-time student isn’t easy, but I think I’ve finally figured it out after four years,” said Taylor. “Finding the time and motivation to do schoolwork can be hard sometimes, and my goal every week is to get my work done early and be ahead of it.”
Currently, Taylor is preparing for the upcoming season that begins in the spring. She wakes up early in the morning every day during the week to work out and practice with the team. COVID-19 disrupted the previous season, so Taylor has been given the opportunity to play softball for an extra year. Although the upcoming season won’t be her last, she wants to make it a memorable season for the seniors who will not be returning to play an extra year.
“I’ve been playing with the seniors on the team for four years now, and this is our biggest year,” said Taylor. “I want nothing more than for our senior class to give it all we have and get a championship ring this year.”
After graduating, Taylor plans on attending graduate school to get a master’s degree in education so that she can coach college softball in the future. She wants to coach college softball to give back to others by not only teaching them more about softball, but also helping them succeed in all areas of life. Taylor said that being a student athlete has shown her skills that she will need as a coach such as time-management and leadership.
“Being a coach goes beyond teaching someone the game,” said Taylor. “I want to help student-athletes grow as individuals and motivate them to be the best version of themselves. I’m so thankful for the experience I’ve had of being a college athlete.”