Student athlete success on and off field

    CSUN soccer player runs to take the ball from opposing team
    Senior Shane Steffes breaks away from two of the opposing players to gain control of the ball against Tulsa. Photo credit: Kendall Faulkner

    When some people hear about student athletes, the talk has been negative as of late. There have been investigations from the NCAA on what schools do to make sure their student-athlete are able to play the following season.

    There is little said about student athletes who find success in and out of their sport, yet there are great examples of those who have.

    From Colts quarterback Andrew Luck spending four years at Stanford double majoring before entering the NFL draft and former four time NBA champion Jamaal Wilkes who also received his bachelor before being drafted.

    These are great stories, but there is one that is closer to home for CSUN students. This is that story of one of the captains on the men’s soccer team. Senior Shane Steffes wears the number 12 jersey as he plays in the midfield for the Matadors, but there is more to him than just soccer. Outside of the field he is a psychology student with a 4.0 GPA.

    Steffes said, however, in high school and his first two years in college, he was not a great student as he only worried about soccer.

    “As I have grown older. I have realized that school is very important as well,” Steffes said.

    Steffes schedule consists of practice every morning with two to three classes a day.

    “It’s brutal, but you have to do both if you want to succeed,” Steffes said. “I feel if you do well off the field then it helps on the field.”

    As a student athletes, they also have a schedule set with home and away games. When asked how he studies when the team travels, Steffes responded by saying they have mandatory study hours which helps a lot.

    “We take academic advisors with us on trips,” Steffes said. “Our coaches and faculty are really good at keeping us on track and doing study hall.”

    As a captain and as a student with good academic standing, does Steffes said he feels like he needs to be an example on and off the field with his teammates.

    “I feel that getting a 4.0 [GPA], I am able to represent my team and the program very well,” Steffes said.

    According to Steffes, spending time with family and friends in rare days off is how he alleviates stress.

    “On an off day you have to just sit back and relax,” Steffes said.

    When asked what he does for fun, Steffes said he likes to get together with his teammates and enjoy themselves outside of the soccer environment.

    “We are really big into bowling or we go out to eat, see a movie, anything not soccer related,” Steffens said.

    Currently Steffes is studying to take the LSAT in December as he plans to attend law school after he graduates. With his current classes and the LSAT, Steffes said micromanaging his time helps him plan out what he needs to accomplish.

    “Sitting down and looking at my planner, going through and seeing what I can here and what I can do tomorrow,” Steffes said.

    Steffes also said when he does not feel like putting in the work, his motivation is are his parents and how they have given him the chance to succeed.

    “I think I’m repaying them for everything they have done by me working my hardest and making them proud,” Steffes said.