Monday, January 10, 2011

Q&A With Karina LeBlanc

  I've recently had the opportunity to ask Karina  few questions about her soccer career, where she sees herself after playing life and advice for the youngsters. Here's what she had to say.

A. When did you realise playing at the highest level was something you wanted to pursue?

K. I was very young watching TV and watching the Olympics and I turned to my parents and told them I wanted to do that one day. I got cut when I was 15 from my first provincial team (which is ODP team in the US) and it was the best thing that happened to me because I realized then that I would have to work harder to accomplish my dreams. When I began working harder than ever was when I felt I wanted more and once that started...well the rest is history

A. If you could give advice to yourself in high school, what would you say?

K. If you want this, be willing to work for it. Nothing really worth having comes too easy. The things I sacrifice now will pay off in the end. 

A. Who's your favourite coach you've trained with? Which has a bigger impact on you, goalkeeper coach or head coach?

K. I think the coaching staff we have now has been great for me. Carolina is a fantastic head coach, but Max is such a great goalkeeper coach. I am learning a lot now and looking at the game from a different point of view which is great at this point in my career. I hope to continue to learn so that everyday I am becoming better.

A. How do you keep focus when the crowd is rowdy, yelling and throwing things at you? Do you take it personally?

K. It actually motivates me but to be honest during the game I am so focused on what is going on and staying mentally and physically involved, many times I don't hear what is being said.

A. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

K. That is the big question. I am not sure. I want to play for as long as my body will allow me and I still have the passion. I love coaching, I love doing my motivational talks yet at the same time I think I will want to challenge myself with something new. I would love to find a way to combine all of my career into something in my future so that I am still figuring out.My career has had its ups and downs and I feel everything happens for a reason so who knows where it will all lead

A. Do personal records matter to you?

K. Not really. Other people pay way more attention to that than me. I couldn't even tell you how many caps I have. To me it is an honor every time the national anthem is being played and I hear it like it is the first time every time. I don't want to miss out on that moment in time. In life I always try to push myself to new heights and new challenges, so while the records may matter to me later in life, for now I feel I haven't accomplished what I want to accomplish while here on this earth.

A. Playing in the WPS, you had a chance to win a title 2 years in a row, but was traded mid season. Any regrets? What were the causes of the trades?

K. I actually was traded at the end of the season so being a part of 2 Championship games with two different teams was an experience I will cherish forever.

A. With the Chicago RedStars no longer a team in the WPS, will you be signing with another team for next season or will the national team be your main focus leading up to Germany.

K. I am still deciding on this. Chicago folding was heartbreaking and with Canada I want to put myself in the best position where I will be playing the best soccer heading into the world cup so I am still unsure of what I will be doing. I am in talks with a couple teams so we will see.

A. What are 3 things in your life you can not live without?

K. God, family and my iPhone.

A. To all the aspiring young soccer players out there, what advice do you have for them?

K. If you want something real bad, be willing to work harder than others and somehow you will not fail. Whether it is the goal you are going after that you accomplish or the lesson you will learn from working hard, somehow you will always win.

A. Since Morace took post as head coach of the Canadian squad, the team has been very successful, winning 3 titles in one year. What are your thoughts on how she's turned this
program around?

K. She's just a phenomenal coach and woman. She makes everyone around her want to be better and the knowledge that she has, along with her passion is so contagious. Playing soccer is fun, being in camp is fun....everything is fun again and everyone just has higher standards. She demands that you give her everything everyday and for the person that she is, as a player you want that for yourself, for your teammates and for her. It's a great environment

A. What are the first thoughts that pop into your head when you hear the word Bachelorette?

K. I want to be on it as the next Bachelorette.....let's make that happen (lol)

Bring us home another cup, Karina!!

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