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N EWS + NOTES

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Paige Liebel CLASS OF 2017, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM

BY HEATHER LAMBIE cause while it was the last time doing a long drive, it was also the last away game with that team.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, the award-winning journalist shares how he believes certain people become extremely successful. One of his theories is the now famous “ten thousand hours.” Gladwell says that researchers have proven that the magic number of effort for true expertise in anything, is the dedication of ten thousand hours to it. So it should come as no surprise then, that Paige Liebel, Class of 2017, verbally committed during her sophomore year to play soccer for the University of Connecticut, one of the top developers of women’s professional players. Liebel has been playing soccer since she could walk, following in her older brothers’ footsteps, both of whom played soccer and Division 1 athletics (one played football at Penn State, the other played soccer at the University of San Diego). Since her first day on the field, she has easily put in more than ten thousand hours leading up to her competing in the ODP--Olympic Development Program, an all-star team made up of the best girls from the best teams in each U.S. state to create a national team. Liebel made a state team every year she played, then made a regional team (the top 18 female players from the 18 southeast states). That makes Liebel a top 40 player in the nation. Her senior year, the ODP paid for her to go to Brazil to play, “which was the last hurrah for us to play together before we go our separate ways to college.” It may sound glamorous, but finding time for soccer, school, and a life (in that

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order) she says, is her biggest challenge at the moment. “Soccer is first, then school, then social life. I play every day and train two times a day. I go to Tampa at 5:30 a.m. every morning to lift weights. I hate mornings. I go to school, then I go back over to Tampa in the afternoon for soccer training,” she says. Liebel started this routine when she was 12. “I spend a lot of time in the car,” she says, “so I’m very excited for college so I don’t have to drive anywhere!” At the time of the interview, Liebel lamented that she had spent the past weekend driving to Jacksonville and Orlando to play in her last youth soccer game, which was bittersweet be-

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Being a dedicated student athlete is all about choices and balance, something many people struggle with long into adulthood. Liebel started at Canterbury in fifth grade, and just a few years later, around age 12, as she joined Canterbury’s JV soccer team she made a very grown up decision. “I decided that I can only play soccer until I’m 25, 26, 27. You can only be an athlete for so long. I already feel my body falling apart,” she says with a laugh. “You can be an academic for life. So I’m going to give my all to soccer right now while I still can.” Around that same time she defined herself not just as an athlete, but as a leader. She credits her soccer coach Scott Bowers, with whom she played from ages 12-14, for teaching her how to lead by example. “He put an emphasis on how your actions show who you are. He taught me how to be a leader to a group

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Profile for Canterbury School of Florida

CSFeatures 2017 Fall  

CSFeatures is a publication of Canterbury School of Florida, a PK3 - Grade 12 independent school in St. Petersburg, FL. CSFeatures covers th...

CSFeatures 2017 Fall  

CSFeatures is a publication of Canterbury School of Florida, a PK3 - Grade 12 independent school in St. Petersburg, FL. CSFeatures covers th...