Professional Indoor Volleyball Player and Beach Volleyball Olympian
Canadian | Mentor | Coach | Student | Public Speaker | World Traveller | Foodie
Hello! My name is Sarah Pavan. I am a Canadian professional indoor volleyball player and beach volleyball Olympian, going for GOLD in Tokyo 2020. I have represented Canada both indoor and on the beach since 2001, and have lived all over the world playing volleyball as a career.
I love helping people pursue excellence and be the best they can be, both in and out of sport. I want people to live their dreams, and if I can facilitate that, whether it be through sharing my experience, mindset, or technical approach to volleyball, I can think of nothing more rewarding :)
To to mentor/support volleyball players of all skill levels in reaching their potential.
You can book me for:
Pick My Brain Calls ($30)
Coffee & Convo ($75)
Recruitment Services ($750)
Private Coaching Sessions ($200)
Speaking Engagements ($1500)
Anyone who sees value in connecting with an Olympic athlete.
What I am currently working on
Industry trends, insights, observations & opinions
My current role & responsibilities
My salary, rates, income & benefits
My education, training & qualifications
My biggest challenges, successes, failures & lessons learned
What success means to me
How I got to where I am today
What I enjoy most/least about my career
What it is like working for my company & why I chose to work there
What it is like to live and work in my city
Recommendations for anyone entering my career or industry
Recommended books, articles, blogs, conferences, tools, apps, etc.
Whose content do I consume regularly
Daily practices, habits, and strategies
Issues I care most about right now and why
My values, beliefs, philosophies and/or political views
My love story
> I am one of the only people in the world to have played both indoor and beach volleyball at the highest level.
> I love sharing what I've learned, and am learning along the way, with others.
> I know that pursuing excellence is a process, and I believe in honesty through the hard-to-navigate moments.
> I have played with A LOT of different people, and have gained valuable insight in how to manage teammate and coach relationships.
In the volleyball world, I have done it all :) I started playing the sport when I was 10 and at 16, I became the youngest woman ever selected for the Canadian National Indoor Volleyball team.
I attended the University of Nebraska on a volleyball scholarship and won the NCAA National Championship with the Cornhuskers in 2006. While there, I was a 4-time First-Team All-American (one of 5 people ever), 2006 National Player of the Year, and Honda Cup winner, as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year, in 2007. I was recently inducted into the University of Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame, and had my jersey retired.
After college I played indoor professionally for 10 years around the world, while continuing to represent Canada on the indoor team internationally. I played in Italy, Brazil, South Korea and China. I was a 2-time Superliga Champion with Unilever Rio de Janeiro and the CEV Champions League Best Attacker.
In 2013 I started playing beach volleyball with the objective of going to the Olympics. Not only was I able to attain a life-long dream of representing my country at the Olympics, but I brought home a 5th place finish for Canada in Rio 2016. Since then, my current partner and I have reached the #1 world ranking and are Commonwealth Games champions. I am a 2-time FIVB World Tour Best Blocker, and 3-time gold medallist.
Blog: Mental Blocks in Athletes and How to Overcome Them
Blog: What Will Your Teammates Remember About You?
Blog: Is Being Tall a Prerequisite for Being a Good Volleyball Player?
Sarah was an absolute pleasure to talk to, informative, patient, and knowledgeable. I wanted to learn about how the pro volleyball industry functions and serves players as a labour market, which is not the typical sort of interview pro athletes get. Sarah was open minded in answering my questions, encouraging, and led me into interesting areas of the subject I hadn't anticipated.
I was also impressed with Sarah's competitive spirit, and her frankness in discussing personal and professional relationships in the pro sports business. I'm cognizant that these are things classical economics is not designed to address, so these discussions were invaluable to me.
Based on the new information Sarah has provided myself and my coauthors are looking into the viability of conducting the study. If we move forward I will certainly contact Sarah again. On this basis I'd recommend anyone to contact Sarah for information on pro volleyball.
“Confidence. Ego. Mantra's. Head Space. Motivation. Routines. About to graduate to the next level of business and startup and find myself wanting to talk to high achievers about these things. I don't have time for self doubt any more. Just action. I want to know how you manage your mindset around these things.”
That is what I wrote to Sarah when I booked our call.
And now just having finished up our call I feel refreshed, calm and like I have a handful of new ways to think, see and interact with myself and those around me.
Thank you Sarah. The way you say and phrase things is incredibly empowering, uplifting and settling. So many quotable moments that I will be revisiting and reflecting on for a long time to come.
Now off to download your on-point follow-up recommendation. And to write a few of the quotes and phrases I captured from you down on my bathroom mirror. So I can add them to my routine.
Went down to Hermosa to play some beach volleyball with a group of ladies and found out Sarah was open and available to run a training session for us!?!
A group training session with Canada's future gold medal Olympian, yes please.
Not only did we get to train with Sarah for 2 hours on the beaches of Hermosa, Sarah also invited us to watch her and her partner Melissa battle it out in a mini tournament against Czech Republic, Australia and the US before our practice.
Talk about a memorable Californian volleyball vacation experience.
Thank you for openly and so kindly sharing your world with us all Sarah. It was such memorable day.
Talking with Sarah was an amazing experience! Her openness made conversing easy and her energy made me feel comfortable to ask what I was genuinely curious about. She really went above and beyond on her side of the call, and I couldn't recommend connecting with her more!
Sarah is one of those kinds of people that you feel like you've known for years even though you've only just met them.
I'll admit, I was a bit star struck and nervous the first time I met her, but as soon as we started chatting it vanished and what inspired was a 10/10 conversation about life, volleyball, knowledge, giving back and connection.
Sarah's demeanour, answers and intuition are incredibly well thought out, genuine and deeply inspiring.
I feel like just being around Sarah, without even knowing it, inspires you to want to be the world's best in your own way... that in and of itself is a super power.
Absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to be connected and working with Sarah on helping her share more of her time, knowledge and experience with others in new and creative ways.
If you crave interestingness or advancement in any capacity, connecting with Sarah would be a worth while investment.