Interview with Rebecca Pavan

Today I am introducing a new segment of the blog, which are Interviews. Once a month, I will post some Q&A with an athlete, coach, etc. to highlight what some of the high-level performers in the sport are doing. Hopefully you can use these interviews as a tool for your own personal growth, and to take a look at some different perspectives of people who have been where you are.
 

To start off, I thought I would keep things in the family and talk to my sister, Rebecca Pavan (if she really likes you, she might let you call her Becky). Becky played for Canada’s Youth and Junior National Teams during high school, and then attended the University of Kentucky from 2008-2012. Since 2012, she has been representing Canada internationally, and continues to pursue a professional career in Europe. She has played in Germany, France, and Poland, where she currently plays for Budowlani Torún in the Orlenliga. I hope you enjoy what she has to share!
 

Interview with Rebecca Pavan

1. How did you get started playing volleyball?

I started playing volleyball because my whole family was involved. I grew up in the gym watching my sister and parents at practice. Volleyball was a family affair and I enjoyed the time spent with my family as much as the sport itself.
 

2. Did you play other sports growing up, or were you always a volleyball athlete?

I played house league soccer and basketball growing up, as well as a failed attempt at gymnastics. In high school I was a three-sport athlete, playing basketball, volleyball, and throwing javelin and discus in the spring. I think it was important to play multiple sports growing up as it allowed me to develop as an athlete and not get burned out by only playing volleyball.
 

3. When did you know that you wanted to pursue volleyball past high school?

I think I realized I wanted to continue pursuing volleyball after high school after following my sister to many of her recruiting visits while I was in middle school. Having the opportunity to see the top American colleges at a young age and to see how spectacular college athletics are inspired me.  My early and continued exposure to the sport at the NCAA and CIS level, where many of my father’s athletes continued to play, made me long to play at the next level like the girls I grew up looking up to.
 

Becky putting up a huge block in the Orlenliga


 

4. Did you ever experience any setbacks on the way to achieving your dreams? If so, how did you overcome them?

During my time at The University of Kentucky, I struggled  to stay afloat. I [was extremely thin], and that concerned many of my support staff. I have always been lean, and the packed schedule of lifting, practice, conditioning and school made it next to impossible for me to reach the weight standards that were considered [normal]. It was not only mentally exhausting, but made me extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. What’s interesting is that once I became a professional, my weight was no longer a topic of concern. I was accepted as I was, as long as I was performing. The realization that healthy is subjective was freeing and was a huge hurdle to overcome.
 

5. What is your fondest sports-related memory?

My fondest sports memory was competing in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen at home in front of the biggest crowd I had ever seen in [our gym]. Seeing the sea of blue and white at our “basketball school” and being able to finish my college career at home was unforgettable. Another fond memory was competing in the Toronto Pan Am Games in 2015.
 

6. What is one of the most important lessons you have learned during your athletic career?

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to always work hard. There will be days when you feel like skipping a set in lifting or not chasing after the ball, but it always pays off to work your hardest. When you don’t work, there is always someone else who will. To get better you need to work hard even when you don’t feel like it.
 

7. If you could go back and do everything over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?

If I could go back I think I would have more confidence and take opportunities I passed on because I didn’t think I was good enough. Even if you aren’t sure you’re ready, taking the risk of failing can sometimes pay off more than playing it safe.
 

8. If you could give one piece of advice to young athletes, what would it be?

Take every opportunity you have to play. If someone asks you to attend an open gym or to play pick up for fun, always say yes. Each time you get to play is a time that you can get better.
 

9. What 2 things do you do daily/weekly, etc. that make you a successful athlete?

  • Rolling. I roll and stretch before and after each practice to prevent injury.
  • Making sure I am getting everything I need from my diet. If I am not getting enough [food], my body reacts badly and I am extremely low energy. There is no place for laziness when it comes to eating for me.

 


 

10. What is your favourite place you have played?

My favourite place I’ve played is Berlin, Germany.
 

11. Do you have a specific health or wellness routine?

I use essential oils for everything. Last year I stopped taking pills, including Advil, and have chosen to live more naturally using oils. I also love chia seeds. They are super healthy and you can put them in anything. I love to make a good natural pre-practice drink by putting chia seeds in water with some lemon juice.

[You can find Becky’s recipe here. She skips the sweetener.]
 

12. What is in your gym bag (other than shoes and kneepads)?

  • Hair ties
  • Chap stick
  • Nuts and Craisins
  • An elastic for my shoulder
  • Essential oil roller bottle for sore muscles
  • UE Boom speaker

 

13. What are 5 things you can’t live without?

  1. My family
  2. A good book. I’m currently reading The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s the second book in a series.
  3. Essential oils
  4. A large tea selection, usually from David’s Tea. A few faves are “Blueberry Jam Black Tea,” “Matcha Green Tea,” and “Sakura Cherry.”
  5. Skype

 

Becky taking a swing


 

14. What do you do to unwind?

Generally I will make some tea, start my diffuser, and read. I also find baking therapeutic, especially when I have someone to feed whatever I make, and I love searching for new recipes. Other hobbies I have include crochet, spending time exploring new cities with my teammates, and playing board games when I find someone willing to play.
 

You can follow Becky on Instagram, and be sure to Like her Facebook page to see what she’s up to!! If you have any questions for her, feel free to comment below, or send an email using the Contact page.
 

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about Rebecca! Stay tuned for April’s interview!
 

xo, Sarah

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2 Comments

  • Frieda Heibein March 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I remember you and Becky being born. Your mom and dad where so proud. Loved seeing you both grow into great people and great athletes! FHCI counsellor.

    Reply
  • KD Phillips March 8, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I didn’t know you had a sister or that your family was so involved in volleyball. I so love the sport and I’m looking forward to the upcoming NCAA season and my beloved Huskers. My neighbors think I’m nuts when I fly the Crimson & Cream. I think Nebraska is in for a pretty good season. We lost some seniors, gosh hated to lose the “twins” (god they were special). But, the bench is deep, coach Cook always gets the best out of his athletes, so yeah I think we’re for a great season!

    Reply

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