Club Philosophy

  1. The mental and physical well being of our athletes is paramount.
  2. Club volleyball is competitive, competing to win is expected.
  3. Building a winning team requires commitment to teamwork, team practice and individual skills development, and team goals.
  4. There must be mutual respect among all team mates.
  5. Clear communication amongst coaches and athletes, and between athletes supports both the well being of athletes and team performance.
  6. Statistics are key part of performance feedback and are used significantly in both team and personal practice goals.
  7. Athletes need individual attention. Athletes develop at different paces. Some are late bloomers. Multi-sport athletes are welcomed.
  8. Different age groups require different mixes of team performance and individual athlete development. 14U has a significantly different framework than 15U to 18U age groups.

Evolution to Excellence

Powerwest started because there were more girls on the North Shore capable of playing competitive volleyball than roster spots available from existing clubs.  Our original goal was to help address that gap.

Over the past 3 seasons our purpose has evolved.

As the current high school season proves, the North Shore is blessed with an incredible depth of volleyball talent.    We see an opportunity to create a volleyball centre of excellence here on the North Shore. 

A place that prioritizes our youth athletes over club and helps them achieve their own goals.

What does this mean?

  • We are bringing in professional coaches to give our athletes the most advanced training possible and to provide guidance for athletes looking to play post-secondary volleyball,
  • ALL our athletes are accessing pro-level coaching, including our 14U athletes, not just our older teams. 
  • We are bringing in physiotherapists to train our athletes in how to maintain their bodies, and
  • We are expanding our usage of video and statistical analysis to help athletes and teams achieve peak performance.

We are building on our great performances at last year’s provincials and nationals, particularly at this year’s 17U and 15U level.

Professional Coaches

We have changed our coaching model to provide our athletes with access to world class coaching.  Each team will be trained at practice by a professional coach, as well as having a non-pro team coach who will be responsible for games and tournaments.

This gives our athletes at all levels access to elite coaching that other clubs cannot match.  It also gives our athletes the ability to better understand what it takes to play post-secondary volleyball, should they choose to pursue that route.

We have added two professional coaches to our staff, each of whom are working with two teams.  These coaches are both professional beach athletes and have years of experience playing and coaching at the highest levels.  

Professional Coaches:

Devon May (17U, 15U)

Devon is a full time training professional beach volleyball player, as well as a co-founder and coach at, Vancouver’s premier beach volleyball program.  In her role as Head Coach – Player Development for the 17U and 15U team, Devon will bring her work ethic, perseverance and tenacity to the team in helping them build advanced volleyball skills. 

Devon spent her younger years playing for Thunder Beach and Sideout before playing indoor varsity volleyball at SFU where she also acted as assistant coach.  She followed that up with a victory lap at the University of Alabama in Birmingham where she competed on the NCAA 1 pairs beach team. Devon then returned to UAB as an assistant coach before pursuing her dream of making Team Canada beach volleyball.

Adam Thompson (16U, 14U)

Adam is an experienced beach and indoor volleyball player and coach. Adam became a member of Volleyball Canada’s beach national team in 2018 and has trained and competed in many countries around the world.  He also earned a Bachelor of Human Kinetics while playing varsity indoor volleyball at the University of Windsor for 5 years.  Adam’s coaching experience includes lead assistant coach for the University of Manitoba men’s team, Resident Professional at the Indoor Beach Volleyball Centre in Winnipeg, as well as coaching at multiple provincial and national competitions.

Physical Conditioning

We are partnering with a leading sports physiotherapist to:

  • Provide instruction for the entire academy in the foundations of strength and conditioning for high performance volleyball
  • Provide instruction to athletes on how to monitor and look after their bodies during a long training and competition season
  • To provide education for athletes and parents regarding intelligent training and competition practices
  • To provide ongoing development opportunities for the coaches and volunteers within the academy
  • To empower young athletes through knowledge to make good decisions about their bodies and how to train for sport and life
  • To give athletes the tools to minimize their risk of injury, optimize their performance, and maximize their enjoyment of the sport

Video and Statistical Analysis

We believe that video and statistical analysis is a very important part of helping both our teams and our athletes achieve their best performances.    Coaches will apply this data to our practice planning and game line-ups.

Playing Time

15U to 18U Age Group

Coaches have the final say over playing time during games and playing time is not expected to be equal amongst team members. However, all team members that have committed to practice and improvement will receive game time during a tournament.

Volleyball BC has instituted a new league system, similar to other provinces, where results in certain tournaments throughout the year impact the team’s overall ranking heading into Provincials and Nationals. There are also non-league tournaments that do not impact rankings and provide flexibility in player development and playing time.

Developing each player to their fullest potential is a key part of our strategy in achieving our goal of winning each match and ensures open and fair competition for game time.

Player development is led by consistent targeted practice. The club provides high level coaching supported by video analysis and statistical performance reviews. Each player receives feedback on both strengths and areas for improvement throughout the season.

14U Age Group

14U is the first year of competitive volleyball for many players and it is important that all players have a significant amount of game play time, in order to facilitate development.

Volleyball Canada has guided this initiative, specifically:

  1. Fair Play rule: All players on the 12 player game roster must play one full set per match. If a match goes to a 3rd set, then it is the coach’s discretion to choose who plays.
  2. Limited Specialization: Role specialization (ie setter, power hitter) is discouraged in order to allow players to experiment with different positions.

While Powerwest is focused on building competitive teams at the 15U to 18U age categories, the primary goal of 14U is to give players a chance to learn how to compete and determine what their role is on the court. Winning matches is a lower priority in this age category. Commitment to practice remains important and players that do not commit to improvement through routine practice will be asked to sit out.