Sixteen-year-old Notre Dame Cougar volleyball player Brody Kopec was named the November Alberta Sport Development Centre Athlete of the Month.
Kopec is a Grade 11 power-hitter who helped the Cougars finish sixth in the 4A Provincial Championships.
Kopec began his volleyball career in Grade 6, but really began developing his skills after he transferred from Hunting Hills to Notre Dame after Grade 9.
Kopec, who was previously playing other sports, decided to focus entirely on volleyball at this time.
“I kept on putting in the work and it progressed me to where I am now,” he said.
Kopec, who won the volleyball MVP in Grade 9 at Hunting Hills, made the Notre Dame senior team in his first year at Notre Dame. The guidance from his coach AJ Mahony at Notre Dame has helped him compete as a volleyball player.
“He was one of my favourite coaches and I really connected with him. He helped me progress in anything I would ask,” Kopec said.
In the high school off-season, Kopec competes with the Red Deer College Kings Club program.
Last summer, Kopec tried out for the U17 Team Alberta and made it.
“We went to Florida to play in the USAV High Performance Championships. That was a big turning point for me,” he said.
After a successful Grade 11 season for the Cougars, Kopec looks to expand his game for his final high school season.
“I hope to perfect the different aspects of my game so that I can be more consistent. I want to make less errors and if I get the chance, I want to play for a college or university where I can do really well,” he said.
Kopec said his favourite part of the game is hitting, but recognizes that hitting comes from crisp and reliable passing.
“You need to pass to actually do something with your offence,” he said. “The most enjoyable part is when you get that really big kill and the whole crowd gets engaged.”
Kopec said ASDC has helped him progress, especially when it comes to training.
“It helps me get through things easier and I can become more powerful in volleyball. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the year turns out with ASDC,” he said.
Kopec hopes his development leads to a successful collegiate career and perhaps even more.
“CIS is something I am really interested in,” he said.
“I wanted to go to a college or university right out of high school and play for a team I am comfortable with. Potentially if that turns out really good and my volleyball career goes somewhere, I would want to play pro if it was offered.”
He added, “I want to give a big thanks to AJ Mahony. He is really motivational and he is always there.”