Atavus Academy Winter Block



The Atavus Academy is a rugby training program designed to support, guide, and push aspiring athletes to play at their highest level possible through individualized programming delivered in a competitive environment.

Sessions are focused towards speed, both on and off-feet conditioning, resistance training, and body combat programming combined with rugby-specific skills.

Functional training for on-field rugby performance. Develop robustness and physicality for the 15-a-side game. Focus on injury prevention, movement patterning, and overall strengthening. Upskill in closed skill ability and decision-making.

Atavus academy provides an environment for dedicated, competitive self-improvers to maximize their training and transfer onto the pitch and rugby performance. There is no minimum standard, all we ask for is a commitment, a positive, never give up attitude and help uplift and support those around you.


If you have further questions and/or need more information, please contact Atavus Academy Lead Michaela Staniford.


Our expert coaching staff have played at the highest levels of the game and now coach at the national level to impart their knowledge, enthusiasm, and experience to the next generation of aspiring players.

Photo of Shawn Pittman Shawn Pittman Atavus High Performance Coach & Regional Account Manager


  • First Rugby cap against Uruguay 2008
  • Rugby World Cup 2011
  • Professional at London Welsh RFC


  • Atavus, Seattle Saracens, London Welsh RFC, & USA Rugby Eagles


  • Education Coordinator at Atavus
  • Assistant Forwards Coach Seattle Saracens
  • WA Logger Assistant Coach


  • From Bellingham WA
  • Chuckanut Bay U19 and Men's
  • USA U19, U20
  • Golden Gate, Bayside Sharks
  • NA4 West Team 2008
  • Debut for USA, November-2008
  • London Welsh RFC 2010-2012
  • Trinity College Dublin

Photo of Michaela Staniford Michaela Staniford Atavus High Performance Coach


  • 2012 World Rugby Female Player of The Year


  • Atavus, England Rugby, GHSAA


  • Atavus High Performance Coach
  • Seattle Atavus Academy Lead
  • Girls High School All-Americans Assistant Coach


  • London Wasps
  • 72 World Series Matches
  • 60 Senior England Caps
  • 2005 First England Cap

Requirements outside academy:

  • VOLT training platform completion.
  • Individual recovery.
  • Attention with nutrition strategies to support performance.
  • Communication where needed with academy staff.

Train on the official Atavus Rugby Strength Training program.

To support on-field sessions, Atavus Academy athletes will get a Volt Athletics membership. Volt provides our Atavus Rugby Strength Training programming on their interactive app and online platform. Each workout is laid out and tells you exactly what to do in the weight room to train correctly and meet the demands of the game.

Delivery of the strength and conditioning programming will be tailored to both the individual and group needs depending on the period of the season we are in.