Speed, Agility & Performance Development for Youth Athletes
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SMASH High Performance Staff

We only employ the best and brightest : qualified exercise physiologists, sports scientists, experienced elite junior coaches & clinical staff. We live & breathe sport! No weekend bootcamp course trainers at SMASH! Your kids deserve and will get the best!

SMASH Intern Program ...

If you are a motivated & talented sports science intern and want to get real world coaching experience with an amazing team of passionate professionals in one of the top junior coaching organisations in the country - we run a wide ranging & educational intern program. You will work with real athletes from disabled to elite in many sports - individually, small & large groups, teams & school environments. We provide training in the SMASH speed & agility system. If interested send your resume to Mike.

Director of Coaching

Mike Donato

mikeMike has an extensive history of sport over the last 40+ years. Tennis, martial arts, athletics, rock climbing, scuba diving, motor cycle racing. There isn't much he hasn't done. Army officer (and green beret special forces commando), engineer and programmer. Director of Coaching of Knox Little athletics for over 10 years. National rogaining champion. Coach to thousands of junior athletes of all sports. Mike's programs and progressions are the core of SMASH. He has developed the database and software that is of one the unique aspects of SMASH separating it from almost all other junior development programs. Mike also coaches for Athletics Victoria & Little Athletics in their Junior Development Squad (JDS) & Australian Little Athletics Chmampionship (ALAC).. See Edge Testing for more info on testing and analysis. Mike has overseen the speed & agility testing at the national AFL combine for 3 years.

Mike is owner & director of :
Smash Performance Academy
Edge Testing
Horizen (IT & Engineering Consulting)

And also :
LA Vic JDS Coach (Junior development squad for Little Athletics Victoria)
Team Leader (Coach) with the ALAC (Australian Little Athletics State team)
Presents at Introduction to Coaching Courses (ITCC) for LA Vic
On the LA Vic State education committee which oversees the State's coaches & officials
Director of Coaching for Knox Little Athletics (2017 State Champions & best performing centre in the State out of over 100 centres)

Qualifications - Sport
IAAF level 3 sprints, hurdles, relays
Athletics Australia level 3 advanced sprints, hurdles, relays
Athletics Australia level 3 advanced throws
Athletics Australia level 2 advanced jumps
IAAF for kids
Strength & Conditioning coach
Speed & Agility coach
AFL coach

Qualifications - Education
Bachelor of Engineering (honours)
Army Officer - Infantry
Green Beret - 2 Commando Company

riselogoSMASH works closely with evidenced based clinicians & sports scientists & the team at Rise Health Group & Rise High Performance :
Physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, sports scientists, podiatrists, dietitians, sports doctors, myotherapists, elite state, national & international level coaches.

Thanks to the T&F Coaches I work with throughout the year at various venues, clinics & sessions :
LA Vic : JDS, ALAC & ITCC coaches
Knox LAC Coaches :
Jumps Brett Lodding, Steve Morris, Rob Monteath, Alan Louey, Brooke Stratton
Throws David Kearsley
Hurdles Stephen Hough, Steve Morris
Walks Fran Attard
Middle Distance Mike Kerr
Sprints Mike Donato

We also work with & recommend the following organisations, coaches & clinicians :
Edge Testing - Athlete Performance Testing, Analysis & Reports
Rise High Performance - Physiotherapists (Leigh Iacovangelo, Leroy McClennan), Exercise Physiologists (Matt Pollard, Keegan Ziada)
Caleb McInnes - Podiatrist @ Thrive Sports Medicine
Jason Agosta - Podiatrist @ JA Podiatry
Brittany Andreola - Sports Dietitian @ Rise
Fusion Sport - Manufacturers of quality timing equipment & athlete management software
Rob Kabbas - Olympic & Commonwealth medallist, ex national president of weightlifting Australia, Phoenix Weightlifting Club
Jacqui Louder - Sports Psychology / Olympic Park Sports Medicine

The SMASH Coaches ...

SMASH trained coaches have provided the testing, athletic development & strength and conditioning programs to Rowville Sports Academy for the last 6 years. RSA is one of 3 secondary schools running major sports programs in Victoria with almost 700 athletes. Sports covered are : AFL, basketball, cricket, golf, netball, soccer & volleyball. Tennis & women's AFL are coming in 2018. We also test & screen Rowville Institute of the Arts (RIA).

Stuart Canavan

StuartWith over 20 years of experience as a physiotherapist behind him running one of the largest physiotherapy and sport science clinics in Melbourne and as a keen athlete himself, Stuart brings a wealth of knowledge, elite sport science and outstanding depth of clinical experience to SMASH. Stuart has run a 3 hour marathon, been involved in Athletics all his life and Triathlon and long distance running for many years. He is a leading expert in complex pain. He recently finished his Masters in Exercise Science to add to his list of credentials. Stuart is currently an independent physiotherapist based in Western Victoria.


Keegan Ziada

KeeganActionKeegan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training while playing NCAA D1 college soccer in the USA, receiving a scholarship for 4 years. During this time, Keegan assisted in prevention, evaluation, rehabilitation, and strength & conditioning of athletes and their injuries. He was an assistant for lacrosse, basketball, soccer, volleyball, collegiate wrestling and high school American football. His experiences also include working at Duke University Basketball camps. In 2013, Keegan graduated with his Master’s Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. Keegan continues to play at a highly competitive level of soccer in National Premier League. Keegan works every day with junior and senior athletes to ensure that they maximise their performance. He splits his day working on both major elements of sports performance - athletic development (speed & agility) and strength and conditioning. Keegan has been the S&C coach for the Eastern Ranges TAC Squad in 2015 - 2017. He now works with the Melbourne football club for both the men's & women's teams & also at Rise Health Group.


Matt Pollard

MattMatt ActionMatt decided to pursue his interest in sport and exercise by enrolling in a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science. Whilst completing this course, Matt developed a keen interest in exercise physiology and so upon completion of his undergraduate studies, decided to further his knowledge by enrolling in the Masters of Clinical Exercise Physiology at Deakin University. This involved Matt undertaking placements in a variety of settings including private practice and community health and resulted in Matt becoming a member of the team at Rise Health Group where he is gym manager, where he has been since January 2012.

Matt is particularly interested in youth athletic development and is currently working with the Rowville Sports Academy. Matt works with athletes from a variety of sports including AFL, basketball, soccer, golf, netball and volleyball, helping them to achieve their goals.

Matt has played 2 years of junior representative and 5 years of senior representative basketball at Southern Peninsula Basketball Association where he has been team captain and team MVP on 2 occasions, as well as being named the best team player once. Matt also developed a love for coaching and helping to develop young athletes and so is a Level 1 Accredited Basketball Coach and has now been a junior representative coach for the past 6 years. This has involved coaching a variety of athletes, from junior development programs for 5 to 10 year olds, to players currently in the USA college system.

Leigh Iacovangelo

LeighLeighLeigh is a director of Rise Health Group & Rise High Performance. In his role of head physiotherapist at Rise he has extensive experience working with the over 700 students & athletes every day at Rowville Sports Academy. He graduated from LaTrobe University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Leigh has a keen interest in musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy. He has worked as a Physiotherapist for Hockey Victoria and is currently working for Hawthorn Football Club (AFL). Leigh’s interests lie in the management of acute sports injuries and longstanding spinal pain. Leigh is a State level hockey player and has played for Victoria. He has an interest in tennis, cricket and golf. Leigh uses his sporting experience to best assist athletes and works closely with students at Rowville Sports Academy and particularly in their golf program.


Nic Scheelings

nicsnick sNic graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Nic is especially interested in sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapy but also enjoys working in all areas of physiotherapy. Nic has extensive sporting experience in Olympic weightlifting as well as gymnastics, football and cricket. He is passionate about using his solid strength and conditioning background to help his clients to not only return to their previous level of function but to exceed their pre injury levels. See Nic in action here & here. His official AWF lifting history is here.


Ella Henderson

ellaellaactionElla has finished her final year of a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at Deakin University, passing with honours. She will be commencing her Masters degree in Physiotherapy in 2020. She joined the Smash as an intern at the end of 2018 and coached all through 2019 with the Smash team. Throughout her studies, Ella has taken particular interest in musculoskeletal function and it’s application to performance, and is passionate about coaching fundamental skills to young learners. As a country girl, she is a competitive netball player for the Drouin Hawks and has represented the Gippsland League in multiple competitions. Ella has loved her time at Smash so far and can’t wait to see what is to come! 


Nick Leenheers

nicklnick l aflNick graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honours. Nick has been involved with Rowville Physiotherapy for many years, working with both the Rowville Junior Football Club, Knox Junior Athletics Club and Lysterfield Wolves Football Club, as well as extensively within the clinical setting. He has also worked closely with the AFL umpires for many years, and wishes to pursue his dream of one day working with the Richmond Football Club (but don't hold that against him). Nick has a passion for Australian Rules football and the development of young footballers, having played for St. Simons football club as a junior, and more recently Rowville Football club and Ferntree Gully football club where he plays senior football. Nick has a keen interest in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and enjoys working with patients to achieve a range of health goals.

Other Smash coaches :
Monique Larose (Lvl 1 T&F coach, T&F athlete & tertiary health science student)
Jay Stephan (Lvl 1 T&F coach, T&F athlete & student)

Smash Interns for 2020 :
Timothy Roberts (sports science student)

Smash Interns for 2019 :
Ella Henderson (sports science student)
Klara Vickov (sports science graduate, US tennis scholarship)
Timothy Roberts (sports science student)

Smash Interns for 2018 :
Kelsie Vickery (sports science student)
Josh Martin (sports science student)

Smash Interns for 2017 :
Meghan Keast (sport science graduate & PhD candidate)
Blake Binion (sports science student)
Claire Harms (sport science student)
Sarah Fitt (psychology student)

Previous Smash Interns :
Brendan Shacklock (sports science)
Andrew Reynolds (coach & parkour, Crossfit owner)
David Thomson (athlete & coach)
James Raftery (sports science)
Lauren Read (sports science)
Thomas Lariba-Taing (EP)
Ebony Freemantle (sports science)

Looking for a great place to intern for your degree or for practical experience? Email Head Coach Mike