Boulder Center for Sports Medicine coach Neal Henderson will have his hands full in London during the upcoming Olympics coaching Boulder cyclists Taylor Phinney and Evelyn Stevens. Additionally, two more of his athletes, local triathlete Flora Duffy, who will represent Bermuda, and cyclist Roman Kreuziger of the Czch Republic will be competing in London. Neal is also the coach for the US Women's pursuit team. How does he do it all? By combing the science of data with the art of really knowing his athletes.
From the Boulder I Journal article Boulder Coach Preps for Olympic Juggling Act
Henderson is a science nerd who specializes in transforming physiological testing and data into practical applications, obsessing over each tenth of a performance impact percent.
He trains a total of four Olympians scheduled to compete in London in addition to coaching the medal-contending women’s team pursuit (silver medalists at the 2011 UCI track cycling world championships) and a cadre of junior and masters cyclists.
“Sifting through (data) is critical,” Henderson said. “The background scientific knowledge is critical to understanding this information, and then literally just the hours of time and years of looking at a broad range of that information coming in.
From the DenverPost Story: Cycling Coach Neal Henderson Propels Olympians Without Being Pushy
Though sports science is his background, having earned his master's in kinesiology and applied physiology at CU in 1999, Henderson understands "these guys and gals aren't robots."
"The big thing is this combination of art and science," Henderson said of his coaching philosophy. "For me, it's about integration. ... Being able to look at them in a workout and know that Flora's tired. I can tell. Or that Evy (Stevens) lost her sense of humor. She needs a couple of days off. ... It's working with these athletes and getting to understand them."