USA Cycling Coach Neal Henderson named finalist for USOC award


Neal is one of three finalists for the Doc Counsilman Science Award.
Neal is one of three finalists for the Doc Counsilman Science Award.
Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 5, 2012) --
USA Cycling is pleased to announce that cycling coach Neal Henderson has been named a finalist by the U.S. Olympic Committee for its 2011 Coach of the Year awards.
The USOC recognizes outstanding National Governing Body (NGB) coaches annually through this awards program, and each NGB is eligible to nominate one coach in several different categories. Henderson was nominated by USA Cycling in the “Doc Counsilman Science Award” category.
Based out of Boulder, Colo., Henderson has been at the forefront of applying scientific principles in the lab and on the field to improve athlete performance. During the 2010-11 season, he formulated additional tools and protocols for aerodynamic drag analysis, which helped determine the specific power required for cyclists to attain a given speed. The results helped pace the U.S. women’s team pursuit squad to the silver medal at the 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Later that summer, Henderson continued aerodynamic testing to help identify the best wheel combinations for U.S. cyclists competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“We chose to nominate Neal for this award because he epitomizes what Doc Counsilman was,” explained USA Cycling’s VP of Athletics, Jim Miller. “He has a great ability to communicate with athletes and to apply sports science to the sport.”
Henderson has also been instrumental in establishing training methods based on exercise physiology, including supplemental oxygen training and a computrainer program for junior cyclists at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. The program streamlines calorimetry testing to identify substrate utilization during exercise coupled with blood lactate analysis to help long-distance endurance athletes.
The Doc Counsilman Science Award is given to a coach that has created innovative ways to use sport science or who utilizes scientific techniques and equipment as an integral part of his or her coaching methods.
USA Cycling also nominated coaches in the “Coach of the Year” and “Development Coach of the Year” categories.
BMX coach James Herrera was nominated by USA Cycling for Coach of the Year due to the significant changes he has brought to the culture of BMX in the U.S. Not only does he bring a sport science focus to the sport, but he plays a significant role in U.S. riders consistently being ranked number-one in the world.
USA Cycling also honored Development Coach Larry Nolan with a nomination for Development Coach of the Year.  Nolan runs a highly successful USA Cycling Regional Development each summer in California. In addition, he is a significant contributor to junior development efforts through his national-level junior program, The Specialized Junior Development Program.  
The USOC named three finalists in each category and the winners will be announced during a welcome reception on Tuesday, June 19, as part of the 2012 National Coaching Conference at the NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis.
To see the full USOC press release and a complete list of awards finalists, please click here.

This Article Updated April 5, 2012 @ 01:59 PM For more information contact: