How it All Began
APEX Coaching has been helping athletes Achieve Peak Endurance eXperiences since 1999. From our humble beginnings to where we are today, we call Boulder, Colorado home. After finishing his Masters Degree at Colorado University – Boulder, Neal Henderson founded APEX Coaching & Consulting. Starting with the name, Neal made sure that the purpose of APEX Coaching was directed to be something much bigger than the coaches behind the athletes, staying away from a self-named coaching company.
During his time as the Director of the Sports Science Department at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine (BCSM), Neal continued to refine APEX Coaching and the growing number of athletes underneath him. Despite the company having a small footprint, APEX athletes were making an impressive impact in the world of endurance sports. Athletes such as Cam Dye, Evelyn Stevens, and Taylor Phinney were/are at the forefront. In 2013, Neal decided that it was the right time to make the jump to coaching full time, as well as broaden the reach APEX Coaching had by bringing on new coaches and new athletes.
In 2017, APEX Coaching opened its own sport performance lab with the goal of providing elite and amateur athletes with the resources they need to accomplish their respective goals. The Hub Concept has come to life, and new technologies and services are continuously being evaluated to be adopted into the lab.
The Hub Concept
The “Hub,” as it is commonly referred to, serves as a place for coaches and athletes alike to meet, exchange knowledge, and take advantage of the services APEX Coaching has to offer. The APEX Hub houses services such as 3D Bike Fitting, MAT, Supplemental Oxygen, VO2 Testing, Lactate Testing, and much more. New technologies, tools and services are added when they “check the box” for being a necessary requirement for athletes to succeed at the highest level. When an athlete decides to be coached by APEX, they receive these services in addition to coaching, as APEX feels that these services are valuable to endurance athletes of all abilities.
The coaching model is stronger when coaches are provided with a space to establish a close-knit relationship with other coaches. Every coach brings a wealth of knowledge to APEX Coaching, and the “Hub” allows for athletes and coaches alike to learn and collaborate with one another. While coaching remotely is possible thanks to the advancement of technology, APEX feels strongly that it’s coaches are more knowledgeable when they are together. Hence the reason why all APEX coaches spend the majority of their time in Boulder, Colorado.
The athlete comes first – every good coach knows this basic concept. APEX takes this a step further by taking a “team” approach to coaching. While every athlete has a main coach, they are also encouraged to utilize all of the other coaches under the APEX umbrella. Why is this? Because every APEX Coach brings a diverse wealth of knowledge that can benefit each athlete in a unique way. This selfless approach to coaching is embraced within the “Hub,” as athletes are frequently referred to other coaches for advice and expertise. For example, an athlete is prepping for the Olympics, and wishes to have a consultation with an APEX Coach that has raced in the Olympics previously. Another example is an age-group triathlete that struggles with nutrition, thus he/she is forwarded to APEX’s nutrition coach. Simple collaborations like these can be priceless opportunities for athletes, and can often be the difference in reaching one’s athletic goals.
Striving for Knowledge Diversity
Just as selfless coaching is the backbone of APEX Coaching, the mission to be diverse is just as strong. While APEX Coaches are diverse as a whole, they are also encouraged to be diverse themselves, and continue to develop their self-identified weaknesses. A well-diversified coach has more tools in his/her own toolbox to assist their athletes. For example, an endurance coach that is also a certified physiologist has a wealth of new knowledge to the advantage of the athlete. The diversity of APEX Coaches expands to Nurses, Bike Fitters, MAT Specialists, Strength Coaches, Teachers, Nutritionists, and more.
Committed to More Than the Finish Line
APEX exists for development beyond endurance sports. Just as APEX strives to help our athletes achieve their goals, we want our athletes to be outstanding members of the community when their time at APEX Coaching is over. In the end, the growth of endurance sports depends on the quality of the people involved. Just as APEX Coaches are committed to athletic development, they want to grow endurance sports through the quality of the people racing, and behind the scenes.