Neil L. Cook, BS, MS, MEd.
AGTC Triathlon Coach
P: 212.369.8890 x2375
Neil has extensive competitive and coaching backgrounds in running, swimming, cycling, and triathlon. He started teaching swimming in 1958, swim coach and physical education teacher since 1965. Neil has been an adult athlete since 1978 – competing in running (from the mile to Ultra Marathons) and triathlete races. He is currently coaching running, swimming, cycling and triathlon – beginner to world class competitor, men and women, individual and groups. Neil is also a Serotta certified Advance Bike Fit Specialist.
Neil has an extensive educational background in Physical Education, Coaching, Motor Learning and Neurophysiology. Neil has also been a Contributing Writer for Peak Running Performance, MetroSports NY, Inside Triathlon, MultiDay.com and Sport & Wellness (Swiss publication), Competitor.com/Running.
A successful triathlete (USAT Age Group Worlds Team Short Course Triathlon and Duathlon), runner and ultra marathoner (35 marathons, 15 ultras, close to 1,000 races and 60,000 training miles), Neil continues to complete and take on endurance challenges.
- 3rd place Pioneer 100 mile stage race
- 60 Km – 5:10:45
- 50 Km – 4:15:15
- Marathon – 2:56:17
- Half Marathon – 1:22:26
- 10 Km – 36:55
- 5 miles – 29:12
- 3.5 miles – 20:19 (NYC Corporate Challenge)
- 5 Km – 17:01 (cross country)
- 1 mile – 5:07
- BS Springfield College in Physical Education, Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Coaching.
- MS Adelphi University in Physical Education, Motor Learning.
- MEd – Columbia University/Teachers College in Motor Learning, Neurophysiology.
- PhD course work in Motor Learning, Neurophysiology completed (120+ credits) Columbia University/Teachers College.
“Do you think anyone ever went to be coached by John Wooden, Bear Bryant, Doc Councilman, Vince Lombardi or Arthur Lydiard because those five were good athletes? Or because they were great coaches? What I did as an athlete did not make me the coach I am today. Picking a coach because (s)he raced fast is just plain missing the point.”
Know as much for his charismatic persona as his coaching abilities, Neil’s athletes have not only reached their goals; they have won numerous awards, set PR’s, and had fun in the process!
“The basics of athletic activity cannot be taught. They are part of us all. We just need to discover them and develop them to our best ability.”
“You cannot motivate anyone but yourself. To enhance or cause action in another person, you must create an atmosphere around them wherein they will want to motivate themselves.”
A coach’s philosophy must match the athlete.
How I coach
Coaching is all about and only about the athlete. The coach is a flexible resource, guide and teacher, able to mold the plan to the athlete and the athlete to the plan.
There are three parts to being a successful athlete:
The foundation – the skills you have and develop.
The training you do.
The final product is determined by your desire and performance.
A coach will provide you with structure, a training plan based on proven science and experience., an objective observation, assessment of your training and performance. A coach will be a resource, about training, recovery, strategy and races and realistic and challenging goals.
Using a coach is a partnership. You and your coach are a team, each with their own responsibilities, resources and knowledge. You must have faith and trust in your coach.
Physiologically, and psychologically, you need to push beyond your comfort zone to really improve. However, then you need to allow your body and mind to recover. The recovery is where all of the benefits of training take place. You need to tread a very fine line. A coach will help you hold that edge.
I feel that adults also need to keep priorities in order – health, family, job and THEN training. If you think about it, without the first three, the training has no value and will probably never happen.
A coach can help you keep that perspective – know what you can accomplish and helping when you don’t accomplish what you had hoped to.