Since joining Team GB at the age of 15, Jamie Nicolls has travelled the world competing in snowboard competitions. In 2014 Jamie represented Team GB at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. Currently training for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Jamie talks to us about the importance of rest when competing.
how did you first get in to snowboarding?
“I first got into snowboarding when I was 7 years old. Halifax ski and snowboard Centre was only a 5 minute drive from my parents place and every time we drove to the shops we always went past it. I one day asked whether I could get a lesson and not long after that day, I was on the slope and completely hucked!”
how did you make the move to professional?
“After competing loads up and down the UK competing most weekends and doing well, I got the opportunity to join Team GB after I left high school when I was 16 years old. I guess then that’s when I knew I would be travelling around in the mountains a lot and making that next big step in my snowboard career.”
what do you love most about the sport?
“I love the way it keeps you always feeling great and full of energy. It makes me sad even when I go a day without doing sport. Sport is something that keeps you fit and feeling great! It has given me so many opportunities already in life, I have travelled the world and met some amazing people and competing in the Olympics in the biggest sporting event there is, that was the icing on the cake!”
what has been your greatest achievement in snowboarding?”
“I would say coming 6th in the Olympics in Sochi was pretty amazing for me, also placing first in Japan at one of the biggest rail contests was also a big achievement for me.”
how did you prepare for the Olympics?
“Preparing for the Olympics was tough, but not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yes I trained really hard to stay in good shape and obviously its always hard to compete against thousands of people wanting to get into that top 30 spot to have the chance to compete at the olympics, but I stayed calm and did it the way I wanted. Played it always safe with my runs and still qualified to the Olympics at the last World Cup in Canada when I placed 6th.
what does your typical training schedule look like?
“I wake up have a good breakfast then, I would snowboard on the mountain for a good 4-5 hours, head down the mountain and then head to the gym to either train or stretch and do a recovery session, depending on how hard I rode that day. Then a good dinner and head to bed!”
what motivates you?
“Learning new tricks is always gives me good motivation to want to learn more. I always like to do things with style and even if my arm feels like it wasn’t in the correct position I’ll have to keep doing it till it feels good.
what kind of injuries have you incurred over your career?
“I have had a few bumps and bruises that’s for sure plus I have had a couple knee injuries.”
what steps, as a professional snow boarder can you take in order to keep injury at a minimum?
“Eat well and make sure you always have plenty of sleep!”
how important is rest for a snowboarder in terms of both performance and recovery?
“Very important and always good to make sure you get a good nights sleep before heading up to snowboard especially when learning new tricks and trying to progress.”
what tips would you offer any fellow snowboarder on gaining quality and healthy sleep?
“If you have been up the mountain all day trust me you will be wanting to go to bed as soon as you get down, but I would say that sleep is very important and also improves performance on the mountain too.”
and finally, what advice would you give to anyone thinking of being a professional snowboarder?
“If you are wanting to be good at anything it doesn’t just happen over night, been a professional at something takes a lot of time to master and snowboarding you have to take falls and snowboard a lot. Anyone can do it, even in a place like the UK without mountains, I just rode dryslope and indoor snow centres riding six days a week when I was younger, I never gave up and even when you think your not getting anywhere, just try to vision the end goal and chase it!”
Find out more about Jamie at here.