Cross Collective Ski Coach Jake Richardson is interviewed in NuroKor's 'Meet the Ambassador' Series

Cross Collective Ski Coach Jake Richardson is interviewed in NuroKor's 'Meet the Ambassador' Series

Jake Richardson is the inspiration behind The Cross Collective, an organisation that provides ski cross-training for aspiring children and juniors. As an ex-Alpine skier, Jake established the ski academy to create the backbone of high quality young Ski Cross racers. To enable them to enter Europa Cup, World Cup and Olympic levels with the greatest chance of success.

How did you get into ski coaching? 

As an ex-Alpine skier who had spent my university years competing around the world, it seemed like the logical next step. I thought I was done with the ski world in 2010, but I soon missed it after selling double glazed windows for a few hours!

Why do you love ski cross? 

It combines two of my favourite things; speed and jumps. I was always told off by my coaches for sneaking into the snowpark when I was an athlete ‘in case of injury’, so when I got an opportunity to give Ski Cross a shot as a coach, I jumped at the opportunity.

What does your usual day look like? 

I’m a big fan of taking a ski break during the summer to keep the job passion going, so my day structure depends on the time of year. In the winter, our kids wake up at 7am (myself 7.15 am!) We have breakfast, then the bus leaves at 8. Three minutes to the lift than 15 minutes up the lift. A quick warm-up at the top of the ski cross track. Free run, slow technical skiing, followed by two runs in the fun park to loosen up. Next, we’re into the track for the inspection. Run in singles for the first two runs, then into heats. In training we do a number of things - we can focus on starts, rollers, our line through the turns, slipstreams, jumps… the list goes on! 

We have lunch at 11.45 and we’re back onto the track after lunch then home at 1400 for some downtime and ski tuning before school at 1530 for two hours. At 1730 we head to the local trampoline park where we run circuits, then allow the team to bounce the rest of their energy away before we leave. 1930 dinner. After dinner scrape skis, movie, card games and bed.

 In the summer, I wake up around the same time (father of a baby and toddler - so no such thing as a lay-in!) Spend our days as a family embracing the quick weeks and ever-changing children’s developing minds. Relax, recharge and prepare for the next season that is always right around the corner.

 What is your proudest moment? 

From a personal perspective; delivering my second child on the living room floor because the midwives didn’t arrive in time. From a professional perspective; coaching a boy to be a Super G English Alpine Champion in 2018, a race I won 15 years before. Both brought tears to my eyes!

If you weren't a coach, what would you be? 

As skiing has been a part of my whole life, I ask myself this question all the time. Without it, I wouldn’t have met my wife in Colorado, had the kids I have now. I was a keen traveler before the family so I would have made a business of that somehow!

What injuries have you had and how did/ do they affect you? 

On separate occasions, I’ve broken both my legs, fractured my back, and broken both my arms. One of the worst was a medial ligament tear in 2015 since I focused on repairing that, it made me realise how bad my right knee is. The knee grinds and gives way, it’s due to an operation at some point but it’s just picking the right time (or getting allocated the right time).

How does NuroKor help you and your team manage your recovery?

The pads mainly go on the knees and ease pain and swelling which keeps me good for the following day. I’m not really a coach who stands on a hill and skis 100 meters a day, I rip round the mountain as much as they do (and try not to get overtaken), sometimes even in the track. With the team, it’s there for pre-existing injuries as it is for me. 

Where do you and your team use it? 

It’s mainly used on the legs as they are the main parts of the body that take the hit. My wife uses it for her back as the two kids have taken a strain on her body.

What's next for you? Next big goal?

Personally, to start a business to fill in the weekends of the summer. (keeping weekdays free for family) Serving oysters and champagne from a 50-year-old Piaggio Ape, as well as distributing our own wine (see @blushbrothers in a few weeks time!)

With the ski team - find an investor to help purchase us a bigger home base here in Crans Montana!