5 Things to Understand About Taper

Photo Courtesy: Keene State Swimming

By Jacob Riley, Swimming World College Intern.

Most seasons are over at this point, but there are a couple more championship meets coming up. That means that there are a lot of swimmers out there on taper right now. Taper is a magical thing that every swimmer dreams about during the regular season. Here are some things you need to understand about taper.

1. It does not happen overnight

Most swimmers usually feel phenomenal right before their championship meet, but this is not an overnight process. Feeling good in the water is a process that takes multiple weeks to acquire. So if it takes you a little bit longer to feel good, don’t worry. Trust in the process.

2. It is all about feel.


Photo Courtesy: Maddie Meisel

Taper is all about feeling good in the water. If you can feel good in the water, you will end up throwing down a fast swim. Feel is one of the most important things during championship meets because it can make or break your swim.

3. Rest is also a crucial factor.

Another very important aspect about taper is the resting factor. In the weeks before your championship meet make sure to not do anything that you wouldn’t do while training. The extra rest always helps when staring down a three to five day meet.

4. Taper is detail oriented.

Andrew Showronek starts his heat of the 200 freestyle.

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The best way to have the best race you can have is to execute your races with the utmost efficiency that you can. During this week or two of taper it is important to continually think about how you want to execute your race. Most problems during the championship season arise from a poor execution of the race. It is absolutely critical to continually think about what you’re doing right in your race, and what you’re doing wrong.

5. Trust in your coaches in regards to your taper.

Your coaches have been planning your season out since the beginning of fall. It is important to follow through with what they have planned out for you. One of my most important pieces of advice, in regards to swimming, is to trust in the process. I believe that if you trust your coaches plans for you, you will go far.

If you keep these tidbits in the back of your mind during your current taper, or your next, you can be more successful in accomplishing what you want to accomplish. So good luck to everybody, and have a great end to taper season!

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.


  1. Jenny Wolff

    Terry Kunick…good explanation of taper

  2. Terry Kunick

    Thank you. Very interesting. Happy to hear Nick is doing great at Nationals!!!!!!

  3. Joyce Kysor

    Terry Kunick Does Aquatherapy count? I’ve been tapering off…

  4. Terry Kunick

    Joyce Kysor you tapered off about a decade ago!!!!! But it is working well.