The Days of Taper Told in Photos

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The Days of Taper Told in Photos

You know it, you love it, you look forward to it all year. Taper truly is a swimmer’s dream. Not only does it signal the fastest swimming of the year, it often leaves us with more energy than we’ve had all year. These photos tell the story of taper in a way that all swimmers know to be true.

1. The Week Before


Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

The most painful time of the year is easily the week leading up to taper. Those last few hard workouts are often the most brutal of the season.

2. The First Day Confusion


Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Okay, so this is likely harder than you remember it. You forgot that just because taper has started doesn’t mean you’re swimming a 500 and then going home.

3. A Few Days In


Photo Courtesy: Jim Agnew

You forgot what it was like to feel so awake! You’re likely overflowing with energy, but know you can’t use it, which is much harder than you expected.

4. The Broken Swim


Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Self esteem and confidence are likely soaring at this point. You can’t wait to get to the meet and show off what you’ve worked on.

5. Questioning Your Taper


Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Oh no… are you too ready? Did you let off too early? The panicking has likely set in as the meet gets closer, but just relax and trust your coach and your training.

6. The Day Before


Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Your energy, nerves, and excitement are overflowing. You have never been so ready to get in and race with all that extra energy you’ve been saving up.

7. The First Race


Photo Courtesy: Kara Sekenski

It is finally time to get on the block and race. You couldn’t be more excited to get in that pool shaved, tapered, and ready to go.

8. The Last Race

Photo Courtesy: Patrick McLaughlin

Photo Courtesy: Patrick McLaughlin

You’re likely relying on your teammates to carry you through at this point. You’re ready to finish off this meet strong, but last week’s energy seems crazy.

9. After the Meet

Alicia Coutts collapses on pool deck after another hard set at training. University of Auburn Aquatic Centre, Alabama USA. Australian Olympic Swimming Team are in their final training staging Camp before heading over to the Rio2016 Olympic Games. July 30 2016. Photo by Delly Carr. Pic credit mandatory for complimentary exclusive editorial usage. Thank You.

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Tired, exhausted, and ready for a whole lot of sleep. Goodbye taper, hello bed.

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


  1. Michelle Romy Nieuwstad

    Bryce Pendock Caitlin Kat Lauren Billson Louisa de Jongh Emma Chelius Matthew Alexander Stephano Roodt

  2. Shaheen Alghofari

    JoeStott I have no idea what this concept is must be foreign

    • Denise Connolly

      Actually no…my daughter has done Tapering in her college swim team in Massachusetts. 🙂

    • Joe Stott

      Woah I don’t think your joke translated to American Shaheen

    • Shaheen Alghofari

      Hahahaha it’s ok her daughter did do taper tbf Joe Stott Denise Connolly

  3. Zach Burr

    It’s also important to understanding each individual athlete, because everyone tapers differently, the leaner and thinner the swimmer less time is needed for taper, but swimmers with more muscle mass need more time. Tapers can be tricky especially with longer meets. I’ve seen people swim amazing on the first day and turn to shit by the end of the meet or vise-versa. Nothing sucks worse than working your ass off all year then fucking up your taper.

  4. Swim Giggles LLC

    We think we were late bloomers, but have experienced parts of the taper, just not 100%! 🙂

  5. Yankin Ng

    Kabe Tsang kind of me lol

  6. Karen Mills

    Michael Hudspith – haha ?

  7. John Fellows

    Kent Fellows. Focus…Believe…Succeed.

  8. Alex Olsen

    Kira Kuzemchuk ‘the broken race’ lol

  9. Janet Huntley

    Great little bit of swim info for our “littles”.

    • Élodie Hehlen

      Je vois pas du tout de quoi tu parles ??