The Taper phase of the season comes towards the end of a season or when swimmers are approaching a championship meet that is a primary focus of seasonal training. When Tapering, the rest a swimmer needs in the water is just as important as the rest they need out of the water.
It is common for swimmers tapering to experience increased energy levels and heightened emotions as their body stores energy and prepares mentally for the upcoming competition.
Stay relaxed: find activities to do that will keep you indoors, out of the sun and cool. Take your mind off the upcoming competition, watch a movie, read a book….
Stay off your feet: Allow your legs to rest
Fight the Urge to expend energy: When you feel a surge of energy and want to get outside and do something active, remind yourself to conserve all that energy, to focus it all on the three day meet coming up.
Carbo Load: It Works. Eat foods high in carbohydrates to help build up your energy stores. Pasta, Pancakes, Fruit, and Potatoes (no fried foods), are excellent sources of Carbohydrates. The swimmers have three days of racing and up to 17 Events. Swimmers are pushing their bodies 100% on each individual race. If the energy store isn’t there they can deplete themselves very easily and very quickly.
Drink Water: You don’t have to wait until the meet to start hydrating. “Soak The Sponge” Hydrate your system, Flush it out and get it moving fast. Make sure you have a water bottle at the meet.
Monitor your inner monologue : It’s time to race and it’s easy to let the negativity creep in. Your emotions are heightened and susceptible. Eliminate the negative thoughts and options replace them with positive statements and scenarios. Go back to the beginning of a negative thought and start the sentence over with something positive. “Maybe” is a bad word, “I think I can” implies doubt and “I’ll Try” leaves failure as an option. Engage in only “Do, Did, or Done statements”. Do it or Don’t do it. You didn’t spend 20 hours week training for a Championship Meet to “try something”. You worked hard now get it done!