Teaching Tuesday - Pre-Taper Preparation
Teaching Tuesday: Pre-taper Preparation

The end of the current short course season is officially upon us, as meets quickly approach across the country for all swimmers, meaning that championship season is here! With Age Group Sections, Senior Sectionals, Divisionals, NCAA’s, there is a meet for almost everyone. The next few weeks, I want to focus on how to prepare for championship season so that every athlete can utilize these opportunities and swim their absolute best!

I call the few weeks before taper hits, the “taper blues”. This is because I usually have taper on my mind and I am ready for rest and easier practices, but I still have some time until that happens! During these weeks there can be a lack of focus and even a lack of effort, so I wanted to share some tips on how to beat these taper blues, and get the best out of training before your big meet.

  • Make some goals

I think it is important to keep goals in mind, and during these few weeks I even make goals of things I’d like to work on before racing. I spend extra time working on the little things such as starts, turns, and even my stroke. It is important to stay focused on what you want to accomplish, for example my goal may be to do five kicks off every turn that week, so it helps me to push myself! They don’t have to be big goals, and your coach can also share some ideas on what to work on so you can perfect your upcoming races.

  • Continue eating and drinking well

Hydration and a good eating habit is very important to keep up! Sometimes I don’t eat as well and this can make me feel lethargic and my training won’t be as good. So make sure you are drinking enough for training and also hitting all of the food groups so you can have enough energy to make it through the last few weeks of tough training.

  • Visualize your race

Many elite athletes have expressed to me the importance of focusing on your race and even imagining it! Visualization of a race is the process of imagining and walking through your whole pre-race routine and also your race, thinking of every single detail! This usually gets me excited to race and helps me think of my upcoming race strategy that I would like to implement.

These tips are all beneficial as you attack those last few weeks of training!

Teaching Tuesday Contribution by Megan Kingsley