July 12, 2017
I just sent out an email with all of the administrivia regarding the FLAGS meet that begins tomorrow. After I made sure that everything was set and ready for the next day, I navigated over to Facebook to see whose birthdays I missed today. Facebook had one of those “memories” for me to look at and repost, if I was so inclined. Ironically, the memory was about tapering.
I wrote the article for our old Trident team. It was the first summer FLAGs for us as a club and the swimmers were about to break out (I just knew it). When I re-read the article, so much of it pertains to our situation here at Blue Wave. I thought it would be a good idea to share with you all.
Funny. The post mentions Grace Molinaro getting a FLAGS time. It is important to note that she is now a junior national caliber swimmer who will be an important part of our Futures team this summer. As we celebrate our FLAGs swimmers, it is important to remember that FLAGs is just a small portion of our larger journey. Anyway, check out the article below. See how much rings true a few years later.
Thanks for supporting our unique program - Rich
Take Your Mark...Then Go With The Flow
July 11, 2014
We have entered the first taper period of the season. Our FLAGS swimmers are a week away from their event in Gainesville. There has been so much progress to date it is hard to distill it into a single post. There have been incredible time drops, technical gains and gains in both endurance and strength. All of these improvements means our swimmers are heading to Gainesville with a lot of confidence...and confidence is a beautiful thing.
I am going to talk about Grace Molinaro for a moment, but the gains are certainly not limited to her. She, like many of the others on our team, bought into the program 100% from day one. The main reason I am bringing up Grace is what she said to me after her 200 fly swim last weekend at SPA. She said it was the first time she ever felt "in control" throughout the entire 200 fly. Did she get tired? Sure, but it did not result in diminished technique. Since she was in control, she came in 6 seconds under the FLAGS cut.
I talk a lot to the swimmers about "Flow". In sports, flow can be described as being completely involved in the activity so that every movement follows naturally from the one before and you can use your skills to their utmost. Another one of our swimmers also described a sense of flow to me after her 100 fly. She said she knew she was going fast, but it felt easy, even at the end. Her 4 second pre taper drop also reflects the power of being in the flow of a race.
I could bring up other examples, but my posts are a tad wording to begin with, so please do not feel overlooked if you were not mentioned. Here's the takeaway.
We work hard each day to properly prepare ourselves for our season ending meets. That preparation allows us to get into the flow of our races without any fear. In other words, our careful preparation gives us the confidence we need to swim at an elite level. When you stand behind the block at season's end, expect success.
A word of caution...
Let's ensure that all of your hard work is honored by treating your body properly during your taper. Now is not the time to go water skiing, hiking or any other strenuous activity. Some people get a boost of energy around this time while others just want to sleep. Listen to your body and give it the rest it needs.
As your total volume of yardage decreases, so does your daily caloric needs. Always eat healthy and avoid all processed and sugary foods, especially as snacks while you are resting...and Starbucks, etc should be a post event treat, not a taper staple.
Be "In The Bubble"...
There was a made for TV movie when I was a teenager called, "The Boy In The Plastic Bubble". It starred a young John Travolta and was so campy that it kinda became a cult classic. Long story short. Travolta's character was born without the ability to fight off any infection. As a result, he had to live his life in a plastic bubble. Well for your taper, I want you to be in the bubble as well. Let's not share drinks, high five (high elbows work), etc; generally, be smart so you do not waste energy or risk getting sick. For fun, I found a three minute clip of the movie and posted it below...very funny. Did we actually dress like that? Oh well.
Thanks again for all of your support. I am happy with our progress and look forward to our Championship Meets.
See you at the pool - Rich