We asked elite athletes what their favorite taper activity was during practice.
2004, 2008 Olympian
“Playing ‘Bean’ (a variation on the game of tag) was a favorite during warm-up and taper at USC and on the National Team. It drove the coaches crazy!”
Kara Lynn Joyce
2004, 2008, 2012 Olympian
“Getting my nails done. As far as I’m concerned, pretty nails = fast swimming.”
2000, 2004, Olympian
“Taper was the only time I ever played video games. I once got carried away with God of War on a World Championships trip. After days of frenetic button-mashing, I ended up wasting a lot of energy and seriously fatigued my forearms. I did not swim well at that meet.”
“Bubble rings! I also love the fact that practices are shorter!“
“I’m not a huge fan of taper —I know, shocking! But when I do taper, I usually try to allow my body to recover by sleeping a lot. This usually results in a lot of binge-watching of some of my favorite TV shows (Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory).”
“Getting a pedicure. It’s relaxing and you have great-looking toes on the blocks!“
National Team Member
“Doing 50s at 200 pace.”
“I would do a progression at the end of practice off the blocks. I’d start with a 25 on Monday and each day, I’d add a 25 and try to hit my split from the day before.
I liked it for trying to work on my speed, which I didn’t have an abundance of as a distance swimmer.”