Houmard, J. A., & Johns, R. A. (1994). Effects of taper on swim performance: practical implications. Sports Medicine, 17, 224-232.
Most swimmers and coaches know about the all important time period in the season known as “the Taper”. Swimmers look forward to this time with excitement and joy. They see that the championships are at hand and the hard work is gone. It is a time for swimmers to reap the rewards of all of their training and swim their best.
A training program must take into account a child's health and well-being (short and long-term), unique physiological responses to exercise and training, specific nutritional requirements associated with growth, and a variety of psychological considerations. The team that prepares the child athlete must include the parents. This paper focuses on the physiological requirements.
Freestyle kicking is a simplistic complex issue. Many people can perform the task, but are unable to articulate the task. On the other hand, many people can articulate the movement, but can not perform the task. This simplistic complexity can be frustrating for many beginners, especially in Master's programs who have maladaptive bodies and muscles.
When considering the concept of taper we must differentiate between the age group swimmer whose body and biological systems are not fully developed and the senior swimmer with more mature and developed biological systems. The volumes, intensities and frequency (number of practices) of training for age group swimmers and senior swimmers should be different. When considering the biological, maturity and training differences between age group swimmers and senior swimmers we can conclude that different types of tapers would be necessary to optimize the performance of each group. In this article we will discuss taper specifically as it relates to the senior swimmer.