Most of the country, it seems, is experiencing Snowmageddon. Here in New York, we’ve been hit pretty good a couple of times with some heavy storms that dumped about a foot or more total each time. Chicago experienced the always exciting blizzard/thunder and lightning combo. Western Michigan had so much snow it drifted and covered windows. Even Dallas had it’s own little Snowmageddon for the Super Bowl, with flurries and frigid temperatures.
What I like best about Snowmageddon though, is the hype. Weathermen work themselves into a frenzy trying to out do each other with superlatives describing a ridiculous amount of snow. “SnOMG, go buy a snowblower, and salt, and eskimo clothing because this is THE STORM OF THE CENTURY!!!” Rarely do the storms live up to the hype. Sure, you get a lot of snow, you have to shovel your car out to get anywhere (downer) and you might get a snowday (bonus). But rarely does the world come to the complete standstill that is predicted. Everyone gets so caught up in the hype, though, that whole grocery store shelves get cleared, and everyone calls in sick to work. Except swim coaches of course.
Snowmageddon this year is also coinciding with another much hyped phenomenom, the taper. Now, taper is different than Snowmageddon in that it usually lives up to the hype. After a full season of hard work, it is finally rest time. And at the end of it, if all goes well, you swim freakishly fast.
However, taper is like Snowmageddon in that people tend to get caught up in the hype. Swimmers start flipping out, wanting to spend extra time doing private lessons, or video, or they freak out if they don’t hit their goal pace one practice. To everyone out there prone to Snomageddon-like freakouts around taper time, I say this “CALM DOWN.” Now is not the time to make drastic changes to technique, or try to add a bucket turn to your IM, or to suddenly go from 2 fly kicks on your backstroke walls to 12. Just tighten up what you have, and save the drastic changes for next year. Also, don’t flip out if you feel terrible, especially at the start of taper. I’m of the belief that one of the ways you can break a taper is by stressing yourself into a frenzy. It’ll come. Don’t rush it. Swimming is a sport that requires patience, and taper is no different.