Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust, The Art Of A Swim Taper

by SwimSwam 3

March 29th, 2018 Lifestyle, Training

Courtesy Eney Jones

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 
Benjamin Franklin- founding father, swimmer, inventor of fins and hand paddles.

Eddie Reese the coach of The University of Texas just won his 14th NCAA Swimming title. When I asked him how you know if the taper is going to work, he responded, “You as the coach must believe, and if you believe, your swimmers will believe. The magic is in the belief”.


Faith is the belief in the unknown. You have done the training, the work, the hay, they say, is in the barn. Food has been your fuel. Routine has been your solace. Let go, let it happen.


Trust your coach, the program, yourself, the vision of your coach, the vision of your program. Let go. Don’t make it happen, let it happen.

Pixie Dust

Pixie Dust – the golden glitter like powder that grants the ability of flight. Let go, be open to the magic. Believe.

As a Masters swimmer, I find speed and strength seem to elude me daily. Even more so during a taper where speed and rest increase, and life never seems to decrease.

Taper Tips

Here are some tips for a successful taper:

  • Strength work. Keep up the strength work. Light weights or cables should be continued.
  • Calories. Be cognizant of your calories. Still eat to fuel the machine, not appease the cookie monster. Don’t add on weight.
  • Clear your head. Go to movies, meditate, or go to the park with your kids and/or the dogs. Do activities that clear your head. Think of it as an automatic reset button. Sir Roger Bannister went climbing days before he broke the 4 minute mile running in order to clear his head.
  • Find a tune up meet or event. Your pacing changes as you age. What used to be easy now can seem more labor intensive. Get to know yourself again.

To activate the Pixie Dust, just like in Peter Pan you must think happy thoughts. Control and regulate your mind. Now let it happen.

Eney Jones has achieved remarkably diverse success as a leading pool, open water and Ironman triathlon swimmer, and is also a yoga instructor.

  • Masters National Champion 100-200-400-500-1500-1650 5k freestyle 2009
  • Open Water 5k Champion Perth Australia, May 2008.
  • National Masters Champion 200-400-1500 freestyle Champion, Portland Oregon, August, 2008.
  • Overall Champion Aumakua 2.4k Maui Hawaii, September 2008
  • Waikiki Rough Water Swim 3rd place 2006, second place Overall 2009, 3rd place 2012
  • European Record Holder and Masters Swimming Champion, 2005. Records included 200, 400, 800, 1500 m freestyle
  • Over twenty time finalist in U.S. Swimming Nationals, including Olympic Trials 1980
  • Gold medal NCAA 800 yd freestyle relay 1979, silver Medalist 200 yd freestyle 1979. United States National Team 1979-1980.
  • Professional Triathlete 1983-1991. First woman out of the water in every Hawaiian Ironman participated (6).

More about Eney Jones.

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4 years ago

Eddie, I imagine, would be the first to admit that he misses the taper on at least a few swimmers every season. I suspect every coach does at that level, though Eddie is right far more often than wrong. That’s how it will be unless technology advances enough to help us bring all body systems to a peak at the same time.

In my observation Eddie misses most often with sprinters. But that is just my thought, not based on any kind of study.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  mikeh
4 years ago

In some ways, it’s difficult to say who missed tapers in his system unless they totally flop, because they’re so beaten up the rest of the season, they’re guaranteed a time drop. It’s interesting, he always says “they needed more rest” if they don’t hit it, yet also says, “if you want to get better, you have to train harder the next time.” So with Schooling, was it not a enough rest, or not training harder? You see more misses during LCM with his undergrad/pro group.

Josh Davis
4 years ago

Great article but it was Eddie’s 14th title 🙂