The Art of Tapering & Peaking


A few thoughts on taper and peaking, the swim teams I work with are in this process now with championship meets all coming in the next month so this has been on my mind.

The effectiveness of the taper and the subsequent peaking is dependent on the content and quality of the work leading up to the taper. In short if you have not done the work you can taper forever and nothing will happen. You can’t taper from a taper.

Taper actually begins with the first training session of the training year. Start with the end clearly in mind. It is all a process.

The measure of a sound effective training program is the ability to produce the desired results at the appointed time – Deliver on the day!

In the taper often what you do not do is as important as what you actually do.

In the taper and peaking forget the science, now it is all about the art of coaching. Know your athletes and give them what they need to feel good not what the textbook says is best.

Above all as the old cowboy told me years ago don’t forget to dance the last dance with the girl you brought to the dance. No surprises and nothing new just reinforce what you have done all year to prepare.

Take a giant step onto the podium!

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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