Shave and Taper Time

Posted on February 8, 2011


After a number of you got all over me today at the pool deck saying, “Where in the heck have you been lately on your blog?”  I thought okay already!  I am on it like a dog on a honey bun.  So here I am.

I was going to talk about these two things next week during FLAGs week (the old Florida Swimming Junior Olympics), but since some of you forced my hand (Ha!) this will give you time to methodically prepare.  Shave and Taper: My favorite as a swimmer and my favorite as a coach.


What I used to do when I was a swimmer, and remember, I was extremely strict with my shaving and taper ritual….it was a “ritual” with me.  I shaved 1 small body part at a time, slowly, with 1 razor.  Rinsed the razor after every 5-7 inches of shaving.  Ridiculous, I know.  But that’s what I felt was the best way to do it to make me swim faster than anyone else. After the calf and shin part of the leg, I threw the razor away. After the quads and hamstrings, I threw that razor away. Chest and abs…threw away, back…threw away!

1 arm, 1 razor, etc. Why?  Because I was even competitive even with shaving.  I wanted the best shave someone could have!  Anyway, shaving is a ritual that not only gets you as smooth as silk, but it also gets your mind in the state it needs to be in:  Very focused aggression, with a calm about yourself.

Needed Items:

Hot water in a bowl (replaced after each body part mentioned above)
8 razors, quad blades
Partner to shave your back
Music for your ears, built for speed

Good luck, go slow and go against the rough part of your hair–against the grain!


Tapering was my utmost favorite and unrivaling method. I loved tapering and acting like I was the laziest person known the man.  “Mom, get me this, mom get me that.”  Getting out of the pool with the ladder the last week of taper. NOT walking up stairs fast, but very slowly, “sloth-like.”  I did write a previous post on this November 18, 2009, about taper. Check it out. A must read on all the aspects, of taper.

So, for you newbies asking what taper is… Taper is nothing more than resting and resting more. Sprinting then resting, sprinting more, hypoxic overload, fine tuning turns, starts, and fine-tuning the mind.

So by posting this a bit early, you now have the time to methodically prepare your secret recipe for your own speed and confidence.  How about a little shave and taper with your meet?

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