Youth Swim Lessons

LIFE-SAVING SKILLS MADE FUN

Our swim lessons are about more than just the techniques and skills. They are about nurturing swimming skills, developing self-esteem and creating positive experiences that will last a lifetime. When it comes to swimming and water safety, no one is trusted more than the YMCA, America's Swim Instructor. In fact, group swim instruction was developed by the YMCA in 1906. Explore swim lesson stages for children ages 6 months - 12 years below.

Swim Starters - Stage A: Water Discovery

AGES: 6 months- 3 years
TIME: 30 minutes per lesson
FEES: Vary by center

In Water Discovery, infants and toddlers are introduced to the aquatics environment.

Accompanied by a parent or guardian, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents and guardians learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.

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Swim Starters - Stage B: Water Exploration

AGES: 6 months - 3 years
TIME: 30 minutes per lesson
FEES: Vary by center

Water Exploration focuses on learning body positions, blowing bubbles and practicing fundamental safety and aquatic skills.

Accompanied by a parent or guardian, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents and guardians learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.

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Swim Basics - Stage 1: Water Acclimation

AGES: Preschool (3-5) or Youth (6-12)
TIME: 35 minutes per lesson
FEES: Vary by center

Water Acclimation is the first stage of swim lessons and focuses on skills for beginners. In Water Acclimation, students are introduced to the pool and develop safe water habits in a fun and encouraging environment. Students become comfortable with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit a body of water in the event they fall in. This introductory stage builds the foundation for the child's future progress in swimming.

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Swim Basics - Stage 2: Water Movement

AGES: Preschool (3-5) or Youth (6-12)
TIME: 35 minutes per lesson
FEES: Vary by center

Water Movement is the second stage of swim lessons. In this stage, students focus on body position and control, forward movement, directional change and basic self-rescue skills. This stage also reinforces how to safely exit a body of water in the event of falling in.

This swim lesson stage is available for preschool (ages 3-5) and youth (ages 6-12) swimmers at most Y centers. 

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Swim Basics - Stage 3: Water Stamina

AGES: Preschool (3-5) or Youth (6-12)
TIME: 35 minutes per lesson
FEES: Vary by center

Water Stamina is the third stage of swim lessons and the final stage in the Swim Basics phase. In this stage, students learn basic stroke techniques, rotary breathing and integrated arm and leg action. In the event they fall into a body of water, children learn how to swim, move to safety and exit.

This swim lesson stage is available for preschool (ages 3-5) and youth (ages 6-12) swimmers at most Y centers. 

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Swim Strokes - Stage 4: Stroke Introduction

AGES: Preschool (3-5) or Youth (6-12)
TIME: 35 minutes per lesson
FEES: Vary by center

Stroke Introduction is the fourth stage of swim lessons and the first in the Swim Strokes category. Students develop the basic frontcrawl and backcrawl strokes and are introduced to components of the breaststroke and butterfly strokes. Students also build endurance and practice safety techniques for deep water.

This stage is available for preschool (ages 3-5) and youth (ages 6-12) at most centers.

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Swim Strokes - Stage 5: Stroke Development

AGES: 6-12
TIME: 45 minutes per lesson
FEES: Vary by center

Stroke Development is the fifth stage of swim lessons. Students continue to work on their stroke techniques and are introduced to all competitive strokes. Swimmers develop stamina in the basic frontcrawl and backcrawl strokes, learn the breast and butterfly strokes. Deep water safety and endurance are also reinforced

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Swim Strokes - Stage 6: Stroke Mechanics

AGES: 6-12
TIME: 45 minutes per lesson
FEES: Vary by center

For kids able to swim the competitive strokes, Stroke Techniques offer an opportunity to further develop skills and form. Classes use drills to improve technique and also include instruction and practice on turns and streamlines.

Swimmers ready for this stage are encouraged to explore Swim Club at centers that do not offer the Stroke Mechanics swim lesson level. 

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Why Choose Swim Lessons at the Y?

The Y has a long tradition of providing effective, high-quality swim lesson programs that teach people of all ages to have fun and be safe around the water. In fact, group swim lessons started at the Y in 1909. All Y swim lessons are taught by swim instructors certified by the YMCA of the USA.

Our curriculum focuses on a core group of water skills every person needs to be safe around water. These core skills naturally progress to competitive swim strokes. Students begin with and build upon skills they are ready to learn, helping them to celebrate their successes, build self-confidence, and enjoy learning to swim and water safety.

What Swim Lesson Stage is Appropriate?

Free swim assessments are available to determine the appropriate swim lesson stage for each student. Students who took lessons under the previous Y swim lesson structure (with level names like Pike, Ray, Eel) can easily transition to the new curriculum. Discuss what level is appropriate with the Aquatics Director at your Y location, or register for the phase that is most appropriate for the swimmer’s abilities and our trained staff will place students in the correct phase during the first lesson. Contact the Y for more information on swim lessons and swim assessments.

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