Swim Lesson Stages
Whether you are brand new to the water or a seasoned swimmer, you will find the right swim lesson stage to take your skills to the next level at the Y.
Group swim lessons progress through eight skills-based stages and beyond. Swimmers should be comfortable and consistent in performing each skill within a stage before progressing to the next level.
You may be familiar with the Y's current group swim lessons in three main categories: Swim Starters, Swim Basics, and Swim Strokes. Beginning in January 2024, these categories will be split into eight stages. As swimmers progress through each of the eight stages, they will master key skills, become comfortable in the water, practice water safety, and learn stroke techniques
Learn more about the specific skills practiced in each swim stage below and click the button to jump to the levels within each stage.
Swimmers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while adults learn about water safety.
Stages: A and B
Ages: 6 months-3 years, with adult
Swimmers become comfortable and confident in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety if they fall into a body of water.
Ages: 3-12 years
Having mastered the fundamentals, swimmers learn additional water safety skills and build stroke techniques for front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, sidestroke, and elementary backstroke.
Ages: 3-12 years
The competition, leadership, and recreation pathways are specialized tracks after completing all swim lesson stages. Build endurance before joining swim teams, try out water sports, or build skills for future water careers.
Teen and Adult swim lessons encompass swim lesson stages 1-6. The first day of class includes assessing current skills and comfort in the water for appropriate progressive instruction ranging from swim basics to swim strokes.
Ages: 12 and older
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 or guardians learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.
Infants and toddlers are introduced to the aquatic environment through exploration and encouraged to enjoy themselves while learning about the water with the help of their parent or guardian.
Infants and toddlers explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills with the help of their parent or guardian in the water.
Swimmers learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning
two benchmark skills:
Swimmers develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to exit safely when falling into a body of water. This stage lays the foundation for a swimmer's future progress.
Swimmers focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while practicing safely exiting when falling into a body of water.
Swimmers learn to swim to safety from a longer distance when falling into a body of water. This stage also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action.
Having mastered the fundamentals, swimmers learn additional water safety skills and build stroke techniques, develop skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.
Swimmers develop stroke techniques in front and back crawl and learn the breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke.
Swimmers work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.
Swimmers refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.
Swimmers build confidence, cultivate their passion, and stay active through specialized tracks.
Aquatic Conditioning is one offering from the competitive pathway that swimmers can pursue following YMCA Swim Lessons. The program focuses on continuing to build endurance and stroke technique on all major competitive strokes and encourages swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Swimmers in this program will focus on the following important milestones: developing endurance in competitive strokes, developing skills related to competitive swimming, such as flip turns, starts, and finishes, enhancing skills, and building endurance.
Junior Lifeguard and Junior Swim Instructor are two offerings from the leadership pathway that swimmers can pursue following YMCA Swim Lessons.
These programs encourage leadership development in aquatic safety or aquatic instruction to prepare and motivate participants to become lifeguards or swim instructors through separate certification courses. Participants also focus on increasing endurance to meet the prerequisite physical competency requirements.
Sports and Games is one offering from the recreation pathway that swimmers can pursue following YMCA Swim Lessons. The program continues to build endurance on all major competitive strokes and encourages aquatic sports and games as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Swimmers in this program will focus on the following milestones: enhancing swimming skills and building endurance, developing knowledge in various aquatic skills and sports such as water polo, snorkeling, diving, and synchronized swimming, and increasing endurance in competitive strokes.
It's never too late to learn to swim, enhance your skills, or perfect your stroke.
Designed for teens and adults with no knowledge of swimming, participants in this class will become acquainted with floating, flutter kick, treading water, rudimentary rotary breathing, and basic front crawl.
Ages: 12 and older
Teen and adult swimmers will refine front crawl and back crawl strokes and learn to tread water in this class. Requirements: Must be able to complete 20 yards of rudimentary front crawl and be comfortable in deep water.
Ages: 12 and older
For teens and adults, this class is designed to provide a workout while focusing on stroke development, endurance training, butterfly stroke, and turns. Requirements: Must be able to swim four laps nonstop.
Ages: 12 and older
With a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, improving health and well-being, and supporting our neighbors, your membership will not just bring about meaningful change in yourself, but also in your community.
We've made it easier than ever to find member and account information with our new Support Center. Find instructions for managing your account, easy access to request forms, and a complete list of our policies all in one place.
The Y values the richness that diversity brings to our community and shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, improving health and well-being, and giving back. To ensure equitable access for all the Y offers affordable options at all of our 14 branches.