YMCA of Superior California

Swim Lesson Levels

In 2017, Ys across the nation launched a new Swim Lesson structure that ensures the same high-quality experience at every YMCA throughout the country. Utilizing a clear progression track based upon age and ability, participants build confidence to reach swimming skill milestones. Every day, two children die as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning is the second‑leading cause of death for children between the ages of 5 and 14. The Y is committed to making a difference in this statistics by making sure everyone has the opportunity to develop life-saving skills needed to be safe in and around the water.

Here’s how the new structure benefits you and your family:

  • Lessons are designed for students of all ages and abilities
  • Students receive personalized attention by highly-trained instructors
  • Allows us to communicate progress effectively

The nationwide lessons, referred to as Stages, features three phases – Swim Starters, Swim Basics and Swim Strokes, there are multiple stages within each based upon the swimmer’s age and ability.


Infants and young children can adjust to the water and learn basic skills with Swim Starters swim lessons at the Y. In this enrichment class, designed for children 6 months to 3 years old, one or both parents or guardians participate with their child in supervised activities that help children become more comfortable in the water.

AGES: 6 months- 3 years
TIME: 30 minutes per lesson

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.


Parents and children come together to learn and grow in Swim Starters swim lessons. In this enrichment class, designed for children 6 months to 3 years old, one or both parents or guardians participate with their child in supervised activities that help children become more comfortable in the water.

AGES: 6 months – 3 years
TIME: 30 minutes per lesson

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.


Swim Basics are introductory classes divided into three progressive stages that include the foundations of water safety and basic swimming skills, focusing on swimming to safety. This stage introduces swimmers to the pool and helps them develop safe water habits.

AGES: Preschool (3-5) or Youth (6-12)
TIME: Weekday 30-minute lessons, Weekend 45-minute lessons

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.This swim lesson stage is available for preschool (ages 3-5) or youth (ages 6-12) swimmers at most Y locations. Age groups are taught the same skills but divided according to their developmental milestones.


Swim Basics are introductory swim lessons divided into three progressive stages that include the foundations of water safety and basic swimming skills, focusing on swimming to safety. This stage encourages forward movement in water and basic self-rescue skills performed independently.

AGES:
 Preschool (3-5) or Youth (6-12)
TIME: Weekday 30-minute lessons, Weekend 45-minute lessons

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.

Swim Basics are introductory swim lessons divided into three progressive stages that include the foundations of water safety and basic swimming skills, focusing on swimming to safety. In the class, swimmers focus on swimming longer distances and are introduced to rotary breathing and integrated arm and leg action.

AGES: Preschool (3-5) or Youth (6-12)
TIME: Weekday 30-minute lessons, Weekend 45-minute lessons

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.


Swim Strokes include three stages that cover introduction and refinement of swimming strokes. In this stage, swimmers learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, refine skills and improve stamina.

AGES: Preschool (3-5) or Youth (6-12)
TIME: Weekday 30-minute lessons, Weekend 45-minute lessons

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.

Swim Strokes include three stages that cover introduction and refinement of swimming strokes. Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, refine skills and improve stamina.

AGES: 6-12
TIME:
Weekday 30-minute lessons, Weekend 45-minute lessons

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.


Swimmers refine their stroke technique on all major competitive strokes and learn about competitive swimming. Swimmers develop endurance in the competitive strokes, learn skills related to competitive swimming like racing starts and flip turns, and enhance their techniques and build endurance in deep water.

AGES: 6-12
TIME: 
Weekday 30-minute lessons, Weekend 45-minute lessons

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.


 

If you have any questions follow this link to our group lesson frequently asked questions page.

 

Swim Progression

Once a swimmer has mastered the skills required in their level, they will advance to the next level. Swimmers will receive a graduation certificate from their instructor to indicate their advancement.

Swim Test

Swim test are available any time during the following hours (no appointment needed):

  • Wednesday, 5:00 - 6:00 PM
  • Saturday, 9:30 - 10:00 AM

 

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