Kids from 6 to 12 can progress through six stages of classes as they learn to swim, work to refine strokes, and advance their water skills.

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The next eight-week session of classes begins the week of January 2, 2019. Registration opens for YMCA members on December 15, 2018, and for community members on December 22, 2018.

Choose a Level

Not sure which lesson is the right fit? Use our Swim Lesson Selector (PDF) to assess the student, or contact the Aquatics Director at your branch.

Stage 1 Water Acclimation
  • Age: 5-12 years
  • Class length: 45 minutes
  • Qualification: None needed. This class is for kids who aren’t yet comfortable going under water voluntarily.
  • Skills Practiced:
    ○ Bob to submerge in water
    ○ Front and back glide to the wall for 5 feet with no help
    ○ Front and back float for 10 seconds with help
    ○ Roll from back to front and front to back with help
    ○ Jump, push, turn, grab with help
    ○ Swim, float, swim 10 feet with help
    ○ Exit the water

Kids develop comfort with underwater exploration and are introduced to basic self-rescue skills performed with assistance.

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Stage 2 Water Movement
  • Age: 5-12 years
  • Class length: 45 minutes
  • Qualification: Child must be able to demonstrate all Stage 1 skills as follows:
    ○ Go underwater and comfortable open eyes without goggles
    ○ Float on front and back with minimal assistance
    ○ Jump into the pool, submerge, and return to the wall with assistance
    ○ This class is for kids who are not able to do a front and back float on their own.
  • Skills Practiced:
    ○ Submerge to look at an object on the bottom of the pool
    ○ Front and back glide to the wall for 5 feet
    ○ Front and back float for 10 seconds
    ○ Roll from back to front and front to back
    ○ Jump, push, turn, grab
    ○ Swim, float, swim 5 yards
    ○ Tread water near the wall for 10 seconds
    ○ Exit the water

Kids focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water, while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into water.

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Stage 3 Water Stamina
  • Age: 5-12 years
  • Class length: 45 minutes
  • Qualification: Child must be able to demonstrate all Stage 2 skills as follows:
    ○ Float on front and back unassisted
    ○ Push off the wall on stomach with face submerged for 10 feet unassisted
    ○ Swim, float, swim 15 feet unassisted
    ○ Jump into deep water and return to the wall unassisted
    ○ This class is for kids who are not able to swim 10-15 yards on their front and back.
  • Skills Practiced:
    ○ Retrieve an object in chest-deep water
    ○ Swim on front and back for 10 yards
    ○ Roll from back to front and front to back
    ○ Jump, push, turn, grab 10 yards
    ○ Swim, float, swim 15 yards
    ○ Tread water for 30 seconds
    ○ Exit the water

Kids learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages. The class also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm/leg action.

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Stage 4 Stroke Introduction
  • Age: 5-12 years
  • Class length: 45 minutes
  • Qualification: Child must be able to demonstrate all Stage 3 skills as follows:
    ○ Submerge and retrieve an object in chest-deep water
    ○ Swim front crawl 15 yards while taking a breath
    ○ Swim, float, swim 15 yards
    ○ Jump in and tread water for 30 seconds
    ○ Swim to wall and exit
    ○ This class is for kids who are not able to swim 15 yards of front and back crawl.
  • Skills Practiced:
    ○ Swim the front crawl with rotary breathing for 15 yards
    ○ Breaststroke kick for 15 yards
    ○ Butterfly kick for 15 yards
    ○ Elementary backstroke for 15 yards
    ○ Dive from a sitting position
    ○ Tread water using a scissor and whip kick for one minute
    ○ Swim any combination of strokes for 25 yards

Having mastered the fundamentals, kids learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique.

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Stage 5 Stroke Development
  • Age: 5-12 years
  • Class length: 45 minutes
  • Qualification: Child must be able to demonstrate all Stage 4 skills as follows:
    ○ Front crawl and back crawl 25 yards
    ○ Swim breaststroke kick and dolphin kick 15 yards
    ○ Tread water using multiple kicks for 1 minute
    ○ This class is for kids who are not able swim the front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool.
  • Skills Practiced:
    ○ Swim the front crawl with bent-arm recovery for 25 yards
    ○ Breaststroke for 25 yards
    ○ Butterfly with simultaneous arm action and kick for 15 yards
    ○ Back crawl for 25 yards
    ○ Sidestroke for 25 yards
    ○ Dive from a kneeling position
    ○ Tread water using a scissor and whip kick for 2 minutes
  • ○ Swim any combination of strokes for 50 yards

Students work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive swimming strokes.

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Stage 6 Stroke Mechanics
  • Age: 5-12 years
  • Class length: 45 minutes
  • Qualification: Child must be able to demonstrate all Stage 5 skills as follows:
    ○ Swim the front crawl with bent-arm recovery for 25 yards
    ○ Swim back crawl with stroke rotation for 25 yards
    ○ Swim butterfly with over arm recovery
    ○ Swim breaststroke for 25 yards achieving stroke rhythm
    ○ Dive from kneeling position
    ○ This class is for kids who are not able swim the front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool and back.
  • Skills Practiced:
    ○ Swim the front crawl for 50 yards and do a flip turn
    ○ Breaststroke for 50 yards and do an open turn
    ○ Butterfly for 25 yards
    ○ Back crawl for 25 yards and do a flip turn
    ○ Sidestroke or elementary backstroke for 50 yards
    ○ Dive from a standing position
    ○ Swim any combination of strokes for 150 yards
  • ○ Swim any combination of strokes for 50 yards

Students refine stroke technique on the major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.

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Contact Us

Questions about swimming at the Y? Our branch aquatics directors are here to help you.