New YMCA Swim Lessons Overview

Coming to the WSYMCA in September 2017

As America’s Swim Instructor, the Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming—teaching more than one million kids a year swimming and water safety skills.

The latest evolution of Y Swim Lessons accommodates varying abilities to help foster a sense of achievement as swimmers’ progress between levels. Through this approach, advanced swimmers flow more easily to higher levels while swimmers who need more instruction can learn at their own pace. This results in more confident swimmers who stick with lessons and develop a love for swimming that can last a lifetime.

The NEW YMCA Swim Lessons curriculum was developed by a group of aquatic experts and YMCA associations who pooled (pun intended!) their knowlege to help identify and vet a set of skill progressions and supproting activities. The program was then field-tested at YMCAs across the country and modified to be even more effective based on "real pool" experience. The result? A thoughtful, tested curriculum with skill progressions appropriate for participants of all ages and abilities.

There are three general categories of Y Swim Lessons: 

  • Swim Starters develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children ages 6 months to 3 years. This category focuses on developing swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn how to supervise children in the water, how to prevent accidents and how to plan for emergencies.

  • Swim Basics develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.

  • Swim Strokes introduces and refines stroke technique in older students (school age, teens and adults). Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

Swim Starters

OFFERED FOR INFANT & TODDLERS (6 MONTHS TO 3 YEARS)

Previously called Parent & Me Swim Lessons

Current Offerings for 6 months-3 years

Stage A: Water Discovery 
Parents accompany children in this stage, which introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment through exploration and encourages them to enjoy themselves while learning about the water. The goals of this stage include the following:

  • Encouraging parents to set developmentally appropriate expectations for infants and toddlers enrolled in swim lessons
  • Introducing and emphasizing basic water safety to parents and providing a positive family aquatic experience
  • Building relationships among and between parents and children by providing opportunities for fun and interaction in the water   

 

Stage B: Water Exploration 
In this stage, parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills. The goals of this stage include the following:

  • Encouraging children to move purposefully in the water in response to visual and verbal cues and using toys and flotation devices
  • Emphasizing basic aquatic safety to parents
  • Building relationships among and between parents and children by providing opportunities for fun and interaction in the water

 

Swim Basics

OFFERED FOR PRESCHOOL (3-5 years), SCHOOL AGE (5-12 years) and TEENS & ADULTS (12+)

Previously called Preschool Swim Lessons, Youth Swim Lessons and Adult Swim Lessons

Current Offerings for 3-5 years

Current Offerings for 5-12 years

Current Offerings for 13+ years

Stage 1: Water Acclimation 
Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water in stage 1. This stage lays the foundation that allows for a student’s future progress in swimming. Students in this stage focus on the following:  

  • Exploring the aquatic environment and personal skills with instructor help
  • Developing basic skills to propel and glide through the water with instructor help
  • Learning basic aquatic safety and accepting some of the responsibility for safe practices

Stage 2: Water Movement 
In this stage, students 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 a body of water. Students in this stage focus on the following:   

  • Exploring the aquatic environment and personal skills without instructor help
  • Developing basic skills to propel and glide through the water without instructor help
  • Learning basic aquatic and boating safety and accepting some of the responsibility for safe practices

Stage 3: Water Stamina 
In this stage, students learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages in the event of falling into a body of water. This stage also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action. Students in this stage focus on the following:

  • Integrating arm action, leg action, and rhythmic breathing in back and front glides
  • Developing forward movement on the front and back
  • Practicing skills and safety techniques in deep water

Swim Strokes

OFFERED FOR PRESCHOOL (3-5 years), SCHOOL AGE (5-12 years) and TEENS & ADULTS (12+)

Previously called Preschool Swim Lessons, Youth Swim Lessons and Adult Swim Lessons

Current Offerings for 3-5 years 

Current Offerings for 5-12 years

Current Offerings for 13+ years

Stage 4: Stroke Introduction 
Students in this stage develop stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl and learn the breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke. Students in this stage focus on the following:  

  • Developing the front crawl and back crawl
  • Introducing components of the breaststroke and butterfly
  • Practicing safety techniques in deep water

Stage 5: Stroke Development 
Students in this stage work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke. Students in this stage focus on the following: 

  • Developing stamina in the front crawl and back crawl
  • Developing the breaststroke and butterfly
  • Building endurance techniques for deep-water safety

Stage 6: Stroke Mechanics 
In this stage, students refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle. Students in this stage focus on the following:

  • Developing endurance in the competitive strokes
  • Developing skills related to competitive swimming like flip turns
  • Enhancing skills and building endurance in deep water

YMCA Swim Lessons Save Lives