Building Confidence in the Water
We're here for everyone. All ages — from infants to seniors — can learn to swim. Check out our class offerings below to find one that fits your skill level, or skip straight to swim level descriptions. Don't know what level you or your child should register for? Our friendly and knowledgable staff are happy to help you find the level that's right for you.
What age group does your student fall into?
- 6 months-2 years | Parent and Child (Infant): Stages A-B
- 2-3 years | Parent and Child (Toddler): Stages A-1
- 3-6 years | Preschool: Stages 1-4
- 6-12 years | School Age: Stages 1-6
- 12-17 years | Teen: Stages 1-6
- 18+ years | Adult: Stages 1-6
All age groups are taught the same skills, but divided according to their developmental milestones.
Which stage is the student ready for?
Can the student respond to verbal cues and jump on land?
Not yet > A / WATER DISCOVERY
Is the student comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water?
Not yet > B / WATER EXPLORATION
Will the student go underwater voluntarily?
Not yet > 1 / WATER ACCLIMATION
Can the student do a front and back float on his or her own?
Not yet > 2 / WATER MOVEMENT
Can the student swim 10-15 yards on his or her front or back?
Not yet > 3 / WATER STAMINA
Can the student swim 15 yards of front and back crawl?
Not yet > 4 / STROKE INTRODUCTION
Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool?
Not yet > 5 / STROKE DEVELOPMENT
Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool and back?
Not yet > 6 / STROKE MECHANICS
Our swim levels are broken into six stages in three categories: Swim Starters for parents, infants, and toddlers; Swim Basics for preschool, school-age, teen, and adult; and Swim Strokes for preschool, school-age, teen, and adult swimmers. Read below to learn more about each stage and register for classes.
The YMCA Swim Lessons program helps adults, kids, and families learn an important life skill and supports them in gaining the knowledge, ability, and stamina to become strong and confident swimmers.
Curriculum from YMCA of the USA is followed for all YMCA swim lessons. Please review information below to learn about the curriculum and discover which class would be appropriate for your swimmer. Swim lessons are FREE for YMCA members and $50/session (5 weeks) for non-members.
Greg Mackem - Aquatics Director, Bremerton Family YMCA
SWIM LESSON CONVERSION CHART
FOR PAST SWIM LESSON PARTICIPANTS - NEW CURRICULUM
previous name >>> new name
INFANT: 0-2 YEARS
- Shrimp >>> A - Water Discovery
- Kipper >>> B - Water Exploration
TODDLER: 2-3 YEARS
- Inia >>> A - Water Discovery |OR| B - Water Exploration
- Perch >>> B - Water Exploration |OR| 1 - Water Acclimation
PRESCHOOL: 3-6 YEARS
- Pike >>> 1 - Water Acclimation
- Super Pike >>> 2 - Water Movement
- Eel >>> 3 - Water Stamina
- Ray >>> 4 - Stroke Introduction
- Starfish >>> 4 - Stroke Introduction
SCHOOL AGE: 6-12 YEARS
- Polliwog >>> 1 - Water Acclimation |OR| 2 - Water Movement
- Guppy >>> 3 - Water Stamina
- Minnow >>> 4 - Stroke Introduction
- Fish >>> 5 - Stroke Development
- Flying Fish >>> 5 - Stroke Development |OR| 6 - Stroke Mechanics
- Shark >>> 6 - Stroke Mechanics
TEEN: 12-17 YEARS
- Teen 1 >>> 1-3 Swim Basics
- Teen 2 >>> 4 - 5 Stroke Intro & Development
- Teen 3 >>> 6 - Stroke Mechanics
ADULT: 18+ YEARS
- Adult Beginner >>> 1-3 Swim Basics
- Adult Intermediate >>> 4 - 5 Stroke Intro & Development
- Adult Advanced >>> 6 - Stroke Mechanics
UPDATED SWIM LESSON CURRICULUM - AS OF JUNE, 2017
Tested curricula, grounded in research, combined with our brand promise to strengthen community differentiate our swimming and water safety programs from those of other organizations.
USES SKILL-BASED INSTRUCTION
Instructors set customized expectations for students based on their ability, facilitate skill practice in multiple ways, and support students based on where they are so that they can be successful.
MAXIMIZES PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
The curriculum maximizes the number of minutes students are physically active. At every lesson, students engage in group activities that promote additional active time in the pool and give students a chance to practice skills while having fun.
EMPHASIZES SAFETY AND ELEVATES CHARACTER
The curricula includes information and instruction in water and personal safety. Safety topics address issues that affect the day-to-day lives of students and their families.
Additionally, the curriculum integrates age-appropriate character development topics that allow the instructor and students to define, model, and celebrate the Y’s four core values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.
Engagement begins at home. Comprehensive parent communication tools help parents understand what skills students learn at each stage and how those skills build on each other as their students progress.
What has changed?
The biggest change you will notice is the name of the levels. The level names have been changed to represent the skills being taught in each level. The next noticeable change is the ages for each level. Expanding the ages allows for more progression through levels. Our curriculum is now focused on teaching basic water safety skills then progressing to stroke development and technique.
Why has the curriculum changed?
Through feedback from parents, staff, and aquatics experts, YMCA of the USA has upgraded the swim curriculum to focus on water safety skills as a foundation to all ages. Once water safety skills have been mastered, we will introduce stroke development and techniques. The skills and topics taught in each level, are based on the developmental milestones of youth.
I have a 6 year old, which program should my child be in?
You have the option to enroll your child in the Preschool program or School Age program based on your child’s skill level and developmental level.
I have a 12 year old, which program should my child be in?
You have the option to enroll your child in the School Age program or Teen program based on your child’s skill level and developmental level.
How will I know what level my child should be in?
If your child is currently in lessons, the new swim lesson level will be marked on their report card at the end of this current sessions.
We have never taken swim lessons at the Y. Which level should my child be in?
Please refer to our lessons selector guide. First choose the age category your child falls in to, then select the level based on skill.