Establishing Skills, Movement, and Stamina in the Water


Our basic swim lesson program is designed to teach individuals of all ages and abilities about personal water safety and basic swimming competency. With a focus on hands-on learning, participants will progress through three stages—Water Acclimation, Water Movement, and Water Stamina—to achieve their swimming goals.

Participants learn about personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills:

  • Swim, float, swim - sequencing front glide, roll, back float, roll, front glide, and exit
  • Jump,  push, turn, grab
clip art of child standing in the pool

Water Acclimation

Preschool 1 & School Age 1

In Water Acclimation, participants will learn how to increase comfort underwater, perform basic self-rescue skills with assistance, and achieve skills such as submerging independently, assisted front and back floating, assisted rolling from front to back, and jumping, pushing, turning, and grabbing with assistance.

clip art of person using the crawl stroke to get across the pool

Water Movement

Preschool 2 & School Age 2

In Water Movement, participants will continue to explore the water and improve their self-rescue skills independently. This stage focuses on achieving skills such as independent water exit, independent floating and gliding, treading water, and swimming, floating, and swimming for a short distance independently.

clip art of a person doing water aerobics with water dumbells

Water Stamina

Preschool 3 & School Age 3

In Water Stamina, participants will develop intermediate self-rescue skills over longer distances and build their water stamina. This stage includes skills such as retrieving an object underwater, swimming front and back, treading water for a longer duration, and performing a swim, float, swim sequence over a longer distance.





YMCA Swim Lessons Students Listening To Instructor

What to Expect in Your First Lesson


On your first day of class, you will meet your instructor on the pool deck. During this time the instructor will review basic pool rules and expectations of the class you’re attending. Participants will enter the water with the instructor’s permission, and work in a small group setting throughout the class.

YMCA Youth Swim Lessons - Child On Paddle Board

Items to Bring


When preparing to come to swim class, please bring the following items:

  • Appropriate swim wear for parent and child
  • Towel

Though goggles are great swim items, we ask that participants refrain from wearing goggles until they are in stage 4 of our swim lesson curriculum.






Where do I go for class?

When checked in at the Welcome Center, you will want to head to the pool deck through the locker room or family locker room. Once on the pool deck, look for a sign with your class name. If you are unable to find your class, feel free to ask any Y staff so they can direct you on where to go.

Do we need to shower before class?

Yes! The YMCA and our local health department requires all swimmers to take a cleansing soap shower before entering the pool. A swim cap may be worn in lieu of washing hair.

Do I need to participate in the water with my child?

No, our preschool and school age classes are designed so participants work directly with an instructor in a small group setting during class. Parents and guardians are welcome to stay on the pool deck to observe class.

What is appropriate swimwear for lessons?

Proper swim attire should provide appropriate swimsuit area coverage and avoid heavy cotton or denim jean-like materials.