Starting Swim Lessons at the Y: 3 Things to Know

By: Mollie Shauger | Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | Aquatics

A swim instructor talks to a family about swim lessons.

Knowing how to swim is not only important for one’s safety, but it’s also a great life skill with many health benefits. The YMCA has more than 110 years of experience teaching people to swim, and offers instruction for both children and adults. Swimmers learn skills that will make them more confident around water, while also having fun.

If you’re looking to start swim lessons at the Y, here are a few things to know before registering.

What you’ll learn

Our swim lessons are broken down into three main categories. From there, the lessons are further divided into stages. Our lesson selector can help you determine what’s the best fit for you or your child. All age groups are taught the same skills but divided according to their developmental milestones.

Here are the three basic categories:

  • Swim Starters (recommended for ages 6 months - 3 years): Infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.
  • Swim Basics (recommended for ages 3-adult): Students learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills: “Swim, float, swim” and “Jump, push, turn, grab.”
  • Swim Strokes (recommended for ages 5 to adult) 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 lessons at ymca

How swim lessons work

Our swim lessons are designed to give swimmers more consistent instructors over a longer period of time, and more convenient payment options. Read more about the benefits of the monthly draft lesson structure. A minimum commitment of two months' participation is required. Most lessons are scheduled for 30 or 45 minutes.

How to register for swim classes

Don’t know what to register for? The YMCA provides free evaluations by appointment. Call your local branch to schedule a time. If you have a YMCA membership, you may be eligible for a discounted rate for swim lessons. Contact your YMCA for a schedule of swim lessons and to register. The Y also offers financial assistance to qualifying individuals and families who would like to participate in Y swim programs. 

Get started with swim lessons


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