Youth Swim Lessons

Swimming

Number 1 in Water Safety

When it comes to swimming and water safety, no one is trusted more than the YMCA, America's Swim Instructor. In fact, group swim instruction was developed by the YMCA in 1906.

The YMCA swim lesson curriculum is designed to teach this lifelong skill to children and adults of all skill levels in a safe environment. We offer swim lessons for the beginner and for those looking to improve their strokes. Adult swim lessons are for individuals ages 13 and older.
 

What to Expect

  • All YMCA swim instructors are nationally certified and are trained in CPR, AED, First Aid and Oxygen Administration.

  • Small instructor-to-student ratios

  • A curriculum focusing on skills-based instruction with emphasis on personal safety.

  • Provided take - home tools and resources to support students and families outside of the Y.

  • Students’ progress is tracked throughout the session and discussed with parents.

  • Mid-session reports given halfway through session and certificates of achievement given at completion.

  • Variety of class offerings at many convenient Y locations.


What age group does the student fall into?

Swim Stages for Y Swim Lessons

Which stage is the student ready for?

(Click the below tabs to see what swim lessons are offered by age range at our YMCA locations throughout San Antonio.)

PARENT AND CHILD


Ages: 6 months - 3 years


With a parent in the pool, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim-readiness skills. Parents learn about water safety and drowning prevention.


Swim Starters

In this program, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim-readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention and the importance of supervision.

The stages offered are:

Can the student respond to verbal cues and jump on land?

A/Water Discovery

Stage A: Water Discovery

Ages:  6 month-3yrs 

Qualifications: None

Infants and toddlers are introduced to the aquatic environment and encouraged to enjoy themselves while learning about the water. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to respond to verbal cues and jump on land.


In this class, you’ll help your child:

  • Blow bubbles on the surface of the water

  • Move and float with their chin in the water

  • Move and float with their head on your shoulder

  • Roll from back to front and front to back

  • Grab the pool wall

  • Enter and exit the water


Stages vary by Y location
 

Is the student comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water?

Water Exploration

Stage B: Water Exploration

Ages: 3-5 years

Qualifications: Stage A: Water Discovery


You’ll work with your child to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles and fundamental safety and aquatic skills. This class is for kids who aren’t yet comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water.


In this class, you’ll help your child:

  • Blow bubbles with mouth and nose submerged in the water

  • Move and float while blowing bubbles in the water

  • Move and float with their head on your chest

  • Roll from back to front and front to back

  • Monkey crawl

  • Enter and exit the water
     

Stages vary by Y location
 

PRESCHOOL CHILD


Ages: 3 - 5yrs

Kids learn safe water habits, underwater exploration, how to swim to safety and exit the water. Lessons are a mix of activities, games and drills.


Swim Basics

In this program, preschoolers learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills—swim, float, swim and jump, push, turn, grab.


The stages offered are:

Will the student go underwater voluntarily?

Water Acclimation

Stage 1: Water Acclamation 

Ages:  3 - 5yrs


QualificationsNone

Preschoolers develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. This class is for kids who aren’t yet comfortable going underwater voluntarily.


In this class, your child will:

  • Bob to submerge in the water

  • Front and back glide to the wall for five feet with 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
     

Stages vary by Y location


Can the student do a front and back float on his or her own?

Water Movement

Stage 2: Water Movement

Ages:  3 - 5yrs

Qualifications: (1) able to go underwater & comfortably open eyes without goggles, (2) able to float on front & back with minimal assistance, (3) able to jump in the pool, submerge & return to the wall with assistance.

Preschoolers focus on body position and control, directional change, forward movement in the water and continue to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to do a front and back float on their own.


In this class, your child will:

  • Submerge to look at an object on the bottom of the pool

  • Front and back glide to the wall for five feet

  • Front and back float for 10 seconds

  • Roll from back to front and front to back

  • Jump, push, turn, grab

  • Swim, float, swim five yards

  • Tread water near the wall for 10 seconds

  • Exit the water
     

Stages vary by Y location
 

Can the student swim 10–15 yards on his or her front

Water Stamina

Stage 3: Water Stamina 

Ages:  3 - 5yrs

Qualifications: (1) able to float on front & back unassisted, (2) able to push off the wall on stomach with face submerged for 10 feet unassisted, (3) able to Swim-Float-Swim 15 feet unassisted, (4) able to jump into deep water and return to the wall unassisted. 


Preschoolers 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. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to swim 10-15 yards on their front and back.


In this class, your child will:

  • Retrieve an object in chest-deep water

  • Swim on their 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
     

Stages vary by Y location
 


Swim Strokes

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


The stages offered are:

 

Can the student swim 15 yards of front and back crawl?

Stroke Introduction

Stage 4: Stroke Introduction

Ages:  3 - 5yrs


Qualifications(1) able to submerge & retrieve an object in chest deep water, (2) able to swim front crawl 15 yards while taking a breath, (3) able to Swim-Float-Swim 15 yards, (4) able to jump in & tread water for 30 seconds (5) able to swim to wall & exit.


Preschoolers learn the front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to swim 15 yards of front and back crawl.


In this class, your child will:

  • 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
     

Stages vary by Y location
 

School-Age Child


Ages: 5 -12 years

Starting with water safety and basic swimming competency, kids progress to learn about the four competitive swimming strokes.
 


Swim Basics

In this program, school-age kids learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills—swim, float, swim and jump, push, turn, grab.


The stages offered are:

Will the student go underwater voluntarily?

Water Acclimation

Stage 1: Water Acclamation 

Ages:  5 - 12 yrs

QualificationsNone

Kids develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. This class is for kids who aren’t yet comfortable going underwater voluntarily.

In this class, your child will:

  • Bob to submerge in the water

  • Front and back glide to the wall for five feet with 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
     

Stages vary by Y location


Can the student do a front and back float on his or her own?

Water Movement

Stage 2: Water Movement 

Ages:  5 - 12 yrs

Qualifications(1) able to go under water & comfortably open eyes without goggles, (2) able to float on front & back with minimal assistance, (3) able to jump in the pool, submerge & return to the wall with assistance.


Kids focus on body position and control, directional change, forward movement in the water and continue to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to do a front and back float on their own.

In this class, your child will:

  • Submerge to look at an object on the bottom of the pool

  • Front and back glide to the wall for 10 feet

  • Front and back float for 20 seconds

  • Roll from back to front and front to back

  • Jump, push, turn, grab

  • Swim, float, swim five yards

  • Tread water near the wall for 10 seconds

  • Exit the water
     

Stages vary by Y location


Can the student swim 10–15 yards on his or her front

Water Stamina

Stage 3: Water Stamina 

Ages:  5 - 12 yrs

Qualifications(1) able to float on front & back unassisted, (2) able to push off the wall on stomach with face submerged for 10 feet unassisted, (3) able to Swim-Float-Swim 15 feet unassisted, (4) able to jump into deep water and return to the wall unassisted. 
 

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. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to swim 10-15 yards on their front and back.
 

In this class, your child will:

  • Retrieve an object in chest-deep water

  • Swim on their front and back for 15 yards

  • Roll from back to front and front to back

  • Jump, push, turn, grab 10 yards

  • Swim, float, swim 25 yards

  • Tread water for one minute

  • Exit the water
     

Stages vary by Y location



Swim Strokes

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

Can the student swim 15 yards of front and back crawl?

Stroke Introduction

Stage 4: Stroke Introduction

Ages:  5 - 12 yrs

Qualifications(1) able to submerge & retrieve an object in chest deep water, (2) able to swim front crawl 15 yards while taking a breath, (3) able to Swim-Float-Swim 15 yards, (4) able to jump in & tread water for 30 seconds (5) able to swim to wall & exit.
 

Kids learn the front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to swim 15 yards of front and back crawl.

In this class, your child will:

  • 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
     

Stages vary by Y location


Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, & breaststroke across the pool?

Stroke Development

Stage 5: Stroke Development

Ages:  5 - 12 yrs

Qualifications(1) able to front crawl & back crawl 25 yards, (2) able to swim breaststroke kick and dolphin kick 15 yards (3) able to tread water using multiple kicks for 1 minute.
 

Kids work on stroke technique and learn the major competitive strokes. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to swim the front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke across the pool.

In this class, your child will:

  • 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 two minutes

  • Swim any combination of strokes for 50 yards
     

Stages vary by Y location


Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool and back?

Stroke Development

Stage 6: Stroke Mechanics

Ages:  5 - 12 yrs

Qualifications(1) able to swim front crawl with bent arm recovery & rotary breathing for 25 yards, (2) able to swim back crawl with stroke rotation for 25 yards, (3) able to swim butterfly with over arm recovery, (4) able to swim breaststroke for 25 yards achieving stroke rhythm, (5) able to dive from kneeling  position. 

Kids refine stroke technique on the major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle. This class is for kids who aren’t yet able to swim the front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke across the pool and back.


In this class, your child will:

  • 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

  • Tread water for one minute and retrieve an object from the bottom of the pool

  • Swim any combination of strokes for 150 yards
     

Stages vary by Y location


PRIVATE SWIM LESSONS

Private lessons vary by branch, please contact your local Y's Aquatics Director.