blended images show kids swimming, water exercise class, and swim lessons


Because . . .


THE LATEST INNOVATION IN SWIM LESSON INSTRUCTION IS HERE!new swim lessons medal showing six triangles designed into a hexagon indicating the new 6 levels of youth swim lessons

We’ve updated our swim lesson program to focus even more on keeping kids safe in and around the water. Our new swim lesson stages emphasize the true progression of swimming with a sense of achievement throughout the stages.

This update allows us to keep doing what we’ve been doing great and build upon it to really make us better as the leading provider of aquatics in our community.

The new YMCA swim lessons accommodate students’ varying abilities and help foster a sense of achievement as swimmers progress between levels. Our new approach allows advanced swimmers to flow more easily to higher levels while swimmers who need more instruction can learn at their own pace. The results are more confident swimmers who stick with lessons and develop a love for swimming that can last a lifetime.

Download our Aquatic Handbook

There are three general categories of Y Swim Lessons.

  1. Parent/Child 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.
  2. Preschool and Youth 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.
  3. Youth, Teen & Adult 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.

Of course, we still do swim testing and evaluate swimmers during their first lesson, but you can determine the student’s placement level by asking yourself these questions:

What is the student’s age?

6 months to 3 years:

Can the student respond to verbal cues and jump on land? Not yet? Select A/Water Discovery

Is the student comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water? Not yet? Select B/Water Exploration

3 years to Adult: (All are taught the same skills but divided according to their developmental milestones):

Will the student go underwater voluntarily? Not yet? Select 1 / Water Acclimation

Can the student do a front and back float on his or her own? Not yet? Select 2 / Water Movement

Can the student swim 10–15 yards on his or her front and back? Not yet? Select 3 / Water Stamina

Can the student swim 15 yards of front and back crawl? Not yet? Select 4 / Stroke Introduction

Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool? Not yet? Select 5 / Stroke Development

Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool and back? Not yet? Select 6 / Stroke Mechanics


Indoor pools are located at the following YMCA locations:

Outdoor pools are located at the following locations:

We also offer:

  • Private Swim Lessons for those who prefer one-on-one attention (contact your local Y)
  • Register: American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course
  • Register: American Red Cross Lifeguard Training
  • Register: YMCA Lifeguard Certification Course
  • YMCA Swim Team 411, Register: Swim Team
  • Water Exercise Classes 411

The Y is “America’s Swim Instructor” and the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming.

  • The Y introduced the country to the concept of group swim lessons more than 100 years ago, (1909).
  • Each year, the Y teaches more than a million children invaluable water safety and swimming skills.
  • As one of the largest community-based organizations in the country, the Y owns or manages over 2,000 pools.
  • Thanks to its size and reach, the Y is in a unique position to help bridge the gap in the delivery of swim lessons and water safety education in the U.S.—especially in under-served communities.

Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.