Swim Lessons

Swim Lessons

What You’ll Learn at YMCA Swim Lessons

The Greater Johnstown Community YMCA offers swim lessons for all ages and stages. Our progressive swim lessons teach swimming skills, stroke technique and water safety while encouraging a lifelong love of the water. Below are the stages of swim lessons offered.

Swim Starters [Parent/Child Lessons]

Accompanied by a parent, infants and toddlers ages 6 months to 3 years 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 starters helps our youngest participants build a foundation for learning how to swim.

  • Stage A / Water Discovery: Parents accompany children in stage A, which introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment through exploration and encourages them to enjoy themselves while learning about the water.
  • Stage B / Water Exploration: In stage B, parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.

Swim Basics [Preschool & School Age Lessons]

Students learn 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.

The three levels within Swim Basics include:

  • Stage 1 / Water Acclimation: Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. This stage lays the foundation that allows for a student’s future progress in learning to swimming.
  • Stage 2 / Water Movement: In stage 2, students focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water.
  • Stage 3 / Water Stamina: In stage 3, students learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages in the event of falling into a body of water. This stage also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action.

Ages for preschool lessons are 3-5 years. Ages for school age lessons are 5-12.

Swim Strokes [School Age Lessons]

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.

  • Stage 4 / Stroke Introduction: Students in stage 4 develop swim stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl and learn the breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke.
  • Stage 5 / Stroke Development: Students in stage 5 work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.
  • Stage 6 / Stroke Mechanics: In stage 6, students refine their stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.

Want to take swimming lessons at the Y, but aren’t sure which stage to enroll in? View our lesson selector guide or contact our YMCA for a free assessment. A YMCA membership is not required to participate  in group swimming lessons. Private and semi-private lessons are also available.