School Age Swim Lessons (ages 5-12)

(Ages 5-12) Our school-age swim lessons introduce water propulsion, floating, body awareness and independence, all while focusing on water safety and drowning prevention. We cover all major swim strokes, and eventually introduce competitive swimming techniques like racing-starts and flip-turns.

On the first day of class, instructors will determine the starting “stage” for your child, and place them into the appropriate lesson group. From there, children progress at their own pace through the six school age stages.

Progression levels include:

Level 1: Water Acclimation

  • Encourages children to explore their aquatic environment with instructors’ help
  • Teaches basic aquatic and boating safety, and how to exit in the event of falling into a body of water

Level 2: Water Movement

  • Focuses on body position and control, forward movement and directional change.
  • Encourages children to propel themselves and glide through water
  • Teaches basic water safety skills in the form of jump, push, turn and grab, and swim-float-swim

Level 3: Water Stamina

  • Teaches rotary movement with breathing in the form of side-glide recovery position
  • Encourages forward movement on the front and back and swimming longer distances
  • Teaches safety techniques in deep water and how to swim to safety

Level 4: Stroke Introduction

  • Teaches the front crawl, back crawl and butterfly strokes
  • Teaches safety techniques in deep water

Level 5: Stroke Development

  • Teaches stamina in the front crawl and back crawl strokes
  • Teaches the breaststroke and butterfly strokes
  • Teaches endurance techniques for deep-water safety

Level 6: Stroke Mechanics

  • Teaches endurance in all the major competitive strokes
  • Teaches skills related to competitive swimming like racing starts and flip turns
  • Enhances skills and builds endurance in deep water

The YMCA of Metro Chicago offers school-age swim lessons at the following locations:



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