SWIM LESSONS AT THE YMCA OF GREATER ROCHESTER

Dive Into Fun!

For over 100 years, the YMCA has been one of America’s favorite swim instructors and a leader in water safety. Our proven curriculum and friendly environment enhance skills, all while having fun. At the Y, swimming is a life skill. We offer a wide selection of parent & child, preschool, school age, teen, and adult swim lessons that build strong and confident swimmers. All age groups are taught the same skills but divided according to their developmental milestones.

Swim Starters

Accompanied by a parent*, 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. Children will be placed in the appropriate stage by Y staff based on their ability.

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Introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment through exploration and encourages them to enjoy themselves while learning about the water.  Water Discovery is for students who aren’t yet able to respond to verbal cues and jump on land.

With assistance, children will learn how to:

  • 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
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Students entering this level should be comfortable in the water, able to respond to verbal cues and jump on land.  Parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.  Water Explorations is for students who aren’t yet comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water.

With assistance, children will learn how to:

  • 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

* At the Y, we know families take a variety of forms. As a result, we define parent broadly to include all adults with primary responsibility for raising children, including biological parents, adoptive parents, guardians, stepparents, grandparents or any other type of parenting relationship.

Swim Basics

Recommended Skills for All to Have Around Water
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

Children will be placed in the appropriate stage by Y staff based on their ability.
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Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. Children entering this level should be comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water. Swim Stage 1 is for students who aren’t yet comfortable going underwater voluntarily.

In Water Acclimation, 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
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Children entering this level should be able to go underwater voluntarily. Students focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while continuing to practice how to safely exit if they would fall into a body of water. Swim Stage 2 is for students who aren’t yet able to do a front and back float on their own

In Water Movement, 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
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Children entering this level should be able to front and back float independently. Students learn to swim to safety from a longer distance. They are introduced to rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action. Swim Stage 3 is for students who aren’t yet able to swim 10-15 yards on their front and back.

In Water Stamina, 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

Swim Strokes

Skills to Support a Healthy Lifestyle
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. Children will be placed in the appropriate stage by Y staff based on their ability.

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Preschoolers entering Swim Stage 4 should be able to swim 10-15 yards on their front and back independently.  Students develop stroke technique in front and back crawl and learn the breaststroke kick and butterfly kick.  Treading is also introduced.

In Stroke Introduction, 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
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Children entering Swim Stage 5 should be able to swim 15 yards of front and back crawl.  Students work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes.  Emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.

In Stroke Development, 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
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Children entering Swim Stage 6 should be able to swim 25 yards of front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke. Students refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.

In Stroke Mechanics, 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

DIVERSE ABILITIES PRIVATE/SEMI-PRIVATE SWIM LESSONS

Aquatic exercise is highly recommended for children with special needs. Most children can learn how to swim with a patient, caring swim instructor. This program is a one-to-one or small group lesson open to children with, but not limited to, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, MS, ADHD, and physical limitations.

Private & Semi-Private Lessons (Ages 3 & up)

Beginner or advanced, swimmers who love the water and want to build confidence are welcome to work with our certified swim instructors. Private (one-on-one instruction) and semi-private (two students and one instructor) lessons are 30 minutes. If you are interested in signing up for a private or semi-private lesson, please contact the Aquatics Director at your local YMCA.

Bay View
Phil Baretela
585-341-3218
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Carlson
Chuck Hazlett
585-341-3039
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Corning
Melanie Moon
607-936-4638
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Eastside
Sean Anne
585-341-4024
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Maplewood
Meg Bell
585-277-1659
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Monroe
Autumn Hunter
585-271-4004
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Northwest
James Meier
585-723-3022
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Southeast
Megan Foster
585-341-3238
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Westside
Meghan Angel
585-341-3102
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swim-teams

YMCA Swim Teams

The YMCA Competitive Swim Teams work on increasing cardiovascular fitness, stroke development, and training for competition under the direction of a swim coach. Swim teams are a great way to meet new people, learn and grow from a team environment, and master swim techniques. Learn More.