YMCA Swim Lessons

The YMCA of the USA has designed new swim lesson levels based on feedback and program needs. At the YMCA of Centre County, we are excited to be rolling out these changes in full this fall of 2017. During the summer, we will be implementing some of the new material into classes to prepare students, parents and instructors for the changes in skill assessment and level designations and curriculum for the fall.

New levels, along with a description of skill requirements and development are below. The lessons will be broken into three main categories:

 

Swim Starters
Recommended age range: 6 months to 3 years

Develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children.

In the two stages that make up this parent-child category, children learn to be comfortable in the water. Rather than teaching children how to survive in the water or become accomplished swimmers, Swim Starters focuses on developing swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn essential skills in Swim Starters. Close supervision is the best way to prevent drowning. Parents learn how to supervise children in the water, how to prevent accidents, and how to plan for emergencies.

Stage A: Water Discovery

Parents accompany children in this stage, which introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment through exploration and encourages them to enjoy themselves while learning about the water. The goals of this stage include the following:

- Encouraging parents to set developmentally appropriate expectations for infants and toddlers enrolled in swim lessons

- Introducing and emphasizing basic water safety to parents and providing a positive family aquatic experience

- Building relationships among and between parents and children by providing opportunities for fun and interaction in the water

Stage B: Water Exploration

In this stage, parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills. The goals of this stage include the following:

- Encouraging children to move purposefully in the water in response to visual and verbal cues and using toys and flotation devices

- Emphasizing basic aquatic safety to parents

- Building relationships among and between parents and children by providing opportunities for fun and interaction in the water


Bellefonte

 

Swim Basics
Recommended age range: Preschool (3-5 years) to teen/adult

Develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages.

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 in stage 1. This stage lays the foundation that allows for a student’s future progress in swimming. Students in this stage focus on the following:

- Exploring the aquatic environment and personal skills with instructor help

- Developing basic skills to propel and glide through the water with instructor help

- Learning basic aquatic safety and accepting some of the responsibility for safe practices

 

Stage 2: Water Movement

In this stage, 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. Students in this stage focus on the following:

- Exploring the aquatic environment and personal skills without instructor help

- Developing basic skills to propel and glide through the water without instructor help

- Learning basic aquatic and boating safety and accepting some of the responsibility for safe practices

 

Stage 3: Water Stamina

In this stage, 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. Students in this stage focus on the following:

- Integrating arm action, leg action, and rhythmic breathing in back and front glides

- Developing forward movement on the front and back

- Practicing skills and safety techniques in deep water


State College

Swim Strokes
Recommended age range: School age (5-12 yrs) to teen/adult

Introduces and refines stroke technique in older students.

Stage 4: Stroke Introduction

Students in this stage develop 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. Students in this stage focus on the following:

- Developing the front crawl and back crawl

- Introducing components of the breaststroke and butterfly

- Practicing safety techniques in deep water

 

Stage 5: Stroke Development

Students in this stage work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke. Students in this stage focus on the following:

- Developing stamina in the front crawl and back crawl

- Developing the breaststroke and butterfly

- Building endurance techniques for deep-water safety

 

Stage 6: Stroke Mechanics

In this stage, students refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle. Students in this stage focus on the following:

- Developing endurance in the competitive strokes

- Developing skills related to competitive swimming like flip turns

- Enhancing skills and building endurance in deep water

 

Beyond level 6, swimmers are encouraged to pursue aquatics in three different ways:

Competition

We offer swim teams for children ages 5 to 18 years at both our Bellefonte (including a summer team at Kepler Pool) and State College branches. There are also opportunities in water polo, synchronized swimming and diving.

Leadership

We offer certification and employment opportunities for lifeguards and swim instructors ages 16 and up.
– Find a lifeguarding certification class here – Bellefonte  –  State College
– Swim instructors need CPR/AED/First Aid certification – find a class here – Bellefonte  –  State College
– Already certified? Fill out an application HERE and return to your nearby YMCA of Centre County branch.

Recreation

We offer lap swimming times at both branches with pools so you can turn swimming into a lifelong fitness activity! Pool schedules are HERE FOR STATE COLLEGE and HERE FOR BELLEFONTE. You may also find snorkeling, SCUBA diving or boating as a great way to take advantage of your new swim skills.