YMCA Swim Lessons promote children’s health and safety. The program supports parents and encourages their participation in teaching kids valuable life skills.
- Fall A: Sept. 9 - Oct. 28; Member registration begins August 21, non-members August 28
- Fall B: Oct. 2 - Oct. 26; Member registration begins September 25, non-members September 27
- Holiday A: Oct. 30 - Nov. 16; Member registration begins October 16; non-member October 23
- Holiday B: Nov. 27 - Dec. 14; Member registration begins November 13; non-member November 15
- Fall: Sept. 9 - Oct. 28, Member registration begins August 21; non-members August 28
- Holiday: Nov. 4 - Dec. 16, Member registration begins October 16; non-members October 23
Choosing the Correct Swim Lesson
Follow the chart below to find the right level for your child, then register by clicking on the link to the right. Remember, placing a child in the incorrect level will be a disservice to both the child and the other class members. If you are not sure which level to place your child in, request a YMCA Swim Level Lesson Placement and Evaluation by contacting our swim lesson coordinator at [email protected]. A swimming instructor will be available to evaluate your child’s skills for placement into the appropriate swim lesson level.
Information regarding expectations, responsibilities and frequently asked questions can be found HERE.
Lesson Category Descriptions
Swim levels along with a description of skill requirements and development are described below. The lessons will be broken into three main categories:
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 (6 months - 3 years)
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:
Stage B: Water Exploration (1-3 years)
In this stage, parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills. Children should be able to walk before taking this class. The goals of this stage include the following:
Classes offered for Preschool (3-5 years) & School Age (5-12 years)
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:
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:
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:
Offered for Preschool (Stage 4 only) or School Age
Introduces and refines stroke technique in advancing 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:
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:
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:
Adult/Teen Beginner Lessons
For learning swimmers age 13 and up, we offer weekly lessons in a small group setting. Class instruction will be designed for the needs of the students in attendance with an emphasis on safety. Please check our lesson schedule for days, times and prices.
Beyond Level 6
Swimmers are encouraged to pursue aquatics in three different ways:
We offer swim team for children ages 5 to 18 years at our State College branch.
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 linked below and return to your nearby YMCA of Centre County branch.
- Employment Application
Swim lessons are available to children with special needs in our therapy pool. Instructor to student ratio is low. A water wheelchair and ramp into the pool are available. Since adapted lessons meet on Friday or Saturday, the session schedule will follow the Saturday scheduled dates. The Friday evening classes are one-to-one instructor/client and the Saturday class is one-to-three instructor/client. We recommend the Saturday classes for those who are capable of working in a small group.
Our private swimming lessons are a very popular alternative to our group lessons. Private lessons are 30 minute, 1 to 1 lessons with an experienced swim instructor. Lessons are designed specifically for your swimmer's needs and can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you. Adults are welcome! Lessons can be scheduled one at a time or as packages of four.
Please fill out the private swim lesson request form linked below and submit either to the front desk of the YMCA or online to [email protected] so that we may match you up with an instructor who meets your skill and availability needs. You will pay for the lesson only after you have been contacted by the instructor to schedule your first lesson. Lessons can be rescheduled with enough notice. You may continue to schedule lessons with your matched instructor until you decide to stop.
- Single Lesson: $38 for members, $57 for non-members
- 4 Lessons: $133 for members, $199 for non-members
These special swim classes differ from lessons and are scheduled 4 at a time. They'll follow the same registration dates as swim lessons, and spaces are limited. If proof of illness or injury can be provided, a 50% credit will be issued for missed classes. Otherwise, no refunds or makeups will be issued.