The Stamford Family YMCA Aquatics Program is divided into several different levels and is oriented toward student-centered learning. It is designed to insure the student's safety, provide for regular, progressive success, and make the learning process more enjoyable. Personal growth, stroke development, water games and sports, personal safety and rescue are incorporated into each level.
PARENT & CHILD (AGES 6 - 35 MONTHS)
There are two levels in Parent & Child Swim Lessons. The purpose of Parent and Child swimming lessons is to make both parents and children comfortable in water. The child learns about a new environment, while the parent learns how to teach the child to be safe in water. Classes are designed so the child has fun while the parent urges the child to respond to basic commands that pertain to basic aquatic skills. There will also be a lot of game playing and song singing to have fun!
Parent & Child Aquatic Skills Taught
Alternating leg movement (Kicking)
Alternating arm movement (Scooping)
Supine Position (Lying Horizontal on back)
Prone Position (Lying Horizontal on front)
Bubble blowing (breath control)
Dipping face in water (based on student comfort)(not mandatory)
Parent & Child Levels
INFANT (Inia): 6-24 months old
TODDLER (Perch): 24-36 months old
PRESCHOOL (AGES 3 - 5)
Preschool swim lessons are broken into three skill levels. Children’s skill level should be considered for placement, not just age. If you are uncertain which level your child is, please reference swim level descriptions, or ask an instructor to assess your child for class placement. All preschool classes are held in the shallow end of the pool.
Preschool Level Descriptions
PS BEGINNER- (PIKE) Child shall wear flotation device (bubble) Children will learn to paddle and kick. Children are also introduced to paddling and kicking on their back. Face exposure encourages blowing bubbles and putting entire face in water, bobbing. Introduction to floating.
PS INTERMEDIATE- (RAY) Child is encouraged not to wear a bubble but may. Flotation equipment such as noodles, kickboards and barbells are used. Students in RAY will swim more independently than they did in PIKE. This class will also involve more immersion of the face underwater.
NEW SKILLS: Rhytmic breathing (face in water), alternating arm stroke, ability to swim 5-10 yards with or without gear (barbells and noodles).
PS ADVANCED - (STARFISH) Child should not need to use a bubble. Noodles, barbells and kickboards are used. Students will refine their ability to float on their front and back without flotation or assistance. Students will be introduced to “streamlining and gliding”. Swimming skills include ability to swim using alternating arm strokes. Demonstrate Front crawl (freestyle) and Backstroke independently.
NEW SKILLS: Rotary Breathing. Students should be able to submerge completely underwater, exposing their entire face to the water. Also, with assistance, students should be able to retrieve sunken objects in 3.8 feet of water (shallow end).
YOUTH (AGES 6 - 17)
There are four levels in Youth Swimming Lessons. The purpose of youth swimming lessons are; one, as a beginner program for older kids are too big to take class with pre-school aged children. Or two, an advanced swimming program for older, swim team bound kids looking to advance their swimming abilities. If you are uncertain which level your child is, please reference swim level descriptions, or ask an instructor to assess your child for class placement.
Youth Level Descriptions
YOUTH BEGINNER- (POLLIWOG & GUPPY) Child shall wear a flotation device (bubble). Using bubbles, children will learn alternating arm strokes and flutter kick using kick boards and barbells over a distance of 10-25 yards. Children are also introduced to paddling and kicking on their back with equipment. Bubble blowing, putting entire face in water and bobbing will be encouraged, Introduction to floating in prone and supine positions (front and back).
YOUTH ADVANCED BEGINNER- (MINNOW & FISH) Child may wear a flotation device if needed (bubble), however, emphasis is without. Stroke refinement in Freestyle and Backstroke. Rotary Breathing is the primary skill in this level. Teachers will help students achieve a streamline, horizontal position in the water for both freestyle and backstroke. By the end of this section, students must be able to swim 25 to 50 yards of freestyle demonstrating proper rotary breathing and 25 to 50 yards of legal backstroke.
NEW SKILLS: 50 yards freestyle (rotary breathing), 50 yards backstroke.
YOUTH INTERMEDIATE- (FLYING FISH & SHARK) Child is no longer allowed to use bubble during swim lessons. However, unfixed flotation equipment such as kickboards and barbells are used. In this level, students must have very good freestyle and backstroke because they will be swimming up to 100 yards continuously of both strokes every day. In this level students will introduce Freestyle and Backstroke Flip Turns. Then, Instructors will teach Breaststroke, the 3rd of 4 competitive swimming strokes. After learning Breaststroke, which may take several weeks, teachers will then introduce the dolphin kick, which is used in butterfly, but the entire butterfly stroke will not be taught yet until the next level.
NEW SKILLS: Breaststroke (kick, pull, timing), dolphin kick, freestyle & backstroke flip turns.
PRE-SWIM TEAM- (JUNIOR STINGRAYS) Swim team preparation. This class meets twice per week and is the most advanced class in all of our swimming school. Introduction to Butterfly and completion of the Breaststroke. Students will practice all four strokes preparing them to join the Stamford YMCA Stingrays, our competitive swimming team. In this class, students will practice more advanced racing techniques, underwater streamlining, breaststroke pullouts, starts, relay transitions and proper flip turns for each racing stroke. Not only will this class serve as a place to learn, but students will begin to train by swimming laps and conditioning for the sport of swimming.
NEW SKILLS: Butterfly, Breastroke pullout, diving starts, turns, individual medely and understand and using pace clocks.