In the Y’s Youth swim programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives.

The swim lessons curriculum allows for both standardization and flexibility. The curriculum organization ensures that swim lessons programs look and sound the same at every Y across the country. But the way students move through the curriculum can be adapted to meet the needs of all Ys in all communities.

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At a high level, the curriculum is organized into three general categories:

  • Swim Starters
  • Swim Basics
  • Swim Strokes

Once students have progressed through the stages in all three categories, they have the opportunity to follow three different pathways:

  • Competition: For students who want to swim competitively either at the Y or for a different organization
  • Leadership: For students who want to become a lifeguard or otherwise use swimming skills in their professional career
  • Recreation: For students who want to make swimming a part of a healthy lifestyle and a way of getting the recommended amount of physical activity per day
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Swimming Lessons Curriculum281.0 KB

Swim Starters

Swim Starters develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children.

Recommended Age Range: Infants & Toddlers (6 mos. – 3 yrs.)

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. Parents1 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 | Swimming & Aquatics Programs | Valley of the Sun YMCA

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

Water Discovery Skills:

  • Breath Control: Blow Bubbles
  • Swim on Front: Front Tow, Front Float
  • Swim on Back: Back Float, Back Tow
  • Water Safety: Roll, Wall Grab
  • Benchmark: Water Exit, Water Entry

Swim Starters Stages

Swim Starters stages are designed to follow the Aquatic Program Guidelines for Children Under Age Three and be taught in eight, 30-minute lessons.

Stage B: Water Exploration | Swimming & Aquatics Programs | Valley of the Sun YMCA

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

Water Exploration Skills:

  • Breath Control: Blow Bubbles
  • Swim on Front: Front Tow, Front Float
  • Swim on Back: Back Float, Back Tow
  • Water Safety: Roll, Monkey Crawl
  • Benchmark: Water Exit, Water Entry

Swim Starters Stages

Swim Starters stages are designed to follow the Aquatic Program Guidelines for Children Under Age Three and be taught in eight, 30-minute lessons.

Swim Basics

Swim Basics develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages.

Recommended Age Ranges: Preschool Youth (3–5 yrs.), School-Age Youth (5–12 yrs.), Teens & Adults (12+ yrs.)

In these three stages, students develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water. Group activities that reinforce learning help students progress. By the end of this series of stages, students 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
Stage 1: Water Acclimation | Swimming & Aquatics Programs | Valley of the Sun YMCA

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

Water Acclimation Skills:

  • Breath Control: Submerge
  • Swim on Front: Front Glide, Front Float
  • Swim on Back: Back Float, Back Glide
  • Water Safety: Water Exit, Roll
  • Benchmark: Jump, Push, Turn, Grab Swim, Swim, Float

Swim Basics Stages

Swim Basics stages are designed to be taught in eight 30-minute lessons for preschoolers. Modify lesson length, as necessary, to fit the needs of your school-age, teen, or adult students.

Stage 2: Water Movement | Swimming & Aquatics Programs | Valley of the Sun YMCA

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

Water Movement Skills:

  • Breath Control: Submerge
  • Swim on Front: Front Glide, Front Float
  • Swim on Back: Back Float, Back Glide
  • Water Safety: Water Exit, Roll, Tread Water
  • Benchmark: Jump, Push, Turn, Grab Swim, Swim, Float

Swim Basics Stages

Swim Basics stages are designed to be taught in eight 30-minute lessons for preschoolers. Modify lesson length, as necessary, to fit the needs of your school-age, teen, or adult students.

Stage 3: Water Stamina | Swimming & Aquatics Programs | Valley of the Sun YMCA

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

Water Stamina Skills:

  • Breath Control: Submerge
  • Swim on Front: Swim on Front
  • Swim on Back: Swim on Back
  • Water Safety: Water Exit, Roll, Tread Water
  • Benchmark: Jump, Swim, Turn, Grab Swim, Swim, Float

Swim Basics Stages

Swim Basics stages are designed to be taught in eight 30-minute lessons for preschoolers. Modify lesson length, as necessary, to fit the needs of your school-age, teen, or adult students.

Swim Strokes

Swim Strokes introduces and refines stroke technique in older students.

Recommended Age Ranges: School-Age Youth (5–12 yrs.), Teens & Adults (12+ yrs.)

In these three stages, 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.

Stage 4: Stroke Introduction | Swimming & Aquatics Programs | Valley of the Sun YMCA

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

Stroke Introduction Skills:

  • Swim on Front: Front Crawl, Breaststroke, Butterfly
  • Swim on Back: Back Crawl
  • Water Safety: Dive, Resting Stroke, Elementary Backstroke, Tread Water
  • Benchmark: Endurance

Swim Strokes Stages

Swim Strokes stages are designed to be taught in eight 40-minute lessons. This category also offers teens and adults of all abilities—those just learning to swim or those wanting to build on existing skills—the opportunity to receive instruction tailored to their specific needs.

Stage 5: Stroke Development | Swimming & Aquatics Programs | Valley of the Sun YMCA

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 deepwater safety

Stroke Development Skills:

  • Swim on Front: Front Crawl, Breaststroke, Butterfly
  • Swim on Back: Back Crawl
  • Water Safety: Dive, Resting Stroke, Sidestroke, Tread Water
  • Benchmark: Endurance

Swim Strokes Stages

Swim Strokes stages are designed to be taught in eight 40-minute lessons. This category also offers teens and adults of all abilities—those just learning to swim or those wanting to build on existing skills—the opportunity to receive instruction tailored to their specific needs.

Stage 6: Stroke Mechanics | Swimming & Aquatics Programs | Valley of the Sun YMCA

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

Stroke Mechanics Skills:

  • Swim on Front: Front Crawl, Breaststroke, Butterfly
  • Swim on Back: Back Crawl
  • Water Safety: Dive, Resting Stroke, Elementary Backstroke or Sidestroke, Tread Water
  • Benchmark: Endurance

Swim Strokes Stages

Swim Strokes stages are designed to be taught in eight 40-minute lessons. This category also offers teens and adults of all abilities—those just learning to swim or those wanting to build on existing skills—the opportunity to receive instruction tailored to their specific needs.

Join a YMCA Swim Team

These year-round swim teams offer an excellent opportunity for children to improve their understanding of the four competitive strokes while developing their competitive skills and being instilled with a lifelong interest in aquatics. Practice times vary and monthly swim meets compete among other Valley of the Sun branch teams.

 

Swim | Youth | Programs & Activities | Valley of the Sun YMCA

Make Waves and Turn Heads!

These year-round swim teams offer an excellent opportunity for adults to improve their understanding of the four competitive strokes while developing their competitive skills. Practice times vary and monthly swim meets compete among other Valley of the Sun branch teams.

For registration or more information, please contact your local branch.

YMCA Westside Silver Fins United States Dive Team | Southwest Valley YMCA | Teens Swim | Programs & Activities | Valley of the Sun YMCA

Train with an Olympian on the YMCA Westside Silver Fins United States Dive Team at Southwest Valley YMCA

This team is designed for the serious competitive diver, age 8-18, who learned the basics through participation in our summer Mighty Mahi Dive Program and wants to continue year-round.

Competitive diving consists of four events – 1-meter springboard diving, 3-meter springboard diving, platform diving, and synchronized diving. The number and types of dives performed in competition depends on the level, age, and gender of the diver.

Silver Fins Diving Team is a member of USA Diving which governs the sport from junior athletes all the way to the Olympics. The association determines the rules and regulations of the sport and provides education for coaches, judges and parents.

Visit Team Website

For registration or more information, please contact your local branch.

YMCA Westside Silverfins Swim Team | Teens Swim | Programs & Activities | Valley of the Sun YMCA

YMCA Westside Silver Fins United States Swim Team a perennial powerhouse in the state of Arizona!

YMCA Westside Silver Fins Swim Team is a United States Swimming year-round training out of the Southwest Valley Family YMCA. Many YMCA’s offer a more competitive experience for children who are interested in taking their competitive swimming to the next level. The qualified, professional coaches are committed to building both physically and mentally strong athletes who want to continue in competitive swimming for many years. Competitions are both in-state and out-of-state. The primary goal for the young YMCA United States Silver Fins Swim Team athlete is to open doors and create opportunity at the collegiate level through academics and athletics. Please contact 623-935-5193 to register or request additional information.

Visit Team Website

For registration or more information, please contact your local branch.

Chris-Town Flying Sharks Swim Team | Teens Swim | Programs & Activities | Valley of the Sun YMCA

Take your swimming skills to the next level on the Chris-town Flying Sharks Swim Team

Join the Flying Sharks for another amazing season. This is the perfect way to take your child’s swimming to the next level. Regular practices and competitive swim meets will teach stroke techniques and advanced swim skills. Children up to age 18 can participate. Whether you’ve been a part of the Flying Sharks before or you’re completely new to competitive swimming, this is where you want to be this season.

For More Information

For registration or more information, please contact your local branch.

Copper Basin Swim Team | Teens Swim | Programs & Activities | Valley of the Sun YMCA

Learn life lessons of sport and sportsmanship with the Copper Basin Swim Team

Did you know swimming teaches the life lessons of sport and sportsmanship while motivating participants to strive for self improvement? Swimming cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem and teaches goal orientation.

Swim Team is for ages 5 – 18 years old

Minimum Requirements:

25 yard Freestyle and 25 yard Backstroke.

Swimmer must be able to swim the full 25 yards without hanging on the wall or touching the pool bottom.

For further questions or to set up a time to test swimmers ability contact Erin Guerena at eguerena@vosymca.org or 602-212-5107

Swim Team Information

For registration or more information, please contact your local branch.

Desert Foothills Swim Team | Youth | Swim | Programs & Activities | Valley of the Sun YMCA

The Desert Foothills Swim Club has a longstanding excellent reputation throughout the valley.

The swim team is run by an experienced group of coaches that are on staff because they share my passion for the water, are dedicated to the children and believe in the message we teaching about swimming, as well as being part of a team.

The swim team experience provides valuable training as well as increasing self-esteem and confidence with every swimmer. It also enables them to become more comfortable and safer in the water regardless of their age and experience level. We invite you to come be a part of a great program and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

 

Visit Team Website

For registration or more information, please contact your local branch.

Ross Farnsworth East Valley Blue Sharks Swim Team | Youth | Swim | Programs & Activities | Valley of the Sun YMCA

Join the Ross Farnsworth East Valley Blue Sharks Swim Team to take your child’s swimming to the next level!

Competitive Swim Team ages 6 – 15 years Improve stroke technique, build confidence and increase stamina Must be able to swim 50 yards Freestyle without stopping Moderate knowledge of at least two of the four strokes Saturday swim meets.

 

For More Information

For registration or more information, please contact your local branch.

water safety|Valley of the Sun YMCA
We are excited to announce our 13th season of the Mighty Mahi Summer Swim & Dive Team!
The Mighty Mahi Swim & Dive Team is a recreational summer team that practices and competes May through July.
This is a great way to introduce our youth to the basics of competitive swimming and diving in a fun, no-pressure environment. Swimmers ages 5-18 who can swim at least 25 yards unassisted are encouraged to join!
Our young athletes will learn the fundamentals of competitive diving in a fun-filled environment.
Register at the Welcome Center
Contact us:
623-935-5193

 

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