What You’ll Learn at YMCA Swimming Lessons

Kids show off their goggles while enjoying a swim lesson with their swim instructor in the indoor swimming pool at the YMCA in Chester County, PA

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine offers swim lessons for all ages and stages. Our progressive swim lessons teach swimming skills, stroke technique and water safety while encouraging a lifelong love of the water.

At all levels, YMCA instructors work with each swimmer to offer individual attention and instruction. As each student learns at their own pace, this provides support for every swimmer to be successful as they move through the progressions and allows each child to encourage and learn from one another. 

Below are the stages of swim lessons offered. Registration periods differ based on current membership status, please visit our registration calendar for a complete list of 2023 registration dates.

Parent/Child Swimming Lessons

Monthly program for children ages 6 months - 3 years

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.

Parent/Child classes help our youngest participants build a foundation for learning how to swim including body positions, blowing bubbles and fundamental safety and aquatics skills. 

Browse Classes

Prior to March 2023, these lessons were titled Stage A/Water Discovery and Stage B/Water Exploration. 

Preschool Swimming Lessons

Monthly program for children ages 3 - 5 years old

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

Instruction includes building comfort and confidence with underwater exploration, water safety skills and how to exit a pool, body position and control and initial stroke development and integrated arm and leg action. 

Browse Classes

​​​​​​Prior to March 2023, these lessons were Stage 1/Water Acclimation, Stage 2/Water Movement and Stage 3/Water Stamina. 

Youth Swimming Lessons

Academy program for students ages 6 - 12 years old. Lessons are offered in a three-month format to allow for greater skill development and consistency. 

Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke techniques, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

  • Stage 1 - 3: The basis of YMCA swim lessons is water safety skills. In our stage 1 - 3 program, 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—and jump, push, turn, grab. As students progress, they are taught the recommended skills for all to have around water, including safe water habits, underwater exploration and how to swim to safety and exit in the event of falling into a body of water.
  • Stage 4 / Stroke Introduction: Students in stage 4 develop swim stroke techniques in front crawl and back crawl and learn the breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke. 
  • Stage 5 / Stroke Development: Students in stage 5 work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.
  • Stage 6 / Stroke Mechanics: In stage 6, students refine their stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.

Browse Classes

Beginning in March 2023, Stage 4 - 6 swimming lessons require an evaluation in order to enroll. Students enrolled in YGBW swimming lessons will automatically receive an evaluation along with a recommended level. Evaluations can be requested at your local YMCA branch.

In addition to our leveled group classes, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine offers private and semi-private swimming lessons. Swim team programs are also available for children interested in advanced swimming instruction and competition. 




Category: Swimming