Find Swim Lessons

The Y strives to help all ages learn how to swim, so they can stay safe around water and learn the skills needed to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for healthy living.


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. * We define parent broadly to include all adults with primary responsibility for raising children, including biological parents, adoptive parents, guardians, stepparents, grandparents, or any other type of parenting relationship.

Stage A / Water Discovery


This program introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment

Parents accompany children in stage A, which introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment through exploration and encourages them to enjoy themselves while learning about the water.


  • Blow Bubbles – on surface, assisted
  • Front Tow – chin in water, assisted
  • Water Exit – parent & child together
  • Water Entry – parent & child together
  • Back Float – assisted, head on shoulder
  • Roll – assisted
  • Front Float – chin in water, assisted
  • Back Tow – assisted, head on shoulder
  • Wall Grab – assisted

Stage B / Water Exploration


This program focuses on exploring body positions, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.

In stage B, parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.


  • Blow Bubbles – mouth & nose submerged, assisted
  • Front Tow – blow bubbles, assisted
  • Water Exit – assisted
  • Water Entry – assisted
  • Back Float – assisted, head on chest
  • Roll – assisted
  • Front Float – blow bubbles, assisted
  • Back Tow – assisted, head on chest
  • Monkey Crawl – assisted, on edge, 5 ft.

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. In Water Acclimation, Water Movement, and Water Stamina, students 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. Activities, games, and drills, geared to reinforce learning, are utilized heavily as students progress in this skill-based approach to swimming.

Stage 1 / Water Acclimation


This program increases comfort with underwater exploration and introduces basic self-rescue skills performed with assistance.

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.


  • Blow Bubbles – mouth & nose submerged, assisted
  • Front Tow – blow bubbles, assisted
  • Water Exit – assisted
  • Water Entry – assisted
  • Back Float – assisted, head on chest
  • Roll – assisted
  • Front Float – blow bubbles, assisted
  • Back Tow – assisted, head on chest
  • Monkey Crawl – assisted, 10 ft.

Stage 2 / Water Movement


This swim program encourages forward movement in water and basic self-rescue skills performed independently.

In stage 2, 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.


  • Submerge – look at object on bottom
  • Front Glide – 10 ft. (5 ft. preschool)
  • Water Exit – independently
  • Jump, Push, Turn, Grab
  • Back Float – 20 secs. (10 secs. preschool)
  • Roll
  • Front Float – 20 secs. (10 secs. preschool)
  • Back Glide – 10 ft. (5 ft. preschool)
  • Tread Water – 10 secs., near wall, & exit
  • Swim, Float, Swim – 5 yd.

Stage 3 / Water Stamina


This swim program develops intermediate self-rescue skills performed at longer distances than in previous stages

In stage 3, 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.


  • Submerge Retrieve – object in chest-deep water
  • Swim on Front – 15 yd. (10 yd. preschool)
  • Water Exit – independently
  • Jump, Swim, Turn, Swim, Grab – 10 yd.
  • Swim on Back – 15 yd. (10 yd. preschool)
  • Roll
  • Tread Water – 1 min. & exit (30 secs. preschool)
  • Swim, Float, Swim – 25 yd. (15 yd. preschool)

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. In Stroke Introduction, Stroke Development and Stroke Mechanics, swimmers are introduced to the four competitive swimming strokes as well as rescue skills and healthy lifestyle habits.

Stage 4 / Stroke Introduction


This swim program introduces basic stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl

Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke. Students in stage 4 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.


  • Endurance – any stroke or combination of strokes, 25 yd.
  • Front Crawl – rotary breathing, 15 yd.
  • Back Crawl – 15 yd.
  • Dive – sitting
  • Resting Stroke – elementary backstroke, 15 yd.
  • Tread Water – scissor & whip kick, 1 min.
  • Breaststroke – kick, 15 yd.
  • Butterfly – kick, 15 yd.

Stage 5 / Stroke Development


This swim program introduces breast-stroke and butterfly

Water safety is reinforced through treading water and sidestroke. 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.


  • Endurance – any stroke or combination of strokes, 50 yd.
  • Front Crawl – bent-arm recovery, 25 yd.
  • Back Crawl – pull, 25 yd.
  • Dive – kneeling
  • Resting Stroke – sidestroke, 25 yd.
  • Tread Water – scissor & whip kick, 2 mins.
  • Breaststroke – 25 yd.
  • Butterfly – simultaneous arm action & kick, 15 yd.

Stage 6 / Stroke Mechanics


This program refines stroke technique on all major competitive strokes

Encourages participants to include swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle. In stage 6, students refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.


  • Endurance – any stroke or combination of strokes, 150 yd.
  • Front Crawl – flip turn, 50 yd.
  • Back Crawl – pull & flip turn,50 yd.
  • Dive – standing
  • Resting Stroke – elementary backstroke or sidestroke, 50 yd.
  • Tread Water – retrieve object off bottom, tread 1 min.
  • Breaststroke – open turn, 50 yd.
  • Butterfly – 25 yd.

The YMCA's Private and Semi-Private Swim Lessons allow for accelerated learning due to more individualized attention the student/s will receive.

Private Swim Lessons


Private swim lessons allow for accelerated learning

Swim lessons offer individualized attention for each student. Participants will receive eight thirty minute lessons customized by skill level and goals.

Semi-Private Swim Lessons


Semi-Private swim lessons are great for siblings, family members, and friends

These lessons allow two or more participants of similar skill level and age to learn together. Participants will receive eight thirty minute lessons with flexible scheduling that can be customized to your goals and needs.

YMCA of Greater Indianapolis youth have the opportunity to sign up for swim lessons during day camp.

Day Camp Swim Lessons


Ages 3-12yrs, Mon-Thu FM $28 PP $53

This Swim Lesson Enrichment Program consists of four classes.

Class series is offered in a one-week period. Registration occurs weekly. You can sign up for just 1 week or every week. Counselors will bring your camper to their swim lesson and return them to camp when lessons are over.

Designed to make non-swimmers comfortable in the water, rather than stroke refinement, participants progress and learn at their own pace.

Teen & Adult Swim Lessons


Beginner: (Ages 13+)

Designed to help non-swimmers feel comfortable in the water

Swimmers progress at their own pace and learn the enjoyment of water activities. Each session meets once a week for 6 weeks.

Intermediate: (Ages 13+) Designed for swimmers who feel comfortable in the shallow and deep ends of the pool, but now need to develop their swimming stroke. This class is not intended for those only needing technical refinement. Each session meets once a week for 6 weeks. For advanced instruction ask about MultiFit Alpha.

Certifications & Training

The YMCA offers our community a variety of Certification & Training courses such as first aid, CPR and AED training that will provide you with the critical skills you need for an emergency.

Specialty Classes & Programs

Swimmers who love the water and want further instruction for future aquatics activities enjoy participating in our Specialty Programs focused on leadership, competition, and recreation.

Swim Clinics

The YMCA's Swim Clinics are designed to help prepare participants to join a swim team, or other sports, by enhancing stroke development & endurance.

Swim Lessons

The Y strives to help all ages learn how to swim, so they can stay safe around water and learn the skills needed to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for healthy living.

Swim Teams

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis offers Swim Clubs and Teams to help you take your skills to the next level and build your confidence in and out of the pool.

Water Fitness

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis offers a wide range of water fitness group exercise classes for all ages and ability levels.

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