YMCA Swim School Level Descriptions


Correct level placement is essential to ensure that your child is comfortable and successful in swimming lessons.

Generally, level placement is based on skill level, not age. To determine what level your child should be in, view either the Lesson Level Flowchart or the Red Cross (and Old Y levels) to YMCA Level Equivalents. Or join us for Swim Level Assessments, every Saturday in the Small Pool from 12-12:30pm. One of our senior swim instructors will cover skills, test endurance and answer any questions you might have. Assessments are FREE and open to the community (no need to pay for a day pass). 


In this class, the parent learns how to properly hold their 6-18 month baby while working on floating, submerging, hand/eye coordination and muscle strengthening through games and songs.


Toddlers ages 19- 35 months. This class teaches the parent how to work with their child on relaxed floating, gaining breath control for submerging, independent climbing out of pool and muscle strengthening.


Children 3 years old can begin getting comfortable in the water independent of their parents. Through patience and trust, children in this level will overcome their fear and eventually swim independently.


In this level, encouragement and positive reinforcement will help swimmers become more skilled floating independently on their front and back as well as kicking across the pool on their back independently.


In this class, participants will build on their independent swimming ability by swimming further distances. Being able to transition from swimming on their front to their back with ease is one of the safety skills stressed in this level.


Children in this class will build on previous levels by beginning to define swim strokes such as backstroke, front crawl and elementary backstroke.


Swimmers in the Otter class will build endurance on the strokes learned in Turtle and they will learn dolphin kick, the timing of breaststroke, and will start to learn flip turns.


Children in this class will progress by completing the butterfly and breaststroke. Endurance will be increased even more by working on being able to swim 300 yards continuously.


These experienced swimmers will be able to swim multiple lengths of the pool in each of the competitive strokes: front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Swimmers will also be skilled in elementary backstroke, sidestroke and water safety.

For more information about YMCA Swim School Levels, contact Max Ommen at 701.364.4168 or maxwell.ommen@ymcacassclay.org