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Countryside YMCA Countryside YMCA
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Preschool Age Classes

This progressive program teaches basic swimming skills for children 3 to 5 years of age. Children progress through three levels and are grouped by ability.

  • Stage 1
    Water Acclimation (previously Pike)

    This class is for the beginner swimmer who has advanced out of the parent & child classes, or who has completed a swim evaluation. Participants learn all aspects of safety, appropriate class behavior, listening skills, and independence. To advance, children must master the following benchmarks: bobs; proper water exit; jump into water over their head, push off the bottom, turn, and grab the side of the pool (jump-push-turn-grab); float on both front and back for 10 seconds; and swim-float-swim for 10 feet.

  • Stage 2
    Water Movement (previously Eel)

    In order to move to Stage 2, participants must successfully demonstrate all Stage 1 skills or complete a swim evaluation. This class encourages forward movement and basic self-rescue skills. Swimmers increase their endurance and distance, and learn the skill of treading water. To advance, children must master the following benchmarks: jump into water over their head, push off the bottom, turn, and grab the side of the pool (jump-push-turn-grab); front and back float for 10 seconds; swim-float-swim for 5 yards; front and back glides; and tread water for 10 seconds.

  • Stage 3
    Water Stamina (previously Advanced Eel / Beginner Ray)

    In order to move to Stage 3, participants must successfully demonstrate all Stage 2 skills or complete a swim evaluation. Swimmers develop intermediate self-rescue skills and increase their endurance and distance. Swimmers learn to swim on their front and back and submerge to retrieve an object. To advance, children must master the following benchmarks: retrieve an object off the bottom of the pool; demonstrate swim-float-swim for 15 yards; jump-swim-turn-swim for 10 yards; tread water for 30 seconds; and swim on their front and back at the surface for 10 yards each.

  • Stage 4
    Stroke Introduction (previously Advanced Ray / Beginner Starfish)

    In order to move to Stage 4, participants must complete Stage 3 or a swim evaluation. Stage 4 introduces basic stroke technique in front and back crawl and reinforces water safety through treading water and elementary backstroke. Swimmers are introduced to front crawl including rotary breathing, back crawl, breaststroke, butterfly, and elementary backstroke. To advance, children must master the following benchmarks: tread water using 2 different kicks for 1 minute; swim 15 yards each using front crawl with rhythmic breathing, back crawl, and elementary backstroke; breaststroke kick and butterfly kick for 15 yards each; and swim 25 yards with a combination of any strokes.

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