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Countryside YMCA Countryside YMCA
Countryside YMCA Countryside YMCA

School Age Classes

This youth program teaches water adjustment and basic swimming skills for children age 6 through 12 years. Children will progress through 3 levels in a student-centered program, allowing each child to progress at their own pace. Students are grouped by ability.

  • Stage 1
    Water Acclimation (previously Polliwog)

    This class is intended for the beginner swimmer. If you’re unsure of the proper placement for your child, please schedule a swim evaluation. In this class, swimmers 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 from 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 Advanced Polliwog)

    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 from the bottom, turn, and grab the side of the pool (jump-push-turn-grab); front and back float for 20 seconds; swim-float-swim 5 yards; front- and back-glides for 10 feet; and tread water for 10 seconds.

  • Stage 3
    Water Stamina (previously Beginner Guppy)

    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 also 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 from the bottom of the pool; swim-float-swim for 15 yards; jump-swim-turn-swim-grab for 10 yards; tread water for 1 minute; and swim on their front and back at the surface for 15 yards each.

  • Stage 4
    Stroke Introduction (previously Advanced Guppy)

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

  • Stage 5
    Stroke Development (previously Minnow)

    In order to move to Stage 5, participants must complete Stage 4 or a swim evaluation. Stage 5 introduces sidestroke, breaststroke, and butterfly arm pulls. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and sidestroke, and endurance increases as students swim 50 yards of each stroke. Advanced stroke techniques are taught for front and back crawl. To advance, children must master the following benchmarks: tread water using 2 different kicks for 2 minutes; swim for 25 yards each using front crawl with rhythmic breathing, back crawl, elementary backstroke, and breaststroke; swim butterfly for 15 yards; and swim for 50 yards using any combination of strokes.

  • Stage 6
    Stroke Mechanics (previously Fish, Flying Fish, & Shark)

    In order to move to Stage 6, participants must complete Stage 5 or a swim evaluation. Stage 6 refines stroke techniques on all major competitive strokes and encourages swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle. Flip and open turns are introduced. To advance, children must master the following benchmarks: retrieve an object from the bottom of the pool and then tread water for 1 minute; swim for 50 yards each using front crawl, back crawl, and elementary backstroke or sidestroke; swim breaststroke and butterfly for 25 yards; and swim for 150 yards using any combination of strokes. After completion of this course, swimmers are invited to explore our other aquatic programs to further their swimming careers.

Countryside YMCA