Swim Lessons

It’s never too late to learn how to swim! Our adult swim lessons provide a place for adults and teens 12 and older to learn how to swim in a friendly small-group setting. Adult swim lessons are for those individuals who wish to learn to swim or those who want to improve their technique and feel safe and secure in any body of water– whether it’s a pool, lake or our beautiful Pacific Ocean.

The Y’s new national Swim Lessons program ensures the same high-quality experience at every YMCA throughout the country.  Utilizing a clear progression track, participants build confidence to reach swimming skill milestones.  As drowning is a leading cause of death among children and adults, all lessons emphasize personal safety around water.
Benefits of this approach include:

  • Accommodating students of all ages and abilities
  • Providing personalized attention in a supportive environment by expert instructors
  • Improving communication about skill progression through definitive stages

The new Adult Swim Lessons program features two phases, Swim Basics and Swim Strokes, which include multiple stages within each phase based upon the swimmer’s ability. 

Swim Basics focuses on body position and movement, not yet introducing technical form

Swim Strokes introduces stroke technique, coordination and endurance

Swim Basics

Designed for the beginning swimmer, this phase builds on the foundation of water safety and drowning prevention is made by teaching water adjustment and skill readiness.


Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water.


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.


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.

Swim Strokes

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


Students 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.


Students work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.


Students refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re having difficulty choosing the appropriate stage, the Y’s Swim Lessons Selector can help, or visit your local branch for assistance.

Build confidence with every stroke.

    See all branches currently offering Adult Swim Lessons >