Find Swimming Lessons Near You
Swimming classes are divided into multiple categories, based on age. Learn more about swimming lessons and where to find swim instructors.
One of the best ways to relax during the summer is swimming. If your child is interested in swimming, it is important to sign him or her up for swimming lessons. Some parents view swimming lessons as necessary, believing they can teach their children everything they need to know on their own. While you may be able to teach your child the basics of swimming, the lessons go into much greater detail, teaching as much about water safety as proper swimming techniques.
There are several different types of swim lessons available. Certain lessons are aimed at specific age groups, such as babies, toddlers and youths. There are also swimming lessons available for adults. Some instructors also provide mixed classes, where parents participate in the lessons with their child. Another difference between the classes is whether they are taught publicly with a group of students, or privately.
Baby Swimming Lessons
Baby swimming lessons are designed for children one year and under. Despite the name, baby swimming lessons involve minimal swimming. At such a young age, children are too young to safely swim. Instead, these classes focus on teaching proper water safety and getting your child used to being in the water.
Many parents sign their children up for baby swimming lessons even if they do not own a pool or plan on beach trips because of the safety benefits. Each year, the CDC estimates there are 3,500 drowning-related deaths. At such a young age, babies panic if they accidentally fall into the water. Baby swimming lessons help make the water seem less intimidating while teaching important skills babies eventually use to learn how to properly swim.
The CDC recommends starting baby swimming lessons around six to eight months, as this is the time where babies start to develop a sense of fear. By exposing them to water around this time, they are more likely to overcome their fear, which is important for learning to swim at a later age. Some of the skills taught during these classes include grabbing onto the edge of a pool to stay above water, basic paddling and floating on your back. Because of the young age, classes are either taught privately, where the instructor works directly with your child, or publicly, where parents get in the water with their children. These lessons typically last between 20 to 30 minutes.
Toddler Swimming Lessons
Toddler swimming lessons are for children between the ages of one and four. Instead of making a separate category, some instructors provide specialized youth swimming lessons, which only feature toddlers. Like with baby swimming lessons, toddler classes focus more on proper water safety and getting comfortable with the water. One of the first lessons taught in toddler swimming classes is how to hold your breath while submerged underneath the water. Toddlers also learn how to paddle in the water and swim short distances with minimal support from their parents or instructor.
Toddler swimming classes typically take 30 minutes to complete. Parents commonly participate in the lessons, but advanced toddlers who are comfortable with the water may only require parental supervision.
Youth Swimming Lessons
Youth swimming lessons are intended for children over the age of four. Instructors commonly divide youth swimming lessons into multiple levels, based on swimming experience. Some classes require you to start at the first level and advance through, while others let you skip certain sections based on your swimming proficiency. There are also some sections that are skipped based on age. For example, many instructors provide an introductory level, which is designed to get students comfortable with the water. For older children, these lessons are unnecessary.
The majority of youth swimming lessons focus on learning basic swimming skills. Children start by learning floating and stroking techniques. Students practice these techniques by swimming short distances. As they advance in lessons, they swim for longer periods or demonstrate specific types of strokes.
Youth swimming lessons are normally between 45 and 60 minutes. Parents are typically not required to stay for the lessons, but with younger children, some instructors may ask the parent to stay for at least the first lesson.
Adult Swimming Lessons
Adult swimming lessons are almost identical to youth swimming lessons. The biggest difference between the classes is the number of categories. Youth swimming classes are typically divided into seven or eight different stages. In comparison, most adult swimming lessons only have two or three separate categories. In addition to teaching the basics of swimming, adult classes also focus on the best swimming techniques for exercising. Lessons typically last for one hour.
Cost and Finding Swimming Lessons
Swimming lessons are inexpensive, with most instructors charging between $15 to $30 per session. Private instructors commonly charge more than group instructors. Some group instructors offer discounted rates if you have multiple children taking classes. There may also be local groups that provide free swimming lessons for certain age ranges.
There are several resources available to help find local swimming lessons. The Red Cross has an online directory where you can search for all types of swimming lessons. The YMCA commonly offers free or discounted swimming lessons. USA Swimming also offers a directory to search for local swim classes.