Skill Level Descriptions

Parent/Tot (10 months-3 years)

Desert Swim School believes in making the Parent/Tot swim lesson a positive experience with songs, toys, and the comfort of mom or dad. Although this is not an aggressive program, we do want progress in regards to swimming and water safety. Repetition is key. Our focus is water safety using highly practiced and researched techniques including:

    • Jump In, Turn Around (grab the wall and climb out) –  our signature technique
    • Back Float
    • “Swimming” to the wall and hanging on
    • Holding the breath, using arms and kicks; and introduction to swimming
    • Safety Day (to include “street clothing”)

Lesson Objectives:

  • Getting comfortable putting face in water, blowing bubbles, and holding breath.
  • Learning to perform “big arms” and “big kicks”.
  • Learning to hold the breath with a “1, 2, 3” cue.
  • Learning “Spiderman” technique.
  • Learning “Jump In, Turn Around” technique.
  • Learning the back float.

To Advance to the Next Level:

  • Should be able to go underwater from instructor to parent a few feet.
  • Should be able to perform “Jump In, Turn Around” with little or no assistance.
  • Should be able to climb out of the pool with little or no assistance.
  • Should be able to sit on the step without parent being involved.
  • Note: Next level is “no” parent, therefore advancing to the next level demands child being comfortable without parent in the water with them.

Class Format:

  • “Look Who Came to the Pool Today” with each name (advanced students should swim from instructor to parent)
  • Big Arms singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” with parent
  • Kicks with parent
  • Combine big arms and kicks with floatie toy (duckie) in front (advanced students might practice swimming back and forth to instructor instead of using a toy)
  • Spiderman
  • Jump In, turn around, grab the wall, climb out
  • “Following the Leader” (Hula Hoop 3X each or more)
  • Back float
  • Swim to the wall and hold for 10 seconds (by lesson 2 or 3 of the session; increase time holding on time as students progress)
  • Wrap up song (“The Kids in the Pool”- up and down, bubbles, arms, kicks, swish)
  • Always remind parents to watch children around water and that there is no substitute for constant supervision.

Beginner Level 1

This class is for the child who has had no water introduction (child may be fearful). Children in this class may have never submerged their faces. Children may or may not be anxious about the water. Focus on water introduction and safety and skills such as:

    • Blowing bubbles
    • Holding the breath and going underwater
    • back float
    • Spiderman climbing
    • Modified jump in turn around (working from no submersion to full submersion)

Lesson Objectives:

  • Getting comfortable in the water
  • Learning to submerge face for bubbles and bobs
  • Reducing fear when floating on the back; relaxing
  • Learning to submerge for the “Jump In, Turn Around” technique.

To Advance to the Next Level:

  • Should be comfortable submerging face and pushing off the step (and going back) to the instructor, complete modified “Jump In, Turn Around” and Spiderman climb, and display little to no fear of the water.

Class Format:

  • Introduction and Safety Rules
  • Basic Beginner: Bubbles (play with eggs; include lips, eyes, etc. as you progress)
    • Bobs as beginners progress/you will be holding them for their bobs
  • Big arms (“Row, row, row”) & Kicks (oceans and bathtubs or red light/green light) on the step
  • Swimming
    • Starting with holding child working up to independent swimming
      • From step to instructor and back
  • Spiderman may need assistance at first
  • Modified Jump In, Turn Around (3X) – looking for improvement with each lesson
  • Back float with assistance
  • “Practice Swimming” with assistance (3X)
  • Playtime (2-3 minutes)
  • Acknowledge parents in attendance

Beginner Level 2

This class is for the child who is not yet able to swim independently. Some children in this class may be able to submerge their face, but it is not a requirement. Children may or may not be anxious about the water. Focus on water safety and skills such as:

    • Jump In, Turn Around (grab the wall and climb out)
    • big arms, kicks
    • back float
    • holding the breath and introduction to swimming
    • Safety Day (to include “street clothing”)

Lesson Objectives:

  • Getting comfortable in the water.
  • Learning to “swim” using arms and kicks (at least a few feet).
  • Learning to float on the back.
  • Learning to master the “Jump In, Turn Around” technique.

To Advance to the Next Level:

  • Should be able to swim three feet or more on his/her front.

Class Format:

  • Introduction and Safety Rules
  • Basic Beginner (1-2 lessons maximum): Bubbles (play with eggs; include lips, eyes, etc. as you progress)
    • Bobs as beginners progress/you may be holding them for their bobs
  • Beyond Basic Beginner: (once breath is being held/bubbles do not need to be repeated in every class)!
  • Big arms (“Row, row, row”) & Kicks (oceans and bathtubs) on the step
  • Swimming
    • Starting with holding child working up to independent swimming
      • from step to instructor .. and back
      • to wall
      • to different, deeper areas of the pool
  • Spiderman
  • Jump In, Turn Around (3X)
  • Back float
  • “Practice Swimming” (3X)
  • Playtime (2-3 minutes)
  • Acknowledge parents in attendance

Advanced Beginner

Lesson Objectives:

  • Being completely comfortable in the water.
  • Swimming from the step to the instructor and back, several times per class.
  • Working to master the back float in preparation for the backstroke.
  • Learning to use a kickboard properly (later in the session).
  • Working on taking a breath.

To Advance to the Next Level:

  • Should be able to swim freestyle and working up to a backstroke for the entire width of the pool (approximately five yards).

Class Format:

  • Introduction and Safety rules
  • Superman glide (if appropriate)
  • Big arms & Kicks
  • Swimming to the instructor and back to the wall/step (3-5X)
    • Kickboard can be added in later lessons; may need assistance
  • Work on taking a breath
    • Also can be added in later lessons, when children are ready for this skill
    • Breath to the front is standard for children under age 5
  • Jump In, Turn Around practice (3X minimum)
  • Back float practice (3X)
    • Kickboard can be added when children are comfortable (place kickboard on stomach and have the children kick)
  • Additional practice with swimming if time allows (building skills & endurance)
  • Playtime

Intermediate

This class is for the child that can swim on their stomach with face submerged, and on their back for the width of the pool (approximately 5yds.). Focus on swimming correctly on the front and on the back, as well as mastery of rhythmic breathing, “Jump In, Turn Around” technique, and water safety to include “street clothing” days.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Being completely comfortable in the water.
  • Working on endurance and technique.
  • Working on mastering the backstroke.
  • Learning side-breathing.

To Advance to the Next Level:

  • Should be able to swim freestyle and backstroke for half the length of the pool (approximately 15 yards).

Class Format:

  • Bobs
  • Superman glide
  • Stationary Arm and Kick practice
  • Kickboards or stationary drills with breath practice
  • Freestyle with side-breathing
  • Backstroke practice with ‘teddy bear’ hugs
  • Backstroke with and without kickboard
  • Introduction to the breaststroke
  • Playtime; Diving for rings

Swim Skills

This class is for children who can swim freestyle and backstroke for half the pool length (approximately 15yds.). Focus on technical swim skills like breathing and good form while swimming freestyle and backstroke, learning basic breaststroke, increasing endurance, and water safety. Treading water (with and without “street clothing”) will also be included.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Working on increased endurance.
  • Working on fine-tuning freestyle and backstroke.
  • Continuing to work on the breaststroke.
  • Learning to tread water.

To Advance to the Next Level:

  • Should be able to swim freestyle the length of the pool  (using side-breathing), backstroke, and at least most of the way with the breaststroke.
  • Should have been exposed to treading water and exhibited ability to master this skill.

Class Format:

  • Bobs
  • Warm up with kick drills and breathing (if needed)
  • Swimming several times using freestyle and backstroke
  • Practice breaststroke
  • Timed sessions of treading water
  • Introduction of butterfly (lessons 4-8)
  • Playtime; Diving for rings

Competitive Swimming

This class is for the child that can swim freestyle and backstroke for the entire pool length (approximately 25yds.). This class will ready your child for a competitive program, if desired. Focus on technical swim skills such as:

    • Improving breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle techniques
    • Learning butterfly
    • Increasing endurance, treading water, and Safety Days

Lesson Objectives:

  • Building endurance and polishing technique (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke).
  • Working on treading water.
  • Learning the butterfly.

Sample Class Format:

  • Bobs
  • Warm up with kick-work and other drills to prepare for strokes
  • Laps: include freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke
  • Introduce or perfect butterfly
  • Tread water during safety days
  • Playtime; Rings or games