Swim Lessons

Learn to Swim
At the Y

Whether you are a beginner swimmer or on your way to the Olympics, we are a great place to make a splash.

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under five and one of the top three causes for people under 30. According to a 2021 Red Cross survey, more than half of adults in the US do not know how to swim. Participation in water safety and learn-to-swim programs reduces the risk of drowning by 88%.

Our indoor aquatic programs provide members and participants with a comfortable environment for team sports, water aerobics, swim lessons, family time, birthday parties, and more.

Registration for swim lessons occurs monthly, about halfway through our current session. YMCA members receive priority registration and register one week early.  If you don't see any classes available for registration, check back later.

Find a pool and register today!

Register for Clark County YMCA

View the Clark County Swim Lesson Schedule HERE.

Register for Sherwood YMCA

View the Sherwood Swim Lesson Schedule HERE.

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Swimming is a lifelong activity, from Parent/ Child classes to Water Aerobics. Everyone is welcome!


Saving lives for over a century.

Lives Impacted

 We have over 5,550 yearly registrations for youth swim and water safety training.

Swim Lessons


Accompanied by a parent, infants, and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.

Find a pool and register.

Parent/Child - Water Discovery

Ages 6 months to 2 years. This class introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment. Participants and parents will learn body positions, blowing bubbles, fundamental safety, and aquatic skills.

Parent/Child - Water Exploration

Ages 2 to 4 years. A class for little swimmers who are just starting out in the water. Parents are welcome to accompany their participants into the water as they learn to explore the water in a safe way. This class focuses on exploring body positions, blowing bubbles, fundamental safety, and basic aquatic skills. 

SWIM BASICS (Level 1-3)

Students learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning benchmark skills: Swimming, floating, sequencing, jumping, pushing, turning, and grabbing.

Find a pool and register.

Level 1 - Water Acclimation

Ages 3-12. A beginning class for older children with limited or no swimming experience to gain confidence in the water. This class will introduce submerging, front & back floating, front & back glides, and beginning arm strokes. PREREQUISITES: None.

Level 2 - Water Movement

Ages 3-12. A beginning class for older children who are able to float, kick, and glide on their own. This class will emphasize moving forward in the water using front and back crawl. PREREQUISITES: Float on front/back independently and front/back glides with kicks for 2-3 body lengths.

Level 3 - Water Stamina

Ages 3-12. An intermediate class for swimmers who are able to roll from front to back float and front crawl independently for about 10 yards. This class will emphasize improving stroke technique, increasing endurance, and will introduce side-breathing, breaststroke kicks, and deep water comfort. Water safety skills are also developed. PREREQUISITES: Roll from front to back, float, and front crawl 10 yards.

SWIM STROKES (Level 4-6)

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

Find a pool and register.

Level 4 - Stroke Introduction

Ages 3-12. An intermediate class for swimmers who are proficient at Level 3 skills and can swim 25 yards using a combination of front and back strokes. This class will emphasize endurance and side-breathing while working on deep water comfort and introducing treading. PREREQUISITES: Swim front and back and crawl at least 15 yards each. Must be able to swim the length of the pool without assistance using a combination of front and back strokes.

Level 5 - Stroke Development

Ages 5-12. An advanced class that introduces breaststroke and butterfly as well as reinforces water safety through treading and elementary backstroke. PREREQUISITES: Twenty-five yards of freestyle and backstroke, deep water comfort.

Level 6 - Stroke Mechanics

Ages 5-16. A class for advanced swimmers who can swim at least 50 yards of freestyle and backstroke as well as 25 yards of breaststroke. This class works to refine stroke technique on all competitive strokes and encourages swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle. PREREQUISITES: Fifty yards of freestyle and backstroke, twenty-five yards of breaststroke.

Pathways (Teen/Adult/Adaptive/Competitive)

Students build confidence, cultivate passion, and stay active through specialized tracks.

Find a pool and register.

Adult Swim Basics

This is a class for adults with little or no swimming experience. The class will focus on basic water comfort while introducing floating, streamlining, body positions, and basic stroke techniques. NO PREREQUISITES

Adult Swim Strokes

This class is for adults comfortable in the water and understand swimming and strokes. This class will help build endurance, refine technique, and introduce lap swimming etiquette. PREREQUISITES: Must be able to swim twenty-five yards.

Aquatic Conditioning

Prepares swimmers for the swim team. It is designed to build endurance and fine-tune all four major competitive strokes. This class is taught in a coaching style from the pool deck. The focus is on improving swim times and stroke technique. PREREQUISITES: 150 yards continuous swim (any stroke). Fifty yards each of Front Crawl, Back Crawl, Breast Stroke, and Butterfly. Understanding of flip turns.


Ages 13 and up.

This course builds comfort in the water and beginning swimming skills and is taught in the Recreation Pool.  Focus on survival skills. Prerequisites: No previous swimming skills are required

This course reinforces comfort in the water while building and developing techniques and is taught in the Lap Pool. The curriculum will be based on class needs and aspirations.

This course fine-tunes stroke technique and builds endurance. An instructor will coach participants in the Lap Pool. PREREQUISITES: Some experience with competitive swim strokes are required. Should be able to swim at least 100 yards continuously.

Adaptive Lessons

Ages 3 and up.

Designed for individuals ages three and up with special needs. In a safe and relaxed environment, participants with all abilities can learn to swim, practice water safety, and expand aquatic education.  Registration is done in-house and includes an initial intake session to pair you with the best instructor to fit your needs. 

Important Information

6 months - 3 years
Parent* & Child: Stages A-B

3 years - 5 years
Preschool: Stages 1-4

5 years - 12 years
School Age: Stages 1-6

12+ years
Teen & Adult: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced

All age groups are taught the same skills but divided according to their developmental milestones.


Can the student respond to verbal cues and jump on land?
Not yet = A/ Water Discovery

Is the student comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water?
Not yet = B/ Water Exploration

Will the student go underwater voluntarily?
Not yet = 1/ Water Acclimation

Can the student do a front and back float on their own?
Not yet = 2/ Water Movement

Can the student swim 10-15 yards on their own? 
Not yet = 3/ Water Stamina

Can the student swim 15 yards of front and back crawl? 
Not yet = 4/ Stroke Introduction

Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool?
Not yet = 5/ Stroke Development

Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool and back?
Not yet = 6/ Stroke Mechanics

Swimming Attire
Most bathing suits and swim trunks are acceptable. We ask that any swimwear fits snuggly so it will not hinder any movement. Children should not attend swim lessons with any built-in flotation.

Swim Caps
If you or your child is prone to chill, a swim cap may help. We welcome and encourage this! For swimmers with long hair, we ask that it be tied back away from the face with a rubber band so it does not interfere with learning to breathe. *No metal clips, please—they can fall out in the water and cause rust stains on our pool bottom.

For the beginner swimmer, goggles can present a false sense of safety. If your swimmer feels that they need goggles, they may bring them.

Please bring your own towel to the lesson.

For aquatics questions at Sherwood Regional Family YMCA, email: sherwoodaqua@ymcacw.org

For aquatics questions at Clark County YMCA, email: clarkaqua@ymcacw.org


I can go at my own pace and not feel pressure to do things I can’t. Everybody is wonderful. I try to come first thing in the morning every day after I drop the kids off. I will stay after and chit-chat with everyone. It is not intimidating at all.

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