Choosing the Right Swim Lesson

We make it easy for you! Our system of swim lesson instruction allows for students of any age to follow the same steps in mastering swimming.

Choosing the Right Swim Lesson

YMCA Swim Lessons

At the YMCA, swimming is not just a fun, healthy, lifelong activity, but a life-saving skill that everyone should have the opportunity to learn.  Whether your 6 months old or in your 6th decade of life, we have a swim lesson program to teach you everything from basic water safety to competitive strokes.

Our New Lesson Program

The YMCA of Greater Richmond uses a nation-wide swim lesson program designed to teach SAFETY in the water, along with proper stroke techniques and competitive strokes.  But it all begins with safety around the water.

See Cassidy’s story about how YMCA swim lessons taught her what to do when she fell into water.

Which Lesson is Right for Me?

Private or Group

Private lessons are available for one-on-one instruction with the student and a YMCA instructor.  These lessons are more expensive, but catered to your needs and pacing.

Group lessons are our most popular and affordable option.  After an initial swim test, students are placed in a small group of other swimmers with a similar abilities in the water.

Age Groups

Parent with Child classes are for any adult in a parenting relationship with a child between the ages of 6 months to 3 years old.  Infants and toddlers are introduced to the aquatic environment, progressing to exploring body positions, blowing bubbles and fundamental safety and skills.

Pre-School lessons begin at 3 years old through 5 years old, increasing the comfort level of the student underwater and self-rescue techniques, learning how to move themselves in the water, and increasing their stamina in the water.

Beginner & Intermediate Youth lessons are for school-aged students ages 6 – 12.  For beginning swimmers, water acclimation, movement and stamina are emphasized until they are ready for the introduction of swim stokes.  Intermediate students begin with stroke support and development, progressing into stroke mechanics.

Teen & Adult lessons progress through similar stages as other age groups, but at a pace and delivery more suited the teen or adults age.

For more information on stages of learning, view our Swim Lessons Program Overview chart.

Fundamentals of YMCA Swim Lessons

There are many concepts behind learning to swim and be safe around the water.  Below are just a few examples of what the YMCA does to help the swimmer learn these skills.

Blowing Bubbles

Submerge (Stage 1 & 2)

Jump, Push, Turn, Grab (Stages 1 & 2)

Swim Float Swim


Safety around the water is important to us.  While we want your experience to be as fun as it can be, our pool rules for the pool, steam rooms, sauna and hot tubs help to ensure your safety while you enjoy the water!

Swim Test Policy Explanation

Pool and Aquatics Area Rules (English and Spanish)