Levels of Ability

Learn-to-Swim Program Levels

Otters: Level 1 - Introduction to Water Skills

There are no prerequisites for Level 1. The objectives of level 1 are to learn basic personal water safety information and skills, to help participants feel comfortable in the water, and to enjoy the water safely.

Participants learn elementary aquatic skills, such as floating, gliding, and breath control, which they will build on as they progress through the six learn-to-swim levels. Participants also learn to safely enter and exit the water independently and begin to learn to recover from floating and gliding into a vertical position.

Seals: Level 2 - Fundamental Aquatic Skills

The objective of Level 2 is to give participants success with fundamental skills. Participants learn to float without support and to recover to a vertical position. This level marks the beginning of true locomotion skills.

Participants continue to explore simultaneous and alternating arm and leg actions on the front and back to lay the foundation for future strokes. Participants learn to step into chest deep water, perform front and back floats, and return to a vertical position as well as swim on the front using a combined arm and leg action for five body lengths.

Whales: Level 3 - Stroke Development

The objectives of Level 3 are for participants to learn the survival float, the elementary backstroke, and to coordinate the front crawl.

Participants are introduced to the scissors kick and the dolphin kick and build on the fundamentals of treading water. Participants also learn rules for headfirst entries and begin to learn to enter the water headfirst from the side of the pool.

Advanced Beginner: Level 4 - Stroke Improvement

The objectives of Level 4 are to develop confidence in the strokes learned thus far and to improve other aquatic skills.

Participants improve their skills and increase their endurance by swimming familiar strokes such as the front crawl and elementary backstroke for greater distances. Students also continue to build upon the scissors kick and dolphin kick by adding the arms for sidestroke and butterfly. The back crawl and the breaststroke are introduced in this level, as well as the basics of turning at a wall.

Intermediates: Level 5 - Stroke Refinement

The objectives of Level 5 are to coordinate and refine strokes.

Participants refine their performance of all the strokes including the front crawl, back crawl, butterfly, breaststroke, elementary backstroke and sidestroke, and increase their swimming distances. Flip turns on the front and back are also introduced.

Swimmers: Level 6 - Swimming & Skill Proficiency

The objectives of Level 6 are to refine the strokes so students swim them with ease, efficiency, power, and smoothness over greater distances.

Teaching focuses on preparing students to participate in more advanced courses, including the Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Training courses.

Preparation includes personal water safety, fundamentals of diving, lifeguard readiness, and fitness swimming.

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For More Information
If you're interested in participating or would like more details, please review the program's swim schedule or contact the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Division at (605) 626-7015.