Swim lessons create strong swimmers & confident kids

Summer is the perfect time to get children involved in swim lessons. As America’s Swim Instructor, the Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming—teaching more than one million kids a year swimming and water safety skills.

ALL children, regardless of background, skills or age, should have access to swim lessons. It’s a rite of passage that can lead to a love of swimming that lasts a lifetime, while increasing confidence, physical activity and well-being.

Develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children ages 6 months to 3 years. This category focuses on developing swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn how to supervise children in the water, how to prevent accidents and how to plan for emergencies.

Develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.

Introduces and refines stroke technique in older students (school age, teens and adults). Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.



In 2019, the YMCA OF SOUTH ALABAMA updated its lessons to increase the accessibility and enjoyment of swimming to all ages and skill levels. The latest evolution of Y Swim Lessons accommodates varying abilities to help foster a sense of achievement as swimmers progress between levels. Through this approach, advanced swimmers flow more easily to higher levels while swimmers who need more instruction can learn at their own pace. This results in more confident swimmers who stick with lessons and develop a love for swimming that can last a lifetime.

Parent & Child

6 mo-3 yrs

This class is designed to orient infants and toddlers to the water with the comfort of their parent. The class strengthens the amount of trust between the parent and child while teaching parents how to encourage aquatic activity with their child.


3-5 yrs

The preschool swim program has three levels designed to help children progress and build elementary swimming and safety skills. Classes emphasize developing the coordination, endurance, and self-confidence of the preschooler.


6-12 yrs

The School Aged swim program has five levels designed to help children grow personally and develop strokes and safety skills. Emphasis is on endurance, personal safety, skill development, and lifesaving techniques.

Teen & Adult

13 yrs & up

Classes have a low student-to-instructor ratio, which allows for personal instruction in each class. Skills emphasized include: basic water acclimation, floating, treading, freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, diving, and much more.

ymca of south alabama


Basic Water Rescue Certification

The American Red Cross Basic Water Rescue course provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent, recognize and respond to many types of aquatic emergencies. This course also prepares individuals for aquatic emergencies by teaching them how to protect themselves while assisting others.

Babysitting Training Certification

The primary purpose of the American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training course is to provide youth who are planning to babysit with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly give care for children and infants. This training will help participants to develop leadership skills; learn how to develop a babysitting business, keep themselves and others safe and help children behave; and learn about basic child care and basic first aid.

Professional (Basic Life Support) CPR/AED Certification

The purpose of the CPR/AED course is to teach those with a duty to act the skills needed to respond appropriately to breathing and cardiac emergencies. This includes the use of a bag, value, mask resuscitator, and an automated external defibrillator (AED) to care for a victim of cardiac arrest.


Lifeguard Certification

The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training is to present the knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of a lifeguard. The program is based on sound decision-making, proper use of rescue equipment, knowledge of water safety, and proficiency in rescue skills.

The training includes certifications in Lifeguarding, CPR/AED,  and First Aid.


Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Certification

The primary purpose of the American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED program is to help participants recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing and first aid emergencies. The courses in the program teach participants the knowledge and skills needed to give immediate care to an injured or ill person and to decide whether advanced medical care is needed.

Water Safety Instructor Certification

This American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Certification course provides participants with the basic knowledge and skills to teach American Red Cross swim lessons to parent-child pairs, preschoolers, youth and adults. It includes both land and pool sessions and lesson planning, teaching methodology, class organization, class components, and skills for the ARC progressive program. The course also covers the Y’s expectations for instructors and outlines their responsibilities for teaching aquatics classes that are student centered, values oriented, and safe and effective in teaching aquatic skills.