Swimming Instructions

SAFE – The Fun and Easy Way to Learn How to Swim

When we decided to convert to an in-house program, we wanted to focus on achievable results that could be attained in a short season. SwimSafe’s new swimming program was perfected by taking the best methods from years of teaching using a variety of programs. The course focuses on four aspects of learning how to swim using the acronym SAFE, which stands for Safety First, Adaptable, Fun and Easy. Unlike most swim instruction programs that focus on year-round teaching, the SwimSafe approach is geared to learning how to swim in the 6-10 week summer season. As the first step, we want to be sure that kids feel Safe in the water. We want to teach kids to swim, but also to focus on the fact that in the short swim season the goal is to create a response to water that emphasizes safety first. Each level of the program has an entire segment focused on the ability to understand basic safety rules in an aquatic setting.

We make sure our lessons are Adaptable to each child’s learning speed. We don’t want to hold back a student who is “stuck” in one particular level, but progressing well on other skills, so we enabled the swimmer to be “taught up or down”. For example, a child might be stuck in Level 3 because he/she is afraid to put their face in the water, but is excelling on his/her back skills. This child can work on a higher level of back skills, while focusing on the current level of other instruction.

In a year-round program, most instruction is done at regulated temperatures in an indoor facility. In a summer-only program, often times we must teach in cold, early June weather or on very hot days in July and August. This can make even the most dedicated child grow weary. To compensate for these conditions, we use “Fun” to keep the kids entertained and interested. Instructors are encouraged to teach by using games and tricks, as opposed to simply focusing on the skills alone. Anyone can have a child push off the wall, but using the image of a lion pushing through a ring of fire (a hula hoop) keeps the child happier and more engaged.

Making the lessons “Easy” includes being “easy-to-learn, easy-to-remember, and easy-to-succeed”. Our levels are designed to build on each other, so that instructors can teach up or down as needed and the lessons feel natural when adding the next level, thus creating a smooth learning flow. We utilize storyboard cards, so the kids are able to see where they are in a lesson. The cards also have games and ideas on the back, making the plan “easy to remember” for both the student and instructor. Finally,
”easy-to-succeed” is in the variety of skills at each level which allows the student to progress at different speeds in different areas.

There is one lesson card that shows the students the different skills they have learned and what skills they are working on and indicates if they are working on a higher skill than their current level, helping the kids feel good about the progress they are making.


Many Instruction Levels Are Available

We understand that children are at different levels of skill and require lessons that are tailored to their individual ability, so we courses that address all situations. Please review the following training segments and select the one you feel is most appropriate for your child. The skill level expectations shown with each course must be completed to pass each level.

Flounder Skills (Water Exploration) – child must be able to leave parent. Child will become acclimated to the water through games. Child will learn basic safety skills in addition to water submersion and floating with support.

  • Safety points
  • Monkey crawl to safety
  • Safe way in/out
  • Supported front float
  • Supported back float
  • Assisted recovery position from front
  • Assisted recovery position from back
  • Introduction to bobs
  • Bubbles from nose/mouth
  • Assisted movement in pool

Jellyfish Skills (Primary Skills) – child needs to be acclimated to water. Child will learn to be in the water unassisted on both front and back positions. Bobbing, floating and kicking will be the main focus of this level. Safety and learning through games will be incorporated in this level.

  • Safety points
  • Push-off-wall to front float
  • Push-off-wall to back float
  • Recovery position from unassisted front float
  • Recovery position from unassisted back float
  • Recovery position from unassisted front glide
  • Recovery position from unassisted back glide
  • Five bobs with bubbles
  • Submersion for objects
  • Propulsive kicking with/without flotation
  • Push off streamline and roll to back

Octopus Skills (Stroke Readiness) –  child must be comfortable floating unassisted on both front and back. Child can recover from float to standing position unassisted and be able to use a propulsive kick. Child will begin learning freestyle, backstroke, elementary backstroke, treading water and diving. Safety skills and games will also be incorporated into this level.

  • Safety points
  • Tread for 10 seconds
  • Sculling on front/back
  • Elementary backstroke
  • Novice freestyle
  • Novice backstroke
  • Jumping bobs
  • Jump in and push off to a back glide
  • Jump in and return to wall
  • Streamline kicking
  • Sit dive
  • Introduction to kicks (flutter, dolphin, breast)

Clownfish Skills (Stroke Development) – child must be able to swim novice freestyle and backstroke, be able to jump in and return to the side unassisted, tread water for 10 seconds, and know the basics of the breaststroke and butterfly kicks. Freestyle and backstroke skills will be refined. Endurance will be increased in all skills.

  • Safety points
  • Tread for one minute
  • Strong freestyle
  • Strong backstroke
  • Novice butterfly
  • Novice breaststroke
  • Backward bobs
  • Kneel dive
  • Front somersault
  • Handstand
  • Strong kicks (flutter, dolphin, breast)

Seahorse Skills (Stroke Refinement) – child is a strong swimmer in both freestyle and backstroke and has a novice understanding of both breaststroke and butterfly. Child can do somersaults in the water, tread for one minute and dive from a kneeling position. Child will learn to swim 25 meters of each of the four competitive strokes legally, standing dive, flip turns and open turns. The goal of this level is for swimmers to be able to complete a 100-meter swim continuously.

  • Safety points
  • Tread/swim/tread
  • Eggbeater kick
  • 25-meters freestyle
  • 25-meters backstroke
  • 25-meters butterfly
  • 25-meters breaststroke
  • 100-meters continuous swim
  • Standing dive
  • Flip turns

Please feel free to contact us (513-755-7075) if you have any specific questions about SwimSafe’s swimming instruction offerings.