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St. Helena Aquatic Complex

Swim Lessons

Safe. Fun. Fit.

Those three simple words sum up our swim lessons. We first provide a safe and fun place for swim lessons and then we progress to the point where each student is a lifelong swimmer who swims to stay fit. We also endeavor to teach everyone to be safer in all environments both land and aquatic, and perhaps maybe, one day, save the life of someone in danger.

Our instructors undergo twenty four (24) hours of swim instructor training, participate in ongoing in-service training, and are certified in American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid for the Professional Rescuer or Lifeguard Training.

Our swim lessons are set up in two week blocks of eight (8) classes per session. We do not meet on Fourth of July holiday which reduces that session to seven (7) classes and the price is prorated. We also have one session of eight classes that meet only on Saturdays for eight weeks.

All our sessions start with a five (5) minute evaluation of each student and then they are divided by age group then by comfort and ability in the water. There will be some range in each class, but with the max size of four (4) persons per instructor most classes will be composed of swimmers with closely related ability. Please keep in mind that everyone progresses at a different pace and we may move swimmers around to better match their evolving skills. All the instructors are trained on each of the levels and will instructor your swimmer in their appropriate level even though others in the class may not be on the “exact” same level.

We have three “Levels” in our swim school. Each swimmer will progress through the skills in each level and when the last level is mastered the swimmer is graduated on to either swim team, fitness swimming, or prepared for lifeguard training. At the end of each session your child will be given an evaluation on their progress.

Level One- The Fundamentals of Swimming (Ages 4 and up)

            This level is about making you or your swimmer safer in the water. You may ask what is safer in the water? And, why don’t we say “water safe”? Two good questions. We are never completely “Safe” around water, even the best, and most seasoned swimmers can get into trouble. We can only strive to be better and safer swimmers. We believe knowing how to affect self-rescue is an important skill for everyone on the planet. 

The fundamentals of swimming involve four basic components

1.    Comfortably “self-submerge” in the water

2.    Float (front and back) and tread water

3.    Turn-over and turn around in the water

4.    The ability to move through the water.

Level one also teaches swimmers how to identify and get to safe harbor which leads to learning the techniques and building the strength to get out of the water unaided.  Our instructors will teach students to tread water for at least 20 seconds and return to the wall or steps unaided. Each session will also include water safety tips and advice for both the swimmer and the parent. Skills are taught with a mixture of games, songs, visual demonstration, verbal explanation, and hands on instruction. When all skills are demonstrated comfortably, without the aid or support of the instructor, the level is considered completed.

Level Two – Swim Strokes (Ages 5-up)

            All four competitive strokes (Freestyle, Backstroke, Breast Stroke, and Butterfly) are taught at this level, in addition to elementary backstroke, sidestroke, survival stroke, and diving (surface and from a height). Swimmers are also introduced to competitive turns and swimmer etiquette. Water safety tips are taught and practiced at this level with instruction on how to affect self-rescue, recognizing water hazards and dangers, and how to rescue others without entering the water or putting yourself in danger.

Level Three – Fitness and Competitive Swimming (All ages)

            Mastery of all four competitive strokes, turns, and dives is the goal for this level. As well as diving off the diving board, learning the basics of swim team workouts, increasing endurance in the water, and learning about water safety and basic water rescue techniques. The graduation may include an evaluation of all four competitive strokes, competition turns, and the lifeguard* test. (The lifeguard test is not compulsory.) The evaluation will include swimming each stroke for 50 yards with legal** turns and finishes. Legal completion of a 100 yard individual medley.  

 *The lifeguard test includes three parts:

1. Ability to swim 300 yards continuously.

2. Tread water for 2 minutes with hands crossed on your chest.

3. Retrieve a 10 pound brick in 7 feet of water and swim 20 yards while on your back and keeping the brick and your head above water, then place the brick on the deck and get out of the water without using steps or a ladder.  

** The term “legal” refers to the rules of swimming as determined by USA Swimming©