Learn to Swim Classes

girls swimming underwaterThe Dolores Bengtson Aquatic Center, in collaboration with the American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program, offers swim lessons for youth, ages 6 months and up. Below, find the skills taught at each level. They should be used to help determine the most appropriate placement for your child. Adult/Teen, Private/Semi-Private, and Competitive Stroke classes are also available.

Course dates and times vary by season.

For current classes and programs offered, visit www.pleasantonfun.com.

Parent/Child Aquatics

Ages 6 months-3.5 years
Instructor/Student Ratio 1:10

Skills performed with parental or instructor assistance:

  • Learn to ask permission before entering the water.
  • Learn how to enter and exit the water safely.
  • Feel comfortable in the water.
  • Practice blowing bubbles
  • Explore submerging to the mouth, nose, eyes, and completely.
  • Explore buoyancy on the front and back position.
  • Change body position in the water.
  • Learn how to play safely in the water.
  • Experience wearing a US Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Glide on the front/back with assistance.
  • Practice rudimentary strokes using combined arm and leg actions on the front and back with assistance.

Skills to be taught to parents:

  • How to properly supervise children and maintain safe behavior in and around the water.
  • How to enter and exit the water safely while the child waits for permission to enter the water.
  • How and when to use support techniques.
  • Proper submersion techniques (supported and unsupported).
  • how to help the child learn and practice skills appropriate for the child's age, current developmental level and ability.
  • How to select, properly it and use a US Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Basic water safety information, such as the dangers of playing around suction fittings and drains.
  • Basic rescue skills, such as reaching and throwing assists.

Preschool

Levels 1-3, Ages 3.5–5
Instructor/Student Ratio 1:5

Level 1

Skills may be performed with support:

  • Enter and exit water using ramps, steps or side of pool
  • Blow bubbles for 3 seconds
  • Submerge mouth, nose and eyes
  • Open eyes under water and retrieve submerged objects
  • Front and back glide with recovery to vertical position
  • Back float for 3 seconds
  • Roll from front to back, and back to front
  • Arm and hand treading action
  • Alternating and simultaneous leg action and arm action on front and back
  • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back

Level 2

Skills may be performed with assistance:

  • Enter water by stepping in pool from deck or low height
  • Exit water using ladder, steps or side
  • Bobbing, 5 times
  • Open eyes under water and retrieve submerged objects
  • Front and back glide with recovery to vertical position
  • Front float for 3 seconds, back float for 5 seconds
  • Roll from front to back, and back to front
  • Tread water using arm and leg actions on front
  • Finning arm action on back
  • Combined arm and leg actions on back

Level 3

Skills performed independently:

  • Jump into shoulder-deep water
  • Fully submerge and hold breath
  • Bobbing, 10 times
  • Rotary breathing
  • Front and back glide with recovery to vertical position
  • Front, jellyfish, and tuck floats 10 seconds
  • Back float for 15 seconds
  • Change direction of travel while swimming on front or back
  • Tread water for 30 seconds
  • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back
  • Finning arm action on back

Beginner

Levels 1-3, Ages 6 and up
Instructor/Student Ratio 1:6

Level 1

Skills may be performed with assistance:

  • Enter and exit water using ramps, steps or side
  • Blow bubbles for 3 seconds
  • Bobbing, 5 times
  • Open eyes under water and retrieve submerged objects
  • Front and back glide with recovery to vertical position
  • Back float for 5 seconds
  • Roll from front to back, and back to front
  • Treading water arm and hand actions
  • Alternating and simultaneous leg action and arm action on front and back
  • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back

Level 2

Skills performed independently:

  • Step or jump from side of pool into shoulder-deep water
  • Exit water using ladder, steps or side
  • Fully submerge and hold breath
  • Bobbing, 10 times
  • Open eyes under water and retrieve submerged objects
  • Rotary breathing
  • Font, jellyfish, and tuck floats for 10 seconds
  • Front and back glide with recovery to vertical position
  • Back float for 15 seconds
  • Roll from front to back, and back to front
  • Tread water for 15 seconds
  • Change direction of travel while swimming on front or back
  • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back
  • Finning arm action on back

Level 3

Skills performed independently:

  • Jump into deep water from the side, submerge and return to the side
  • Headfirst entry from the side in seated and kneeling positions
  • Bobbing while moving to safety
  • Rotary breathing
  • Survival float for 30 seconds
  • Tread water for 1 minute
  • Change from vertical to horizontal position on front and back
  • Push off in streamlined position on front, then begin kicking
  • Front crawl, elementary backstroke for 15 yards
  • Flutter, scissor, breaststroke, dolphin kicks

Stroke Improvement

Level 4, Ages 8 and up
Instructor/Student Ratio 1:8

Skills performed independently:

  • Headfirst entry in compact and stride positions
  • Feet first surface dive
  • Swim underwater
  • Tread water, using 2 different kicks
  • Survival swimming for 1 minute
  • Front crawl, elementary backstroke for 25 yards
  • Breaststroke, back crawl, butterfly, sidestroke for 15 yards
  • Open turns on the front and back
  • Flutter and dolphin kicks on back
  • Push off in streamlined position on back, then begin kicking

Stroke Refinement

Level 5, Ages 8 and up
Instructor/Student Ratio 1:8

Skills performed independently:

  • Shallow-angle dive into deep water
  • Tuck surface dive and pike surface dive
  • Tread water for 5 minutes
  • Tread water, using legs only, for 2 minutes
  • Sculling for 30 seconds
  • Front crawl, elementary backstroke for 50 yards
  • Breaststroke, back crawl, butterfly, sidestroke for 25 yards
  • Front flip turn and backstroke flip turn

Advanced Swimmer (AS)

Level 6, Ages 8 and up
Instructor/Student Ratio 1:8

Once students have mastered the 5 levels of the Learn-to-Swim program, they may choose to enroll the Advanced Swimmer program. The goal of this level is for students to achieve a higher level of aquatic fitness/endurance swimming or enter into competitive swimming.

Skills performed independently:

  • Surface dive and retrieve object from the
    bottom; 7-10 feet deep
  • Front crawl and elementary backstroke for 100 yards
  • Breaststroke, back crawl, butterfly, and sidestroke for 50 yards
  • Demonstrate open turns and front and back flip turns while swimming

Adult/Teen Lessons

Ages 13 and up
Instructor/Student Ratio 1:6 or 2:10

Course emphasis is on individual improvement. We welcome all skill levels and will work with you to achieve your goals!

Skills performed independently or with assistance as needed:

  • Safe water entry
  • Change of direction while swimming
  • Roll from front to back, and back to front
  • Change from vertical to horizontal position on front and back
  • Treading water
  • Learning breath control
  • Floating on the front and back
  • Glides on the front and back
  • Front crawl, breaststroke, elementary backstroke, sidestroke, butterfly, backstroke
  • General Water Safety
  • Staying safe around water
  • Making good choices for where to swim (depth, current, etc.)
  • How to call for help
  • Selecting and fitting an appropriate life jacket