The goal of the YMCA’s Aquatics Department is to  help build self-esteem through accomplishments, develop an awareness of safety through the practice of skills, and instill the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

All of the programs are progressive, building upon basic skills and progressing toward mastery of techniques, and eventually toward other aspects of aquatics and the potential for lifelong involvements in aquatic programs. 



Swim Lessons

More people have learned to swim through the YMCA than any other organization. Our swimming lesson program is world renown, and we are excited about how our instructors have made positive improvements to our swim program.

The swim lesson program is set up in a progressive manner. Each stage is built upon each other to allow the students to grow their skills and technique each step of the way.

The program is broken up into 2 main components: 

Parent/Child and Preschool For children under the age of five and their parents

Youth and Adult For children ages six and up, as well as adults and individuals with disabilities

Swim Tests

We require swim tests* for all children 15 years and younger to determine their swimming ability. Swimmers who do not take the test will be marked as non-swimmers. Each child will be given a swim band that clearly identifies their swimming ability.

Swim test: Depending on the size and shape of the pool, the test consists of jumping in the shallow end, treading water in the deep end for 30 seconds, swimming on the front (on top of the water), and swimming on the back.

At any time, regardless of age, if a lifeguard questions a swimmer’s ability in the pool he or she can require a swim test.

  • Red Band: Non-swimmer under the age of 10. An adult must actively supervise and accompany the red band swimmer in shallow water.
  • Yellow Band: Non-swimmer age 10 or older. Must stay in pool areas with a depth at or below the shoulders.
  • Green Band: Swimmer. May swim in any area of the pool.  
  • Blue Bands: Swimmer meeting the height requirement for the facility water slide. May swim in any area of the pool and may use the water slide.
Flotation Devices: Only properly fitted US coast guard-approved flotation devices are permitted.

Swimming lessons at the Y are overseen by certified instructors who provide this training in a safe and fun way.

Lessons are given in 1 month or 8-week sessions and are open to YMCA members and nonmembers. 

Want to register your child for swim lessons but not sure which lesson is right for them? Use the selector below. 

YMCA Program Styles

Experience programs will teach age-appropriate skill fundamentals while developing confidence. This monthly program style provides a flexible and convenient option for families looking for fun activities for their children.

  • Typical age 2 and up
  • 1 month in length
  • Classes meet 1 time per week

Academy programs build strength, flexibility, and coordination while developing confidence and friendships. Academy programs progressively build upon skills, with the goal of mastery of key fundamentals and techniques.

  • Age starts as young as 9 months
  • 7-12 weeks in length
  • Classes meet 1-2 times per week

In Team programs, participants  will master fundamentals and gain strength, and speed, and learn more difficult skills in their chosen sport. Through team participation, youth will develop self-confidence, personal responsibility, leadership qualities, and the ability to work together while respecting the rights of others.

  • Ages 6 and up
  • Season length varies by sport


Swim Teams

Ages: Five to 18 years

Requirements: Swimmers must:

  • Have a family YMCA membership
  • Be able to demonstrate the following skills:
    • Swim 25-yard freestyle, demonstrating breathing to the side and good body position
    • Swim 25-yard backstroke, demonstrating good body position
    • Swim 25-yard breaststroke or butterfly
    • Can demonstrate the fundamentals of a forward dive from the edge of the pool


Becoming a member of the YMCA Swim Team means fun, fitness and teamwork! The YMCA swim team is a developmental swim program run by trained coaches to improve swimmers’ competitive skills and endurance through progression rather than intense competition. The YMCA swim team promotes healthy lifestyles while embracing the four core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.

Our trained coaches work to improve swimmers’ skill level, endurance and to promote a healthy lifestyle. Our program embraces the YMCA core values and promotes progression at an individual level.

YMCA swim teams offer developmental instruction, age-group training, advanced conditioning, and in-depth technique and skill analysis.

The YMCA of Greater Toledo offers 4 swim teams across the association:

  • Francis Family Stingrays 
  • Frank and Shirley Dick Family YMCA Gators
  • Fort Meigs YMCA Sting Rays 
  • Wolf Creek YMCA Marlins 


Lifeguards, Swim Instructors and Training


When you work as a YMCA lifeguard, you get the satisfaction of going into work every day knowing that you will actively make an impact while working with and guarding a group of diverse individuals.

Swim Instructors

YMCA Swim Instructors work with individuals ages six months-adults to teach swim skill progression and water safety techniques. Instructors provide leadership, instruction and motivation for participants in swimming lessons, creating a safe and positive atmosphere that promotes member safety and engagement, youth development and healthy living.

The YMCA Lifeguard Training course is the most comprehensive program available, including certifications in CPR/AED, Basic Life Support, First Aid, and Oxygen Administration. Training in equipment-based rescues for aquatic environments, accident prevention, and decision-making skills prepare participants for employment.

Participants must be 16 years old before the start of class. Attendance, full participation, and successful completion of written tests and performance of all water skills are required.

Upon completion of this course participants will receive an American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED valid for 2 years.


  • Tread water for at least 2 minutes
  • Swim 100 yards of front crawl
  • Swim 50 yards each of front crawl with head up, sidestroke, breaststroke, breaststroke with head up, inverted breaststroke kick with hands-on stomach
  • Perform a feet-first surface dive in 8 to 10 feet of water and then swim underwater for 15 feet
  • Perform a series of tasks given by the instructor to demonstrate listening and scanning ability as well as stamina and endurance
  • Swimsuit and Towel (for females, a one-piece suit is required)
  • Pen
  • Proof of Age
  • A student under the age of 18 must bring a minor permission form sign by the parent and participant
  • Change of clothes
  • Open Mind
  • Approximately 7 hours, 25 minutes for online learning
  • Approximately 28 hours for in-class skills
  • Course times may vary to include breaks
  • Members: $185
  • Guests: $270