Choosing a level

"A SKILLED SWIMMER IS A SAFE SWIMMER"


Choosing The Correct Skill Level

This is a guide highlighting the skills of each level. Please use the entire skills checklist under each level to determine the appropriate level for your child. Levels 1 - 5 are for swimmers 5 years and older. Preschool and Advanced Preschool levels are for swimmers 3 and 4 years old. NOVA lessons are skill based. Please consult the lessons director if you have any questions about proper placement for your swimmer.

 

Preschool and Advanced Preschool

3 and 4 year olds 

Preschool: Swimmers must be absolutely potty trained (no swim diapers) and no goggles are allowed. This level is for new swimmers 3 and 4 years old who have never had lessons at NOVA before or cannot complete the skills below.

Skills taught needed to pass (same skills as Level 1):

  • Gets face/eyes wet unassisted
  • Blows bubbles
  • Submerses head completely under water willingly and blows bubbles without instructor
  • Comfortably floats on back with or without instructor's help willingly
  • Pushes from wall to instructor and instructor to wall
  • Kicks on kick board willingly, but with help
  • Kicks on back willingly, but with help
  • Jumps from the side to the instructor

Advanced preschool: Swimmers must be potty trained (no swim diapers). This level is for swimmers 3 and 4 years old that can comfortably and willingly complete skills listed in the preschool level above. Swimmers that are 4 and can complete skills in Advanced Preschool will be placed in Levels 3 and above at the lessons director's discretion.

Skills taught: (Same skills as Level 2)

  • Repetitive bubble blowing 5 consecutive times with head submerged under water
  • 25 yards - entire length of pool - proper freestyle kicking on a kick board without an instructor 
  • 25 yards - entire length of pool - proper backstroke kick with arms at side without an instructor
  • Streamline to and from the wall unassisted
  • Retrieves object 3 feet underwater with bubbles
  • Jumps from starting block unassisted

 Levels 1-5

5 years old and older 

Level 1: This is for swimmers who are 5 years and older who have never had lessons or are not comfortable doing the skills listed below. No goggles are allowed.

Skills taught needed to pass:

  • Gets face/eyes wet unassisted
  • Blows bubbles
  • Submerses head completely under water willingly and blows bubbles without instructor
  • Comfortably floats on back with or without instructor's help willingly
  • Pushes from wall to instructor and instructor to wall
  • Kicks on kick board willingly, but with help
  • Kicks on back willingly, but with help
  • Jumps from the side to the instructor

Level 2: This is for swimmers who are 5 years and older that are able to pass Level 1 skills.

Skills taught needed to pass:

  • Repetitive bubble blowing 5 consecutive times with head submerged under water
  • 25 yards - entire length of pool - proper freestyle kicking on a kick board without an instructor 
  • 25 yards - entire length of pool - proper backstroke kick with arms at side without an instructor
  • Streamline to and from the wall unassisted
  • Retrieves object 3 feet underwater with bubbles
  • Jumps from starting block to instructor

Level 3: This is for swimmers who are 5 years and older that are able to pass Level 2 skills.

Skills taught needed to pass:

  • 25 yards rifle drill backstroke with a single arm
  • 25 yards rifle drill backstroke with both arms, every 6 kicks
  • 25 yards each kicking on Left and Right side with an extended arm (freestyle breathing position) unassisted
  • Retrieves object from pool bottom
  • Introduction to blowing bubbles through nose
  • Jumps from starting block unassisted

Level 4: This is for swimmers 5 years and older that are able to pass Levels 2 and 3 skills.

Skills taught needed to pass:

  • Repetitive bubble blowing, exhaling through nose
  • Single arm catch up freestyle (rotary breathing) unassisted
  • 2 count catch up freestyle (rotary breathing) unassisted
  • 3 count catch up freestyle (rotary breathing) unassisted
  • Flips in water
  • 25 yards rifle drill backstroke 3 kick delay unassisted
  • 25 yards streamline kicking on back
  • Dives from side of pool
  • Retrieves multiple objects from pool bottom
  • 25 yards butterfly tipping (3 tips/1 breath)
  • Level 5: This is for swimmers 5 years and older that are able to pass Level 3 and 4 skills.

Skills taught needed to pass:

  • 50 yards catch up freestyle unassisted
  • Transition to freestyle swim from catch up freestyle
  • Transition to backstroke swim from rifle drill
  • Backstroke count using flags
  • Flip turns (freestyle)
  • 25 yards legal breaststroke kick with kick board
  • 25 yards legal breaststroke kick with arms (2 kicks/1 pull with glide)
  • 25 yards legal breaststroke (1 kick/1 pull with glide)
  • 2 legal butterfly tips with one arm pull
  • Streamline diving from block
  • Continued improvement on Level 2-4 skills

 

Levels After Level 5 Lessons / Evaluations

The following levels after Level 5 lessons are under the NOVA lessons program. There are different options for swimmers whether the desire is to join the team or to continue to work on stroke and skill improvement and endurance in a twice weekly practice.

Registration is through the lessons office.The dates of NOVA Strokes School Jr. and Sr. and Strokes and Conditioning run concurrent with and include all of the weekend lessons session dates.

There is not the commitment of the swim team (contracts, volunteer hours, meets, etc.).

NOVA Strokes School:

NOVA Strokes School Jr.

  • This is for swimmers 8 years old and younger. Swimmers graduated from Level 5 lessons or were evaluated by a coach. Swimmers will continue to work on their strokes and techniques in a swim practice type setting. 1 hour long.​ Weekends, includes all of the dates as weekend lessons.

NOVA Strokes School Sr. 

  • This is for swimmers 9 years and older who were graduated from Level 5 lessons or were evaluated by a coach. Swimmers will continue to work on their strokes and techniques in a swim practice type setting. 1 hour long. Weekends, includes all of the dates as weekend lessons.

          Novice Prep

  • This is for the swimmer 8 years and younger who has passed the skills of Level 5 and has been evaluated by a coach and is ready to prepare for the swim team (Novice Silver). Continued and new skills and techniques will be taught for the transition to the team. Weekdays on either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30 or 3:30, 1 hour long. Novice Prep follows the lessons schedule of dates for weekdays (Mon/Wed or Tues/Thurs).

          Strokes & Conditioning Group:

  • This is for swimmers 10 years old and older (or older 9 year olds) that have been evaluated by a coach to join the swim team but need some more stroke, skill, endurance and speed development. Weekends on a per session basis. 1 hour  15 minutes long.. Weekends, includes all of the dates as weekend lessons.

*Please note that if a swimmer is placed in the incorrect level we will do our best to find a slot in that session for them in the correct level, but we cannot guarantee it. Placing a swimmer in a level that they are not ready for is not appropriate and will not accelerate progression in our program. Swimmers that have not been in the water for several months will lose skills they may have mastered before, so enrolling in a level below is usually appropriate.

Thank you for your interest in SwimNOVA Lessons!

NOVA's Lessons Program is supported by our sponsor

 
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