Sunshine Group Placement Considerations

Our learn-to-swim program focuses first on water safety and how to behave while in the water (swim etiquette) and then on learning proper stroke technique, preparing the swimmer for the world of competitive swimming.

In order to join the competitive team the swimmer MUST demonstrate he/she can successfully complete unassisted:

  • 25 years Freestyle,
  • 25 yards Backstroke,
  • 25 yards Breaststroke,
  • 25 yards Butterfly, and
  • pencil dive off the side of the pool.

USA Swimming Make A Splash Foundation, which oversees the Learn to Swim programs, recommends these as essential to ensure the safety of the swimmer and other swimmers.  All top level competitive USA Swim Clubs enforce these recommendations.

Teaching beginner swimmers the basic kicks and arm movements of the strokes requires the instructor to be in the pool to assist the swimmer.  If the instructor is in the pool with swimmers NO MORE THAN 6 SWIMMERS can be in the pool.  A maximum 6 to 1 ratio is a mandatory rule for the USA Learn To Swim programs.

Learn to Swim (Sunshine) Groups

Placement depends on the ability of the swimmer.  The swimmer’s ability is assessed by qualified instructors prior to placement.

Sessions:  Each session consists of four (4) 30 minute classes with a maximum of 6 swimmers per instructor.  At the end of the session the instructor will evaluate each swimmer and, based on achievement for the level, will recommend either continuing at the same level or moving up a level.  Each swimmer ‘graduating’ to the next level is awarded a certificate.

Tots – Jellyfish

These are our very young beginners, ages 1 – 3.  This level focuses on submersions and floating while helping the swimmer to feel comfortable in the water.  Special emphasis is placed on water safety.  These swimmers are taught how to get out of the pool by themselves if they happen to fall in or how to float on their back until help arrives.

Level 1 - Seahorses

These are the beginner swimmers 3 years and over.  This level focuses on submersions and floating while helping the swimmer to feel comfortable in the water.  Special emphasis is placed on water safety.  The beginning swimmers are taught turn around swims and how to get out of the pool by themselves if they happen to fall in. Some students will have some experience with the water and may begin the program at a higher level.  There are no prerequisites for this course

Level 2 - Goldfish

These swimmers are comfortable in the water and understand water safety.  They can float both face down and on their back.  In this level the swimmer learns the basic techniques of freestyle and back stroke. Students learn to float without support and to recover to a vertical position.  This level marks the beginning of true locomotion skills and adds to the self-help hand basic rescue skills begun in Level I.  Students entering this course must have a Level I certificate or must be able to demonstrate all the completion requirements in Level I.

Level 3 - Dolphins

The objective of Level 3 is to build on the skills in Level 2 by providing additional guided practice.  Students are introduced to the techniques of breaststroke and butterfly. They will also be taught proper racing diving technique from the side of the pool. Students entering this course must have a Level 2 certificate or must be able to demonstrate all the completion requirements in Level 2.

.Level 4 - Whales

The objective of Level 4 is to develop confidence in the strokes, learn the basics of turning the wall, and to improve other aquatic skills.  Students will learn to increase their endurance for greater distances then at Level 3.  Students entering this course must have a Level 3 certificate or must be able to demonstrate all the completion requirements in Level 3.   Progression from this level is to the ‘Thunderbolts’ competitive team.