Swim Lessons Levels

Flashes Aquatics offers four comprehensive course levels that teach a student how to swim skillfully and safely. The prerequisite for each level is the successful completion and/or demonstration of the skills from the preceding level, except for Level 1, which has no prerequisite.

Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills ages 3 & up

Purpose: Helps students develop positive attitudes, good swimming habits and safe practices around the water. Level 1 participants learn to:

  • Enter and exit the water safely
  • Blow bubbles through mouth and nose
  • Bobbing
  • Front and back glides and float with assistance
  • Recover to a vertical position with assistance
  • Roll from front to back and back to front with assistance
  • Tread water using arm and hand actions
  • Alternating and simultaneous arm and leg actions on front and back with assistance
  • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back with assistance
  • Learn how to stay safe, including recognizing an emergency and knowing how to call for help

Level 1 Exit Skills Assessment:

  1. Enter unassisted, move 5 yards, bob 3 times then safely exit water; with assistance.
  2. Glide on front 2 body lengths, roll to a back float for 3 seconds and recover to a vertical position with assistance.  

Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills

Purpose: Give students success with fundamental skills. Learn to float and recover to a vertical position.   Level 2 participants learn to:

  • Enter and exit the water by stepping or jumping from the side
  • Fully submerge and hold breath
  • Open eyes underwater and retrieve submerged objects
  • Front, jellyfish and tuck floats
  • Front Float – face down, starfish, horizontal to the instructor without assistance
  • Jellyfish Float – face down, lazy starfish, blow out bubbles without assistance
  • Tuck Float – face down-legs slightly tucked without assistance
  • Front and back glides without assistance; using leg and arm action, both alternating and simultaneous
  • Roll from front to back and back to front without assistance
  • Change direction of travel while swimming on front or back without assistance
  • Combined arm and leg actions on front and back without assistance
  • Safety skills – recognizing an emergency, knowing how to call for help, using a life jacket, pool rules

Level 2 Exit Skills Assessment:  

  1. Step from side into chest-deep water, move into a front float for 5 seconds, rollover to a back float for 5 seconds then return to a vertical position.   
  2. Move into a back float for 5 seconds, roll to a front then recover to a vertical position.

Level 3: Stroke Development

Purpose: Builds on skills from Level 2 & develops strokes through additional guided practice in deeper water. Level 3 participants learn to:

  • Jump into deep water from the side
  • Dive from sitting and kneeling positions, in water at least 9 feet deep
  • Bobbing
  • Rotary breathing 
  • Change from vertical to horizontal position on front and back
  • Tread water
  • Flutter, scissor, dolphin and breaststroke kicks on front
  • Front crawl and elementary backstroke
  • Learn to look carefully before entering the water
  • Learn to perform simple non-swimming assists

Level 3 Exit Skills Assessment: 

  1. Demonstrate competency in all required skills and activities, including in-water skills
  2. Jump into chest-deep water from the side, swim front crawl for 15 yards w/ face in the water and rhythmic breathing pattern (to front or side), and maintain position by treading or floating for 30 seconds, back crawl for 15 yards.

Level 4: Stroke Improvement

Purpose: Develops confidence and strength to improve skills learned and introduces new aquatic skills.  Level 4 participants learn to:

  • Diving entry from the side in compact and stride positions, in at least 9 feet of water
  • Swim underwater
  • Perform feet first surface dive
  • Survival swimming
  • Tread water using 2 different kicks
  • Front crawl and backstroke open turns 
  • Perform the following: front crawl and elementary backstroke 25 yards, breaststroke & back crawl 15 yards, Butterfly and side sidestroke
  • Flutter and dolphin kicks on back
  • Use safe diving rules, water safety rules, perform throwing assist

Level 4 Exit Skills Assessment: 

  1. Perform a feet-first entry into chest-deep water, swim front crawl for 25 yards, change direction maintain position on back 1 minute in deep water (float or sculling) and swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards.
  2. Swim breaststroke for 15 yards, change direction and swim back crawl for 15 yards.