Swim Lessons & Aquatics

The Y has been the premier destination for aquatics since 1885. With a variety of programs to choose from, we encourage you and your family to get involved in water activities. It’s never too early to start. We begin our programs at 6 months and there’s no age cap, so it’s also never too late to make a splash!

Youth Swim Lessons

The YMCA is the leading provider of swim lessons on Long Island. Every year, we teach more than 22,000 swim lessons and are nationally recognized for our skill building and drown prevention efforts. The classes below are offered at our branch locations across Long Island. Exact class offerings and ages may vary, so please check your local branch for the most up-to-date classes and schedules. Please note that the following age ranges are general, for further clarification please contact the branch of your choosing.

PARENT/CHILD (6 months – 3 years)

Let your little one take their first plunge with Mom or Dad. The Y offers introductory classes for young children that use the bond between parent and baby to create a safe and welcoming environment. The classes focus on comfort, balance, and movement and are designed to allow the babies to have fun in the water while the parent guides them through skills like blowing bubbles, kicking, paddling and jumping in. Games and songs are used to create a fun atmosphere and help babies feel comfortable in the pool. Babies that are not potty trained must wear a proper swim diaper. There is no swim evaluation required.

  • Ski (6-24 months)
  • PERCH (2-3 Years)

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PIKE PLUS (Ages 3-5)

In this level, children are more confident and comfortable in the water and in group situations. Y instructors will put progressive emphasis on personal safety in the water, beginning stroke development. Water sports and games help reinforce these skills while keeping it fun!

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STARFISH (Ages 3-5)

This is an advanced class for children who can swim the length of the pool on their own. The class focuses on further development of front crawl and back stroke techniques while introducing the breaststroke kick. Must complete Ray level or take a swim evaluation.

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This is a class for the intermediate-beginner swimmer. Children are introduced to basic swimming skills with a focus on building endurance and gaining confidence in deep water. A swim evaluation is required for this class.

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GUPPY (Ages 6-13)

In this advanced-beginner class swimmers are introduced to proper front crawl, backstroke, treading techniques, and breath control. A swim evaluation is required for this class; Must complete Starfish or Polliwog level or take a swim evaluation.

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FISH & FISH PLUS (Ages 6-13)

These are advanced classes for those who have an established front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke. The class focuses on endurance as well as introduces the dolphin kick for the butterfly stoke. Must complete Minnow level or take a swim evaluation.

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Shallow water sports training, incorporating cardio bursts with muscle balancing and strength training using the
resistance of water.

PIKE (Ages 3-5)

This is a class for new and beginning swimmers. Children will learn safe pool behavior while they adjust to the aquatic environment with the aid of an Instructional Flotation Device known as a “bubble.” (Bubble provided). The class focuses on the paddle stroke, kicking, floating, blowing bubbles, and jumping into the pool.

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EEL (Ages 3-5)

This class is for swimmers who are almost ready to swim without a flotation bubble or are able to swim short distances on their own. Children are taught to kick on their back, float, and perform the progressive paddle stroke. Swimmers work toward swimming the width of the pool without a flotation bubble. Must complete Pike level or take a swim evaluation.

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RAY (Ages 3-5)

This is an intermediate-level swim class for children who can swim independent of a flotation bubble. Swimmers will be introduced to the front crawl with rotary breathing, the backstroke, treading water, and the flutter kick. Must complete Eel level or take swim evaluation.

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Children with Special Needs (Ages 5-12)

Progressive swim instruction is available to children with special needs at the Great South Bay YMCA.

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POLLIWOG (Ages 6-13)

This is a class for beginners and non-swimmers. Children are introduced to basic swimming skills with a focus on becoming comfortable and safe in the water. Children also work on Y skills including personal safety in the water and stroke development.

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MINNOW (Ages 6-13)

This is an intermediate class for those who have an established front crawl and backstroke. This class focuses on refining techniques and introduces the breaststroke and egg beater kick. Must complete Guppy level or take a swim evaluation.

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SHARK (Ages 6-13)

This class helps swimmer fine tune various strokes and prepares them for racing (e.g. learning starts and turns). Must complete Fish level or take a swim evaluation.

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PORPOISE (Age 11 +)

Swimmers continue to develop their strokes, practice endurances swims and focus on water safety skills. This is the last class in the Y’s progressive swim program.

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Beginner to advanced swimmers learn confidence in the water and improve skill level

Private Swim Lessons

Group lessons are not for everyone. Don’t give up! Try a private or semi-private lesson. Lessons are available for all ages and abilities. Private lessons are 30 minutes with a 1:1 student to instructor ratio.

  • Semi-Private Swim Lessons
  • Private Swim Lessons

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Family Swimming

Splashing around the water is more fun when you do it with friends and family. Each of our branches offer family and youth recreational swim time. It’s a great way to bond , build comfort in the water, and practice skills.

CPR & Lifeguard Training Courses


Prerequisites: Participants must be 11-14 years old, be able to swim at least 100 yards, dive to a depth of 10 feet and tread water for 1 minute. This class provides a foundation of lifeguarding skills. For youth with swim skills, this program makes an ideal transition between swim lessons and lifeguard training. This course includes both classroom and pool time. Participants will not receive a Lifeguard certification at the end of this course.


Prerequisites: Participants must be 14 or older, be able to swim a continuous 200 yards, tread water for a least a minute and dive a depth of 10 feet. This class is designed to prepare participants to pass the pre-test for the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course. They will work on stroke development and strength building exercises. Life saving techniques will not be covered in this course. Participants will not receive a lifeguard certification at the end of this course.

American Red Cross Waterfront/ LIFEGUARD CERTIFICATION

Prerequisites: Participants must be 15 or older (proof of age required). Pretest: Participants must be able to swim 300 yards (12 laps) continuously, demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both but swimming on back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used. They must tread water for 2 minutes using only their legs. Candidates should place their hands under their armpits. They then must swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive to a depth of 10 feet, retrieve a 10- pound object, return to the surface and swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the object. When returning to the starting point, the participant’s face must remain above water and the participant must hold the 10-pound object with both hands. (Time requirement within 1:40) This course is intended to teach lifeguard candidates the skill and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. The course content and activities prepare candi­dates to recognize and respond quickly and effectively to aquat­ic emergencies and to prevent drowning or injuries. Participants will receive American Red Cross Lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR and AED certifications upon successful completion of this course.



  • BLS for the Healthcare Provider
  • Adult/Child/Infant CPR/AED Full Course and Recertification Course


  • Administering Emergency Oxygen Full Course or Recertification course
  • First Aid Course
  • Responding To Emergencies

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Swim Team

Young people can compete on swim team at the Huntington YMCA and the YMCA East Hampton RECenter. Please visit branch links for more information. The YMCA offers young people a chance to participate in competitive swim teams. Pre-Swim Team practice programs are also available. See branch locations.