Swim Lesson Progression Chart


Our goal is to offer the highest possible quality of swimming lessons. In order to do this, the City of Hamilton offers the Lifesaving Society’s ”Swim for Life” program. For more information, visit the Lifesaving Society website lifesavingsociety.com and click on Swimming & Lifesaving.

Questions? Please speak to the on-site deck staff or contact the Aquatic Supervisor at your facility.

Parent & Tot Program - 4 to 36 months

Through structured in-water interaction between parent and child, we stress the importance of play in developing water positive attitudes and skills. We provide Lifesaving Society Water Smart® tips on keeping your child safe in any aquatic setting. Certified instructors provide guidance and answers to your questions. Activities and progressions are based on child development, register in the level appropriate for your child’s age. Register online now!

Parent and Tot 1 (4 to 12 months)

30 minute class

  • Enter and exit the water safely with child
  • Hold child on front and back keeping eye contact
  • Readiness for submersion
  • Assisted front and back floats
  • Assisted float wearing a PFD
  • Movement of arms and legs on front and back

Parent and Tot 2 (12 to 24 months)

30 minute class

  • Assisted enter and exit the water
  • Assisted front and back surface support
  • Blow bubbles
  • Face wet and in the water
  • Attempt to recover object below surface
  • Assisted entry from a sitting position wearing a PFD
  • Assisted front and back floats
  • Assisted front and back kicking

Parent and Tot 3 (24 to 36 months)

30 minute class

  • Assisted jump entry
  • Assisted entry and submerge from a sitting position
  • Unassisted exit from water
  • Assisted front and back ‘starfish’ floats
  • Assisted front and back ‘pencil’ floats
  • Assisted holding breath underwater
  • Attempt to open eyes underwater
  • Attempt to recover object below surface
  • Assisted standing jump entry
  • Assisted jump entry wearing a PFD
  • Assisted front and back kicking
  • Assisted underwater passes

Preschool Splash Program - 3 to 5 years old

Give your preschooler a head start on learning to swim. The Preschool Splash Program helps your child develop an appreciation and healthy respect for the water. In the Splash program, the swim instructor works to ensure that the 3 to 5 year old becomes comfortable in the water and has fun acquiring and developing a basic foundation of water skills. Register online now!

Splash 1

30 minute class

  • Join class willingly
  • Assisted enter and exit the pool
  • Splash water on face
  • Blow bubbles
  • Assisted jump entry
  • Towing front and back

Main goal: Submerge head unassisted

Splash 2

30 minute class

  • Enter and exit the pool
  • Move the water 2 ways
  • Submerge head 3 sec.
  • Rhythmic breathing 3x
  • Assisted jump entry head underwater
  • Assisted front tow with kicking
  • Assisted front glide relaxed 3 sec.

Main goal: Front float assisted and relaxed 3 sec.

Splash 3

30 minute class

  • Unassisted jump entry.
  • Rhythmic Breathing 5x.
  • Front kick with aid 3 sec.
  • Assisted kicking on back
  • Unassisted front glide 3 sec.
  • Assisted back float and glide

Main goal: Front float unassisted 3 sec.

Splash 4

30 minute class

  • Open eyes underwater
  • Rhythmic breathing 7x.
  • Front glide with kick 3 sec.
  • Kicking on back with aid 3 sec.
  • Assisted side glide
  • Unassisted back glide
  • Deep water introduction

Main goal: Back float unassisted 5 sec.

Splash 5

30 minute class

  • Rhythmic breathing 10x.
  • Front and back glide with kick 3 sec.
  • Side glide with aid
  • Rollover float back to front 3 sec.
  • Deep water entry and floats

Main goal: Front swim 5m with attempted over arms

Splash 6

30 minute class

  • Rhythmic breathing 7x/2ways
  • Rollover float back to front 5 sec.
  • Side glide with kick 3m.
  • Surface support 10 sec.
  • Front swim 7m with one breath.
  • Deep water jump entry, swim 3m.
  • Swim 3m change direction.
  • Main goal: Back Swim 5m.

Splash 7

30 minute class

An elite level for children 5 years old who have completed Splash 6 and are too young to enter the Swim for Life Levels.

  • The child is able to swim comfortably in the deep water.
  • Children in this level must be recommended by a swim instructor before enrolling in this class.

Main Goals: Refine flutter kick, front crawl with side breathing techniques and deep water swimming and safety.

My Time Splash

For children in Splash 1 to Splash 7, select a swim time that is convenient for your family. Staff organize registrants into class groupings based on the age and swim level of participants, while maintaining the same instructor ratios as our traditional program.

Swim for Life Program - 6+ years

The Lifesaving Society’s 6-level Swimmer program makes sure your children learn how to swim before they get in too deep. Swimmer progressions accommodate children 6 years and older including absolute beginners as well as swimmers who want to build on the basics. We stress lots of in-water practice to develop solid swimming strokes and skills. We incorporate Lifesaving Society Water Smart® education in all Swimmer levels. Register online now!

Swimmer 1

30 minute class

These beginners will become comfortable jumping into water with and without a lifejacket. They’ll learn to open their eyes, exhale and hold their breath underwater. They’ll work on floats, glides and kicking through the water on their front and back.

Swimmer 2

30 minute class

These advanced beginners will jump into deeper water, and learn to be comfortable falling sideways into the water wearing a lifejacket. They’ll be able to support themselves at the surface without an aid, learn whip kick, swim 10m on their front and back, and be introduced to flutter kick interval training (4 x 5m).

Swimmer 3

45 minute class

These junior swimmers will dive and do inwater front somersaults and handstands. They’ll work on 15 m of front crawl, back crawl and 10m of whip kick. Flutter kick interval training increases to 4 x 15 m.

Swimmer 4

45 minute class

These intermediate swimmers will swim 5m underwater and lengths of front, back crawl, whip kick, and breaststroke arms with breathing. Their new bag of tricks includes the completion of the Canadian Swim to Survive® Standard. They’ll cap it all off with front crawl sprints over 25m and 4 x 25m front or back crawl interval training.

Swimmer 5

45 minute class

These swimmers will master shallow dives, cannonball entries, eggbeater kicks, and inwater backward somersaults. They’ll refine their front and back crawl over 50m swims
of each, and breaststroke over 25m. Then they’ll pick up the pace in 25m sprints and two interval training bouts: 4 x 50m front or back crawl; and 4 x 15m breaststroke.

Swimmer 6

45 minute class

These advanced swimmers will rise to the challenge of sophisticated aquatic skills including stride entries, compact jumps and lifesaving kicks like eggbeater and scissor kick. They’ll develop strength and power in head-up breaststroke sprints over 25m. They’ll easily swim lengths of front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke, and they’ll complain about the 300m workout.

My Time Swim for Life

For children in Swimmer 1 to Swimmer 6, select a swim time that is convenient for your family. Staff organize registrants into class groupings based on the age and swim level of participants, while maintaining the same instructor ratios as our traditional program. Female Only My Time classes offered at Hill Park Recreation Centre.

Swim Patrol - 8+ years

The Lifesaving Society’s 3-level Canadian Swim Patrol program provides enriched training for those who want to develop swim strokes and skills while having fun in the challenging world of lifesaving. Swim Patrol develops swimming strength and efficiency with emphasis on Water Smart® behaviour. Skill drills enhance capability in the water, good physical conditioning and lifesaving judgment. Register online now!

Swimmer 7 Rookie Patrol

60 minute class

Swimmers continue stroke development with 50m swims of front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke. Lifesaving Sport skills include a 25m obstacle swim and 15m object carry. First aid focuses on assessment of conscious victims, contacting EMS, and treatment for bleeding. Fitness improves in 350m workouts and 100m timed swims.

Swimmer 8 Ranger Patrol

60 minute class

Swimmers develop better strokes over 75m swims of each stroke. They tackle Lifesaving Sport skills in a lifesaving medley, timed object support and rescue with a buoyant aid. First aid focuses on assessment of unconscious victims, treatment of victims in shock and obstructed airway procedures. Skill drills develop a strong lifesaving foundation.

Swimmer 9 Star Patrol

60 minute class

Swimmers are challenged with 600m workouts, 300m timed swims and a 25m object carry. Strokes are refined over 100m swims. First aid focuses on treatment of bone or joint injuries and respiratory emergencies including asthma and allergic reactions. Lifesaving skills include defence methods, victim removals and rolling over & supporting a victim face up in shallow water.

Teen/Adult Swim for Life

Whether your goals are to learn the basics or gain skill with swimming strokes, your instructor will be able to provide you with the support you need. Teens and adults alike will develop water confidence and smooth, strong strokes. Register online now! Female Only classes offered at Hill Park Recreation Centre.

Teen Swim for Life (12 to 17 years)

Whether you’re just starting out or just want help with your strokes, our Teen program is for the young at heart - no matter what your age. Set your own goals. Work with certified instructors to learn to swim, or improve your current swimming ability and water fitness. We incorporate Lifesaving Society Water Smart® education in all Teen levels.

Adult Swim For Life (18+ years)

Whether you’re just starting out or just want help with your strokes, our Adult program is for the young at heart - no matter what your age. Set your own goals. Work with certified instructors to learn to swim, or improve your current swimming ability and water fitness. We incorporate Lifesaving Society Water Smart® education in all Adult levels.

Teen 1

You’ll work towards a 10–15m swim on your front and back. You’ll do jump entries from the side and recover an object from the bottom in chest-deep water. Improve your fitness and your flutter kick with 4 x 9–12m interval training.

Teen 2

Kick it up a notch working on two interval training workouts of 4 x 25m kicking and front or back crawl. You’ll be able to perform dive entries and demonstrate breaststroke arms and breathing over 10–15m. You’ll be supporting yourself at the surface for 1–2 minutes, and showing off your handstands in shallow water.

Teen 3

You’ll learn eggbeater, stride entries and compact jumps. You’ll be doing a 300m workout and sprinting 25–50m. You’ll master your front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke.

Adult 1

You’ll work towards a 10-15 m swim on your front and back. You’ll do jump entries from the side and recover an object from the bottom in chest-deep water. Improve your fitness and your flutter kick with 4 x 9-12 m interval training.

Adult 2

Kick it up a notch working on two interval training workouts of 4 x 25 m kicking and front or back crawl. You’ll be able to perform dive entries and demonstrate breaststroke arms and breathing over 10-15 m. You’ll be supporting yourself at the surface for 1-2 minutes, and showing off your handstands in shallow water.

Adult 3

You’ll learn eggbeater, stride entries and compact jumps. You’ll be doing a 300 m workout and sprinting 25-50 m. You’ll master your front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke.

Private Swimming Lessons

Private swim lessons offer the benefit of one-to-one instruction for the swimmer who needs personalized skill development. Private swimming lessons are 30 minutes in length. Private swim lessons for 2 or 3 swimmers are also available and offers instruction for a small group of swimmers. To register for private swim lessons (duo & trio), please register for the private swim lesson (single) and contact your local Recreation Centre for further details. Note: Some private lessons are restricted to 35 yrs due to pool depth. Register online now!


Specialized Aquatics

Swim Synchro!

This is a play based introduction to synchronized swimming for younger children aged 6 to 8 years. Swim Synchro! is a creative, routine based program designed to create fun synchro experiences. It develops basic synchronized swimming skills and improves existing swimming skills. All three sessions help participants prepare for the annual Routine Meet in June. Prerequisite: Children must be comfortable in chest deep water and be able to float on their front and back. Goggles and nose plugs are highly recommended. Register online now!

Synchro

This program teaches synchronized swimming skills progressing from beginner to advanced level. It is for older children aged 8 and up who are very comfortable in the deep end. The first session starts in the fall and is the basis for the winter and spring sessions. All three sessions help participants prepare for the annual Routine Meet in June. Goggles and nose plugs are highly recommended. A facility swim test may be required to participate. Register online now!

Adult Synchro

This program teaches synchronized swimming skills progressing from beginner to advanced level. It is for adults aged 18 and up who are very comfortable in the deep end. The first session starts in the fall and is the basis for the winter and spring sessions. All three sessions help participants prepare for the annual Routine Meet in June. Goggles and nose plugs are highly recommended. A facility swim test may be required to participate. Register online now!

Diving

This program introduces children to the skills of diving as a sport. The program emphasis is on having fun while diving and encourages the diver to follow logical progressions
when learning new dives. The course starts off with basic jumps and then progresses to front and back dives. Once participants have mastered front and back dives, they will move onto learning inward dives as well as front and back somersaults. Our classes are endorsed by Diving Plongeon Canada, Dive Ontario and The Canadian Amateur Diving Association (CADA) and are taught by NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) trained Diving Instructors. In order to participate in the program, registrant must be able to pass a facility swim test. Register online now!

Diving Advanced

The program emphasis is on having fun while diving and encourages the diver to follow logical progressions when learning new dives. This advanced program is geared towards children who have experience diving and are ready to learn more advanced skills. Participants should have mastered front and back dives, they will move onto learning inward dives as well as front and back somersaults. Our classes are endorsed by Diving Plongeon Canada, Dive Ontario and The Canadian Amateur Diving Association (CADA) and are taught by NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) trained Diving Instructors. In order to participate in the program, registrant must be able to pass a facility swim test. Register online now!