Youth Level Swim Lessons

Youth Levels

  • For children 6-12 years old
  • Levels 1-3 are 30 minutes long and have a 1:4-6 instructor to student ratio
  • Levels 4-5 are 45 minutes long and have a 1:6-10 instructor to student ratio


Youth Level 1- Introduction to Water Skills

Youth Level 1 is for children who are just starting their first swimming experience.  At this level, instructors will work on safe entry and exit from the pool, breath control, submersion, front and back floating, and begin introducing arm and leg motion.  Instructors will also discuss safety and begin self-rescue techniques.  Children will wear a “bubble” at this level to help develop confidence and give them a chance to focus on technique.


Youth Level 2-Fundamental Aquatic Skills

Youth Level 2 is for children who demonstrate comfort in the water.  Children at this level should already be able to enter the water, travel 5 yards, bob 5 times, and then safely exit the pool.  They should also already be able to glide on their front at least 2 body lengths, roll to a back float for 5 seconds, and recover to a vertical position.  

Level 2 will build on what was learned in Level 1 and work on extending their skills.  The instructor will introduce front and backstroke, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.  Skills will be practiced with and without a bubble.  Instructors will discuss safety and continue building self-rescue techniques.  The goal for this level is to give children the opportunity to swim the length of a lane independently.


Youth Level 3-Stroke Development

Children in Youth Level 3 should already be able to step from the side into chest-deep water, push off the bottom, move into a treading or floating position for at least 15 seconds, swim on front and/or back for 5 body lengths, then exit the pool.  To enter this level, the swimmer should also already be able float on their back, roll to their front, and swim at least 5 body lengths.

Youth Level 3 is considered the beginning of the intermediate level and will work on refining skills already learned.  The instructor will work on rotary breathing, treading, and begin butterfly kicking skills and begin diving skills.  The instructors will continue discussing safety and self-rescue techniques.


Youth Level 4-Stroke Improvement

Children entering Level 4 should already be able to jump into deep water, recover to the surface, tread or float for 1 minute, then turn to the exit, swim front crawl or elementary backstroke for 25 yards, and exit the pool.  Swimmers should also be able to swim front crawl for 15 yards, change direction, and swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards, then exit the pool.

Youth Level 4 swimmers will refine front crawl, elementary backstroke, backstroke, sidestroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and will be introduced to turns.  Swimmers will work on treading.  The swimmers will continue with personal safety and will be introduced to additional equipment, like fins.


Youth Level 5-Stroke Refinement

At this level, swimmers should be able to swim at least 15 yards of front crawl, elementary backstroke, breaststroke, backstroke, as well as swim underwater for 5 body lengths.

Youth Level 5 is an advanced level.  Swimmers will refine all strokes, work on endurance, flip turns, and diving.

Registration for each session closes on the Wednesday before the first day of class.

Spring 2024 Sessions

Registration for our Spring Group Swim Lessons will open November 6, 2023. All Spring lessons are held in Bowman Gray Memorial Pool located next to Woollen Gym.

Monday and Wednesday Evenings


  • Session 1: 2/5-3/4 (8 classes)
    • Due to university wellness days, classes will not meet on February 12th and 14th and will instead meet on Friday February 16th and Monday March 4th.
  • Session 2: 3/25-4/17  (8 classes)


  • Youth 1-3: 5:55pm-6:25pm
  • Youth 4 and 5: 5:55pm-6:40pm

Saturday Mornings


  • Session 1: 2/3-2/24 (4 classes)
  • Session 2: 4/6-4/27  (4 classes)


  • Youth 1-3: 10:35am-11:05am
  • Youth 4-5: 10:35am-11:20am


  • 4 classes
    • Youth Levels 1-3: $40 for members and $45 for non-members
    • Youth Levels 4-5: $50 for members and $55 for non-members
  • 8 classes
    • Youth Levels 1-3: $80 for members and $85 for non-members
    • Youth Levels 4-5: $85 for members and $90 for non-members

All UNC Aquatics programs are open to UNC faculty, staff, their families, and the Chapel Hill/Carrboro community.  If you are a member of the university community, you can use your ONYEN to login and register.  If you do not have an ONYEN, please email with the full name and birth date of the participant.  A login and password will be created for you to access the registration software. 



Effective August 15, 2019, UNC-Chapel Hill will implement a Weeknight Parking program. Parking is included for students who have registered their car online with UNC Transportation and Parking or faculty/staff with a day permit.  All other participants may obtain a $1 temporary one-night pass through the ParkMobile App, phone number, website, or designated pay station. The temporary pass is valid from Monday evenings through Friday mornings from 5 p.m. – 7:30 a.m, and weekend hours are 5 p.m. Friday until 7:30 a.m. Monday. The Zone Number you will use to park around UNC Campus Recreation is 4500.

Contact: Patrick Wolfe 919-962-0905

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