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Competitive Swim Lessons

Saybrook swim lessons are designed to better prepare your 3-6 year old for swim team in the future. Please note that while swim team staff runs the lessons, the swim lesson program is separate from the swim team. However, you do have to be a member of Saybrook pool. Registration will begin in Early April and is on a first come basis.

Swim Lesson Levels The lessons are organized according to age and ability.  If a child is taking lessons now, please have the instructor advise you based on the criteria outlined below. We will be placing the swimmers into groups based on age and ability. Once you register you will receive an email in mid-May regarding your swimmers exact time slot. We will then evaluate the swimmers the first week of lessons to determine that each child is in the right class and we can move children up a level if their swimming improves mid-summer.

Beginner – Minnow (Age 3-4) This class is for children that are at least 3 years of age. This class typically has a 1:1 or 1:2 teacher child ratio. In this class, we will discuss water safety like entering and exiting the pool as well as the following skills:

  • Kicking holding on to the edge of the pool
  • Bobbing underwater while holding on to the edge of the pool
  • Blowing bubbles and “breathing”
  • Instructor “hands on” front and back floating
  • Underwater exploration (diving for rings)

Intermediate – Barracudas (Age 3-5) This class is for children that are comfortable in the water but with limited to some previous instruction. This class has a typical 1:3 or 1:4 teacher child ratio. Swimmers will progress during the summer from some “hands on” by the instructor to independently performing the skills. They should be able to perform all the skills from the Minnow class and they should be comfortable putting their face in the water. Skills Include:

  • Submerge entire head under surface
  • Submerge and retrieve an object at 3ft deep
  • Kicking using a kick board with face in the water and beginning to breathing to side
  • Bobbing (5-10) by themselves no wall
  • Pushing off the wall with arm movements (some instructor assistance)
  • Front float with face in (5-10 seconds)
  • Back float (5-10 seconds)
  • Pushing off wall in gliding motion with face in the water
  • Beginner strokes on front and back using arms and kicking (some instructor assistance)

Advanced – Dolphins (Age 4-6) This class is for children that are comfortable being independent in the water but need emphasis on breathing and proper stroke development. This class has a typical 1:4 or 1:5 teacher child ratio. They should be able to perform all the skills from the Barracuda class. This class emphasizes endurance and improving stroke proficiency to prepare the swimmer for swim team. Skills Include:

  • Rhythmic breathing (kicking on side with face in and face out)
  • 15 yards of freestyle stroke with breathing
  • 15 yards of backstroke
  • Jumping into deep water and swimming back to wall
  • Jump in and swim 5-10 yards
  • Roll over from front to back and back to front

Completion of above skills means you will graduate to a SHARK and are ready to participate on the Saybrook Shark Swim Team next season!

Dates and Times Lessons will run 5 days a week from June 13th through July 15th. July 19th-20th will be our rain makeup days. Our swim team coaches, led by Michelle Bertram will be teaching the three 30 min sessions starting at 10:30am, then at 11:00am and 11:30am. Mark your calendars for Friday, July 15th which will be our little celebration after the last lesson!

  • 10:30-11:00am: Minnows– Our youngest and least advanced swimmers
  • 11:00-11:30am: Barracudas– Our intermediate swimmers
  • 11:30-12:00pm: Dolphins-The older kids and most advanced swimmers

Registration Swim lesson registration is online through the swim team website click here to register. Swim lesson registration is a flat $160 for the five weeks. If you have older children that participate in swim team, and you would like your swim lesson swimmer to participate in the Swim Team Socials (Shark Party, Bagel/Donut Breakfast, and Shark/Pasta Party) there is an optional $5 social fee per swimmer. Please note that this year we are reserving the Beginner Level 1 class for children that are at least 3 years of age. Children that are 2 years of age can be placed in the class only after registration is complete and if there is still room in the class. We ask that children 2 years of age be able to sit on the edge of the pool, wait their turn and follow simple 1 step instructions.

Private Lessons If your child is older than 6 or you are put on a waiting list, swim team coaches and lifeguards will be available for private lessons throughout the summer. A flyer listing the available teachers and their contact information will be posted at the pool this summer.

Please feel free to email Swim Lessons if you have any questions. I look forward to working with you this summer.

Mary Kate Watkins, Swim Lesson Chair


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