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Competitive Swim Lessons

Saybrook swim lessons are designed to better prepare your 3-6 year old for Saybrook Sharks swim team. Saybrook swim lessons are only available to members of Saybrook Pool. Space is limited, registration will begin in Early April and is on a first come basis. Please note that while swim team staff run the lessons, the swim lesson program is separate from the Saybrook Sharks swim team.

Dates and Times

Dates: Monday, June 10th – Friday, July 12th. Lessons are five days a week, Monday – Friday.

Times: Each session is 30 mins.

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

July 15th-16th will be our optional rain makeup days. Mark your calendars for Friday, July 12th at 12:00pm, we will have a small celebration after the last lesson!


Swim lesson registration is online through the swim team website click here to register. Swim lesson registration is a flat $170 for the five weeks. **Please note that your swimmer must be 3 years old by June 1st, 2024 in order to register for swim lessons.**

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. We will evaluate 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 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 have had limited swim 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!

Private Lessons

If your child is older than 6 years of age and is not ready for swim team, we recommend Private Lessons. Private lessons are available for all members of Saybrook pool. Our swim team coaches and lifeguards are available for private lessons through the summer. Private lessons are arranged at a mutually agreed upon time and rate.

Please feel free to email Saybrook 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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