If you are unsure of what level your swimmer would be in our program, please give us a call or send an email for some guidance or to set up a brief in-water evaluation at the Prep. Swimmers age 3 and 4 should be placed in a Level 1 class, no evaluation necessary.
Swim School Mission
Safety, Confidence, Proper Technique
Developing comfort and safety in the water is our top priority, but the learning doesn’t stop at that. Once confidence is established, we focus entirely on proper technique and teaching swimmers how to swim well, then ultimately how to swim fast. This is done through a structured program with high level standards, focused and efficient classes with low ratios, and progressional introduction to fundamental stroke techniques. Swimmers do not advance to the next step in their stroke development until they have mastered the one before it. It is our hope to minimize bad habits or correct them before more learning occurs so they are not reinforced.
It is our goal that by the time your swimmer graduates through our program, they are proficient in all four of the competitive strokes (Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly.) If all skills in a level are not mastered by the end of the session, swimmers can expect to repeat the level – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! We want to be sure that all swimmers are ready to be in the class they are in. Having a swimmer in a class too advanced for them is not fair to them, the instructor, or the other swimmers in the class.
We cannot predict how long each swimmer will spend in a level, each progress at their own pace. However, we can guarantee that every swimmer in the program will be working on the appropriate skills to accelerate their advancement as rapidly as possible.
Competitive swimming may not be in everybody’s future, but swimming is a skill once learned you will have for life, so why not do it right?
Swimmers are placed in their class based on their skill level. There are estimates of swimmer age in each level, but every swimmer is different and will be placed in the class that makes the most sense for them to ensure they are working on necessary skills. If there are multiple classes available for the same level, we will then break it down by age if there is a wide range to keep swimmers with others close to their age and skill.
Level 1: Assisted w/instructor in water
Approximate Age: 3-7 years old
Skills Covered: Entering and exiting the water safely, learning to submerge mouth, nose and eyes and breath control, front and back float with assistance, changing direction in the water with assistance, proper kicking on front and back with assistance.
Level 2: Assisted w/instructor in water. Students “graduate” to level 3 not needing assistance
Approximate Age: 5-9 years old
Skills Covered: Entering water by stepping or jumping in from the side, submerging entire head, bobbing, blowing bubbles, front and back glide, kicking with side breathing, kicking on back unassisted, turning from front to back, foundations of treading. Begin level with assistance, graduate from level with independence.
Level 3: Independent Swimmers – instructor in water
Requirements: Students entering this level must demonstrate all the Level 1-2 skills Approximate Age: 6-10 years old
Skills Covered: Jump into deep water, head first entry from sitting or kneeling, submerging and retrieving an object, treading water for 30 seconds, basics of front crawl (freestyle) 15 yards, basics of backstroke 15 yards, streamline push-offs on front and back.
Level 4: Instructor in and out of water
Requirements: Students entering this level must demonstrate all the Level 1-3 skills Approximate Age: 7-11 years old
Skills Covered: Standing dives, underwater swimming, 1 minute of treading with eggbeater kick, 25 yards freestyle and 25 yards backstroke with proper technique, introductory dolphin and breaststroke kick, intro to flipturns, circle swimming.
Level 5: Instructor out of water
Requirements: Students entering this level must demonstrate all the Level 1-4 skills Approximate Age: 8-12 years old
Skills Covered: Racing dives, 2 minutes of treading, flip turns on front and back, 50 yards freestyle and backstroke, 25 yards breaststroke, 25 yards beginner butterfly, open turns.
Level 6: Instructor out of water
Requirements: Students entering this level must demonstrate all the Level 1-5 skills Approximate Age: 9-13 years old
Skills Covered: 100 yards freestyle, 100 yards backstroke, 50 yards breaststroke, 50 yards butterfly all with proper technique, 200 individual medley with proper turns, diving from starting blocks, usage of pace clock, 5 minutes treading.
For a lesson we require goggles – most importantly ones that do not cover the nose. Goggles allow swimmers to see and swim with their eyes open, and having the nose exposed encourages proper rhythmic breathing techniques.
Long hair should be tied up to stay out of the swimmer’s face, and any hair past shoulder length requires a swim cap. For levels 4 and up we do not recommend a swim shirt as they drastically increase drag and decrease mobility required for more advanced stroke techniques. A one piece suit for girls and tighter trunks or jammer for a boy is recommended past this level.
All of our instructors are fully trained in our program method and are American Red Cross Lifeguard/First Aid/CPR/AED certified. Competitive experience and previous experience instructing swim lessons is required for application.
Jeff Fiore ’08
About our Aquatics Coordinator
Jeff Fiore grew up in Peabody, MA and found his passion for swimming in his backyard pool when he was eight years old. Since then not more than a week has passed that he’s been out the water. He was a member of local teams at the Danvers YMCA and then North Shore Swim Club, where he swam throughout High School.
A graduate of SJP in 2008, Jeff was captain of the swim team his senior year and also played water polo. He went on to swim for the University of Tampa where he was a National Qualifier, senior captain, and achieved all NCAA All-American status in multiple races and relays throughout his time there.
Jeff spent his first six years out of college at Charles River Aquatics in Boston, primarily managing lessons and the age group program of the swim team and continued to cultivate his coaching philosophies and teaching techniques.
Jeff started at the Prep in September of 2018 and brings a strong connection to SJP swimming and twenty years of aquatics experience with him.