Ask David: How Much Time Does it Take to Master Each Swimming Level?


Signing up your child for lessons at our Gilbert swim school unleashes a wave of excitement, questions, and maybe even a few concerns. When should I start teaching them how to swim? How many lessons do they need? Should I buy any gear or equipment?

At EVO Swim School, our goal is to offer the very best aquatic instruction for infants, children, pre-competitive swimmers, and adults. Part of that instruction includes helping people be knowledgeable and confident swimmers, so from time to time, Owner David Tait will share answers to some of the common questions he receives from parents and students at our school.

This month, David shares his advice about how long it takes to master each level of swimming lessons and move up to the next one.

1. How long should a child take swimming lessons if they just want to be a backyard swimmer, not swim competitively?

David: Every child should begin swimming lessons no later than the age of three. After that, the time it takes to master certain skills is very different for every person. It depends on how early you start, how confident you are in the water, and how consistently you come to swimming lessons.

To be a good backyard swimmer, we recommend completing our first three levels of instruction to learn the following skills:

Otter teaches the basics of independent swimming.
Seal teaches more advanced skills for swimming longer distances and helps children fully master the safety skill of rolling on their back while taking a breath.
Sea Lion teaches kids how to freestyle. We have found that children who finish this level are very confident in the water and know how to keep themselves in a safe, horizontal position by rolling on their back for a breath and kicking to propel them through the water.

It is also important to note that all of our levels are based on ability, not age or the amount of time spent taking lessons. Each child can and will progress as fast as they are able to demonstrate the master skills being taught at each level.

2. What are the primary skills someone needs to master to be a successful backyard swimmer?

David: They should know how to:

Swim while staying relaxed
Swim in a horizontal position, which requires their entire face to be in the water
Roll onto their back while kicking their feet (the safest and easiest way to breathe while swimming)

3. How long do students usually stay in each Development Swim Team level before moving up?

David: This is very hard to say. Just like swimming lessons, every person progresses at different rates based on a variety of variables. However, we have listed the basic requirements for each Development Team training group for a feel of what each level is capable of doing.

Development Swim Team

Advanced Stroke Group: Can display the basics of all four strokes.
Development I Group: All four strokes are displayed by legal standards of USA Swimming. A flip turn with a streamlined push off the wall can also demonstrated.
Development II Group: Proficient in all four strokes, starts, and turns.
High School Development Group: Improve technique with all of the above skills in an age appropriate group.

No matter your age or swimming abilities, EVO welcomes everyone at our Gilbert swim school and lets you take swimming lessons at your own pace. Want your child to become an independent swimmer so they can swim safely in the backyard, ocean, or lake? No problem. Looking for a way to continue their training with a Development or Competitive team? Awesome! Wish you could swim just for exercise without worrying about your form or performance? We’ve got you covered. Regardless of your goals, we have plenty of options for the whole family.

For more advice from David or information about swim lessons, get in touch with EVO Swim School at 480-404-6191.