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Swimming Lessons

The Rec offers swim classes for people of all ages and abilities. Designed for all levels, classes allow swimmers to develop good habits in, on, and near water, become comfortable in the water, learn and refine new strokes, and become stronger, safer swimmers.

Learn to Swim Levels

The ages listed with each level is to provide guidance however each swimmer is different and we encourage all swimmers to develop their skills at their own pace and comfort. Some swimmers will require more training in basic skills while other swimmers are ready to learn more advanced skills.

Level 1 – Introduction to Water Skills

  • For the beginner who is comfortable in the water.

  • Swimmers learn the basics of swimming: bobbing, going underwater, supported front and back floating, supported rolling over from front to back and back to front, supported gliding, supported flutter kick, supported front crawl arms, and jumping in.

  • Exit Skills Assessment

    • Enter independently, using either the ramp, steps, or side, travel at least 5 yards, bob 5 times, then safely exit the water. (Participants can walk, move along the gutter or “swim.”)

    • Glide on front at least 2 body lengths, roll to a back float for 5 seconds, and recover to a vertical position. (This part of the assessment can be performed with assistance.)


Level 2 – Fundamental Aquatic Skills 

  • Swimmers should already be able to float on front and back and put their heads underwater.

  • Swimmers will work on: independent front and back floating, independent rolling over from front to back and back to front, independent front and back glides, front crawl arms, and kicks, back crawl arms and kicks, retrieving underwater objects, and jumping into water over their head.

  • Exit Skills Assessment

    • 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 water.

    • Move into a back float for 15 seconds, roll to the front, then recover to a vertical position.

    • Push off and swim using combined arm and leg actions on front for 5 body lengths, roll to back, float for 15 seconds, roll to the front, then continue swimming for 5 body lengths.


Level 3 – Stroke Development 

  • Swimmers should already be comfortable swimming front stroke and swimming on their back.

  • Swimmers will work on: gliding, freestyle with side breathing, backstroke, breaststroke, and dolphin kicks, retrieving objects in deeper water, treading water, jumping into deep water, and compact dives.

    • Jump into deep water from the side, recover to the surface, maintain position by treading or floating for 1 minute, rotate one full turn then turn as necessary to orient to the exit point, level off, swim front crawl, and/or elementary backstroke for 25 yards, then exit the water.

    • Push off in a streamlined position then swim front crawl for 15 yards, change position and direction as necessary, swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards, then exit the water.


Level 4 – Stroke Improvement 

  • Swimmers should already be able to: swim front and backcrawl 25 yards.

  • Swimmers will work on: rotary breathing, freestyle, backstroke, elementary backstroke, scissors kick and sidestroke, whip kick and breaststroke, intro to turning at the wall, treading water with modified scissors, and diving in a kneeling position.

    • Perform a feet-first entry into deep water, swim front crawl for 25 yards, change direction and position as necessary and swim elementary backstroke for 25 yards.

    • Swim breaststroke for 15 yards, change direction and position as necessary, and swim back crawl for 15 yards.

    • Submerge and swim a distance of 3 to 5 body lengths underwater without hyperventilating, return to the surface, then exit the water


Level 5 – Stroke Refinement 

  • Swimmers should already be able to: swim freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke 25 yards, scissors kick, whip kick, treading water, and dive.

  • Swimmers will work on: alternate breathing, stride jump, refinement of freestyle, backstroke, elementary backstroke, sidestroke, breaststroke, dolphin kick, and butterfly, open turn on the front and back, feet-first surface dive, and treading water.

    • Perform a shallow-angle dive into the water at least 9 feet deep, swim front crawl for 50 yards, then swim elementary backstroke 50 yards using appropriate and efficient turning styles throughout.

    • Swim breaststroke for 25 yards, change the direction of travel as necessary and then swim back crawl for 25 yards using appropriate and efficient turning styles throughout.


Level 6 – Swimming & Skill Proficiency 

  • Swimmers should already be able to: swim front and back crawl 50 yds, elementary backstroke 25 yards, breaststroke 25 yards, butterfly 25 yards, sidestroke 10 yards, tread water for 3 minutes, and dive.

  • Swimmers will work on: All six strokes, front and back crawl flip turn, breaststroke turn, breaststroke speed turn and pullout, butterfly turn, sidestroke turn, pike and tuck surface dive, pike and tuck dive from board, tread water for five minutes, and basic water rescue. Please note: Not all pools are deep enough to teach all of the diving segments of all levels – program modifications may be required to meet safety guidelines.

    • Swim 500 yards continuously using any 3 strokes, swimming at least 50 yards of each stroke.

    • Jump into deep water, perform a survival float for 5 minutes, roll onto back, and perform a back float for 5 minutes.

    • Perform a feet-first surface dive, retrieve an object from the bottom of the pool at a depth of 7 to 10 feet, return to the surface, then back to starting point.

About The Rec

300 Stanley Street
Abingdon, VA 24210

Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursday 
6 a.m. - 9 p.m.
6 a.m. - 7 p.m.
8 a.m. - 6 p.m.


1:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. 


Outdoor Pool Hours

Monday - Thursday

11 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.


11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.


11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

(276) 623-5279

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