West Cook YMCA



We are excited to launch our upgraded swim lessons program. Swimming is not only a fun, healthy activity, but an important life skill for all children. Learning basic water safety skills is a great introduction to the world of swimming that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs, and can even lead to a career.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.

We hope you will understand how best to select the appropriate level for you or your child(ren) and learn about our upgraded program in the information provided.



  • Frequent communications with parents on their swimmer’s progress
  • Lessons focused on critical skills for each progressive stage
  • Lessons accommodate students of varying abilities
  • Seamless transitions for swimmers between stages
  • Lessons that promote fun and enjoyment


If you have questions or would like to schedule a FREE swim assessment, please contact Kim Polk, Aquatics Director, at 708-434-0220 or kpolk@westcookymca.org. Feel free to download our Swim Lesson Upgrade Introduction booklet for more information.


  • Can the student respond to verbal cues and jump on land? Not Yet? Your child(ren) is ready for A/ Water Discovery. 
  • Is the student comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the water? Not Yet? Your child(ren) is ready for B/Water Exploration.
  • Will the student go underwater voluntarily? Not Yet? Your child(ren) is ready for 1/Water Acclimation. 
  • Can the student do a front and back float on his or her own? Not Yet? Your child(ren) is ready for 2/Water Movement.
  • Can the student swim 10-15 yards on his or her front and back? Your child(ren) is ready for 3/Water Stamina. 
  • Can the student swim 15 yards of front and back crawl? Your child(ren) is ready for 4/Stroke Introduction.
  • Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool? Your child(ren) is ready for 5/Stroke Development.
  • Can the student swim front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke across the pool and back? Your child(ren) is ready for 6/Stroke Mechanics. 





Parent & Child Lessons (Age 6 months-3 years)

Outcomes for Swim Starters is infants and toddlers, accompanied by a parent/adult, learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.

Stage A – Water Discovery: Introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment
Stage B – Water Exploration: Focuses on exploring body positions, blowing bubbles and fundamental safety and aquatic skills


SWIM BASICS (Safety Around Water)

Preschool Children Ages 3-5
Recommended skills for all to have around water.

Outcomes in the Swim Stroke Stages include students learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills:
• Swim, float, swim- sequencing front glide, roll, back float, roll, front glide, and exit
• Jump, push, turn, grab

1/Water Acclimation: Increases comfort with underwater exploration and introduces basic self-rescue skills

2/Water Movement: Encourages forward movement in water and basic self-rescue skills performed independently

3/Water Stamina: Develops intermediate self-rescue skills performed at longer distance than in previous stages

4/Stroke Introduction: Introduces basic stroke techniques in front crawl and back crawl and reinforces water safety through treading water and elementary backstroke.



Skills to support a healthy lifestyle
School-Aged Children 6-12 years.

Outcomes include swimmers having mastered the fundamentals, learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

1-2/Youth Water Acclimation & Water Movement: Increases comfort with under water exploration as well as encourages forward movement in the water. Basic self-rescue skills are also performed independently.

3/Youth Water Stamina: Develops intermediate self-rescue skills performed at longer distance than in previous stages

4/Youth Stroke Introduction: Introduces basic stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl and reinforces water safety thorough treading water and elementary backstroke.

5/Youth Stroke Development: Introduces basic stroke and butterfly and reinforces water safety through treading water and side stroke.

6/Youth Stroke Mechanics: Refines stroke technique on all major competitive strokes and encourages swimming as a apart of a healthy lifestyle.


What’s Next?

Is your child ready for competitive swimming? Learn about our Competitive Swim Team.

If your child is 16 years or older, we offer Red Cross Lifeguard Certification and First Aid/CPR/AED Certifications.



Are you interested in having one on one instruction or have a friend you would like to learn to swim with? Do you need more flexibility in when your lessons are offered? If so, private lessons may be just for you. To sign up, obtain a private/semi-private lesson request form at Member Engagement Desk. Once completed, we will match you with a qualified instructor. 

  • $150 for a 6-pack; $200 for a program member
$300 for a 12-pack; $350 for a program member
  • $200 for a 6-pack; $255 for a program member
$300 for a 12-pack; $355 for a program member
  • Spots are limited, so sign up today!


Spots are limited, so sign up today!


Members can enjoy the benefits of private swim lessons offered by West Cook YMCA certified Swim Instructors.

If you are a West Cook YMCA Member or have previously booked a private lesson, you can book an appointment on-line using the instructions below.  If you would like to book a private lesson within the next 24 hours, please book an appointment by calling Member Services at (708) 383-5200.

On-line Private Swim Lesson Booking Instructions:

  • Select the lesson that suits your needs and register for it.
  • Within 24 hours, you will receive a notification that you are ready to schedule your appointment.
  • Enter your first name, last name, and phone number (input the phone number used for your YMCA account or for a previous appointment booking)
  • Select the appointment type and your preferred date and instructor.

If you are still unable to progress beyond the login, please contact Member Services for additional assistance at (708) 383-5200.


It is best to use Google Chrome. Need to register for private swim lessons? Register here today!



LEARN TO SWIMclientuploads/_photos/MakeaSplash.jpg

The West Cook YMCA is a proud recipient of the 2017 Make a Splash Grant from the USA Swimming Foundation. Learn more about the Make a Splash program here.

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