Learn to Swim!


Did you know that approximately 37% of adults in the U.S. do not know how to swim? To combat this, U.S. Masters Swimming developed the Adult Learn to Swim program and are working with individual States and Congress to dedicate every April as Learn to Swim Month.

We will be offering our free group Adult Learn-to-Swim program again in 2017. Dates/locations to be announced! If, however, you would prefer to do this individually (and not in a group program) we also offer the opportunity to learn to swim through paid lessons with our coaches specially certified as Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructors. Contact Coach Shari Cruse by clicking her picture in the right side bar on this page and she can help work out the details with you.

In April 2016, Swymnut Masters offered our first ever FREE Adult Learn to Swim (ALTS) program as part of our involvement in the U.S. Masters Swimming 2016 Swimming Saves Lives campaign. There was no charge for this life changing and maybe even life saving swim campaign! As you can see from this collage poster, we had such a blast with our participants and all 13 of our students were remarkable in taking on this challenge to conquer fear of the water and learn to swim.

ALTS Collage May 2016

To see for yourself how great this program was, check out some of our videos and pictures of our program in action. We have two links for you:

Our class sizes are intentionally small (about 12-15 max) in order to provide our participants with an intimate and supportive environment. Our program involves 7-8 water sessions spread over 3-4 weeks with each participant paired up in the water with a specially trained volunteer who is warm, friendly and encouraging at all times. We need our participants to attend every session, because the more access you have to learning these skills, the better and faster progress you will make. In our first ALTS class, those who were able to make all of the sessions definitely advanced farther than those who missed a few sessions. The waiting list is long and for that reason as well, we need a commitment from our swimmers to make all the sessions we offer.

In our 2016 offering, with grant funding and sponsorships, we were able to provide our participants (at no charge) with goggles, snorkels, swim caps, t-shirts, and even some awesome towels. We want to thank our sponsors of U.S. Masters Swimming (Swimming Saves Lives Foundation for a wonderful grant that covered almost everything) along with Finis, Inc (snorkels and goggles for our participants) and Sutter Health Novato Community Hospital Bone & Joint Program (towels for all volunteers and participants). We could not have done this program without them!

Here are some of the skills we target in our program.

  • Skill Set 1: Snorkel Use & Snorkel Breathing, Floating, Kicking
  • Skill Set 2: Basic Freestyle mechanics
  • Skill Set 3: More Advanced Freestyle mechanics (improved arm movement, the role of your hips and rotation in the stroke) along with water safety skills of Sculling & Treading Water
  • Skill Set 4: Breathing without the snorkel and breathing in freestyle
  • Skill Set 5: American Red Cross “water safe” skills including the goal of swimming one 25-yard lap of freestyle

The following 5 videos show the above Skills Sets and teaching progression. Our program is modeled after Coach Kerry O’Brien’s Free Flow Freestyle program used by the Walnut Creek Masters. We are ever so grateful for his design and creativity!

The videos should play back-to-back and you can pause them whenever you want.

Here is a flyer from our 2016 offering to download and to share with others who may be interested in our 2017 program. Or, simply direct them to our web page here that you are reading. As soon as we have secured the pools and dates, we will post a 2017 flyer here.

2016 Adult Learn to Swim Flyer

We also have a Spanish language flyer here

2016 ALTS Flyer Spanish

Here is a video from Growing Bolder profiling the work being done to help save lives.

And here is information on the U.S. Masters Swimming website on their ALTS program. http://www.usms.org/learntoswim along with a public service announcement starring Mysty Hyman on ALTS.

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