I. Bama Swim School Information

Welcome to University Recreation Aquatics. We are excited to have you participate in our instructional aquatics programs. We offer group, private, and semi-private swim lessons for children and adults. The following information will help guide you in choosing the right program as well as provide details for the registration process.

Participation is open to UA students, and University Recreation members. Registration is by age group with participants being placed into skill level groups according to participation history, responses to the Skill Level Benchmarks Selection Guide, or an assessment of each child’s skills on the first day of class. Swim lessons are progressive in that each skill level builds upon the preceding one and groups may include a combination of two successive skill levels. At each skill level, participants are involved in activities related to the following components: water entry and exit, breath control and submerging, buoyancy, changing direction, treading, swimming on the front, back, and side, and water safety. General descriptions of our swim lessons are provided in sections III-IV to help you select the appropriate class. Make alternative selections in case your first choice is not available and record those selections on the schedule.

Swim lessons are conducted at the Student Recreation Center (SRC) Indoor Pool, 400 Peter Bryce Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35401

II.  Program Enrollment

A. Registration

Please review the yellow information box on this page for registration dates.  Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, and will close at 6 p.m. on the Wednesday before the first class day. Registration is available in person at the Student Recreation Center Member Services office or online. If choosing the online option please complete the Swim Lesson Registration Form – Student Recreation Center Member or the Swim Lesson Registration Form – non-member needing a membership and a membership assistant will contact you to confirm registration and receive payment.

Student Recreation Center (SRC) Membership Office hours:

Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. or Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

B.  Membership Guidelines

A valid Student Recreation Center membership is required to register for all swim lessons. Lessons for children require the parent/guardian to have a membership.

C.  Group Lessons

For ages 3 years and older, four to six students per instructor are grouped with peers of similar ability. Children must be ready to participate independently of a parent in the water. Preschool lessons are scheduled for no more than 30 minutes and youth lessons are scheduled for no more than 40 minutes.

D. Private and Semi-Private Swim Lessons

Private and semi-private lessons are available to participants age 3 years and older. UREC does not match participants for semi-private swim lessons.  Participants must be at a comparable skill level and register at the same time. Each private/semi-private lesson is scheduled for no more than 30 minutes.

E.  General Procedures

For additional information on swimming regulations, please visit our website at https://urec.sa.ua.edu/aquatics/.

1. Facility Access

A Student Recreation Center (SRC) membership is required to access the SRC. All members must present their Action Card for entry to the SRC. Swim lesson visitor passes are available by request for parents/guardians that do not have a membership and wish to observe swim lessons. Please email urecswim@ua.edu for additional information.

2. Parking

Patron parking passes are available through transportation services; please visit bamaparking.ua.edu/permits/ for more parking information. A pay-to-park option is available at the SRC upper lot.

3. Attendance, Parent Presence, and Locker Rooms

Participants who are late or miss a scheduled class are not permitted to attend other classes to make up for the missed lesson. Parents are required to remain in the pool area for the duration of the lesson. At the Student Recreation Center, we strongly encourage the use of the Family Changing Rooms located between the Men’s Locker Room and Personal Training Studio.

4. Reasonable Accommodations

Please inform University Recreation in writing of any special circumstances that require a reasonable accommodation for participation in accordance with ADA.

5. Cancellation of Classes

University Recreation may cancel classes due to insufficient enrollment, severe weather, or facility hazards. Weekday make-up classes may be offered on a Friday at the regular class time, while weekend make-up classes may be offered on another weekend. There is a 24-hour cancellation procedure for private swim lessons. If notification is not received 24 hours in advance, you will forfeit your scheduled class time. If you need to cancel a private lesson, email Aquatic Programs at urecswim@ua.edu or call 205-348-0217.

6. Withdrawal from Class/Refund

A written request must be submitted at least one week prior to the program start date.  Payments made via credit card will be credited back to that card.  Payment made via other means will require lengthy processes.

7. Procedure Exceptions

These procedures may not provide guidance for every possible situation. University Recreation reserves the right to make changes and exceptions to program procedures when warranted.

8. Questions

For additional information please email urecswim@ua.edu.

III. Lessons Selection:

A. What Age Group Does the Student Fall Into?

  • 3 years – 5 years; Preschool; Levels 1-3
  • 6 years – 12 years; Youth/School Age; Levels 1-6
  • 13 years +; Teen/Adult; Levels 1-6

B. Which Skill Level is the Student Ready For?

  • The student is comfortable working with an instructor without a parent in the pool. Not Yet. Then student may not be ready for lessons.
  • The student will go underwater voluntarily. If not yet, then Level 1: Water Acclimation.
  • The student can do a front and back float on his or her own. If not yet, then Level 2: Fundamental Skills.
  • The student can swim 15 yards on his or her front and back. If not yet, then Level 3: Stroke Introduction.
  • The student can swim 25 yards of front crawl and 15 yards of back crawl. Not yet. Then Level 4: Stroke Improvement.
  • The student can swim 50 yards of front crawl, and 25 yards each of back crawl and breaststroke. If not yet, then Level 5: Stroke Refinement.
  • The student can swim 100 yards of front crawl, and 50 yards each of back crawl and breaststroke. If not yet, then Level 6: Skill Proficiency and Fitness.

IV. Information About the Student Recreation Center Indoor Pool

A. Pool

  • The length of the pool is 25 yards (75 feet).
  • Depth ranges from 3 feet 6 inches to 5 feet…Not designed for learning or practicing headfirst entries.
  • ADA accessible ramp

B. Amenities

  • Perimeter deck seating for parents/guardians.
  • Family Changing rooms are located between Men’s Locker Room and Personal Fitness Studio.

V. Skill Level Benchmarks Guide

The Learn-to-Swim Program provides an increased emphasis in the areas of drowning prevention and water safety and an inclusive approach to swimming and water safety. Please review the following benchmarks carefully to predict the participant’s skill level placement.

A. Basic Swim Levels 1 – 3

Basic swim levels 1-3 are for students ages 3 years and older. The participant is engaged in activities that promote learning personal water safety and basic water competencies such as entering and exiting the pool independently, rolling from face-down to face-up, using combined arm and leg movements to reach poolside.

1. Level 1 – Water Acclimation

Participants develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a pool.  This level lays a foundation that allows for participant’s future progress in swimming.

a) Benchmark skills include:
  • Willing to enter the pool independently.
  • Can travel five yards with support.
  • Will submerge face and blow bubbles for three seconds.
  • Front glide two body lengths, roll to a back float five seconds and recover to a vertical position.

2. Level 2 – Fundamental Skills

Participants focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while continuing to practice how to safely exit the pool.

a) Benchmark skills include:
  • Is increasingly confident in the water.
  • Willing to fully submerge and blow bubbles for three seconds.
  • Can move into a front/back float for five seconds, rollover to a back/front float for five seconds, and return to a vertical position.
  • Glide on the front and back two body lengths and recover to a vertical position.
  • Back float for 15 seconds and recover to a vertical position.
  • Can push off and swim using a combination of arm and leg actions for five body lengths on the front, roll to a back float for 15 seconds, and then roll to front and swim for five body lengths.

3. Level 3 – Stroke Development

Participants learn how to swim safely from a longer distance than previous levels.  This level also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg actions.

a) Benchmark skills include:
  • Independently step into chest-deep water.
  • Can tread water for 15 seconds.
  • Can float on front and back float for 15 seconds.
  • Can jump into deep water from poolside, recover to the surface and maintain position either treading or floating 1 minute, then level off and swim front/back 25 yards, then exit.
  • Can push off in streamlined position then swim front crawl for 15 yards, change directions then swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards, and exit.

B. Swim Stroke Levels 4 – 6

Swim stroke levels 4 – 6 are for students ages 6 years and older. After mastering the basic fundamentals, participants build upon previously learned skills by engaging in activities to promote learning additional water safety skills, improve stroke technique, and develop skills that increase well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.

1.  Level 4 – Stroke Improvement

Participant’s develop stroke technique in front and back crawl, learn the breaststroke kick, and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke.

a) Benchmark skills include:
  • Can perform a feet-first entry into chest-deep water.
  • Can swim front crawl for 25 yards, change direction, and swim elementary backstroke for 25 yards.
  • Can swim breaststroke for 15 yards, change direction, and swim backstroke 15 yards.
  • Can submerge and swim a distance of three to five body lengths underwater.

2. Level 5 – Stroke Refinement

Participants focus on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes.  Emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.

a) Benchmark skills include:
  • Can perform a shallow-angle dive into deep water.
  • Can swim front crawl for 50 yards, change direction, and swim elementary backstroke for 50 yards.
  • Can swim breaststroke for 25 yards, change direction, and swim back crawl 25 yards

3. Level 6 – Stroke Proficiency and Fitness

Participants learn how to refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.

a) Benchmark skills include:

  • Can swim 500 yards continuously using three strokes, swimming at least 50 yards of each stroke.
  • Can perform the Cooper 12-minute pre/post-swim test, covering the greatest distance possible

 For additional information, please email urecswim@ua.edu or call 205-348-0217.