The Y has been teaching people to swim for more than a century. Swimming is a life skill as well as great exercise and a challenging sport. We offer swim lessons for all ages, family swim, competitive swimming teams, and many kinds of adaptive swim programs for kids with special needs, so we can all safely enjoy the pleasures of an aquatic environment.
Students learn to be comfortable in the water, personal water safety habits, rescue skills and healthy lifestyle habits. Activities, games and drills, geared to reinforce learning, are utilized heavily as students progress in this skill-based approach to swimming.
The YMCA of Greater Erie is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable pool experience for all. All youth 17 and under must complete the YMCA Deep Water Competency Test which assesses swimming ability for deep water. Those that complete the test successfully will be given a green band; inexperienced swimmers are considered non-swimmers. These bands help our certified lifeguards keep swimmers safe.
Click here for guidelines on the deep water competency test and rules for parent-child ratio.
Every kid has swimming abilities – there’s a little Michael Phelps or Simone Manuel in each of them. Help yours find their swimming potential through YMCA Swim Team! Swimmers of all ages and abilities participate in our Swim Teams. Led by caring coaches, we emphasize personal improvement through stroke technique and training, a strong work ethic and team work through competitive swimming. Swimmers compete locally with the opportunity to advance to the district, state and national level. Competitive Swim Team programs are offered at the County and Eastside Family Ys. Click here for our official team page for the Eastside Family Y. Click here for our official team page for the County Y.
Masters Swim Team
Come and swim coached workouts with other adult swimmers. This Adult Masters Swim Team is coached by one of our aquatics staff who is qualified and experienced in swimming. Each workout will be new and challenging. Each class we will work on various skills including Stroke Technique, Endurance, Speed and Strength. You must be 18 or older to participate. This is a US Masters Swimming program so there is a nominal $20 yearly membership fee for Y members and $90 yearly membership fee for non-members. Practice is held at the Downtown Y on Thursdays from 8-9p.m. Non-Y members may only use the pool during that practice time. Questions, contact Jeanne Moss at 452-3261 ext. 274
Whether you are preparing for an athletic event or simply want to work swimming into your workout routine, this 45-minute class can help you meet your goals. Class held by certified instructor with training experience.
30 minutes each of art, tumbling/gym and swim classes. Open to children ages 3-6. Program cost varies by location. Program held throughout the year at the Eastside Family and Glenwood Park Ys. Program held during the summer at YMCA Camp Sherwin. Register Online>>
Participants have an opportunity to swim in a competitive environment. The swim team competes locally with the opportunity to advance to district, state and national events. Everybody swims, everybody wins. Winter session runs October to March, summer session runs June-July.
Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1-14 years old. In addition to drownings, five times as many children are victims of near-drowning incidents.
The YMCA of Greater Erie is committed to aquatic safety! All youth ages 17 and under will require a deep water competency test and an identification wristband before entering the deep end of the small pool or large pool. The test will only need to be completed once as a record will be kept on file but a wristband will need to be obtained from the Membership Desk and worn every time you visit.
Please be sure to stop by the Membership Desk prior to entering the pool area to get your wrist band.
Click here to see what skills are required for the deep water test.
Class is designed to teach fitness, improving participant’s efficiency of movement and ability to perform day to day activities more easily. Keeps participant’s mind and body healthy through a series of exercises and games mimicking daily activities. All exercises have modifications to accommodate varying degrees of fitness, complications from illness or chronic conditions.
There is something for every “body” at the Y. From cardio to resistance training to mind/body classes are available to meet every interest and level: Water Fitness (summer only), Yoga, Pilates, Strength & Tone Classes, Kick Boxing, Step, Low Impact, Silver Sneakers & Silver & Fit, Zumba, Bosu and more.
This certification course is designed to give participants basic skills and knowledge to be a lifeguard in the pool, lake, river, surf and waterparks. This comprehensive course offers up-to-date information on how to guard, anticipate and prevent problems and take action to help those in danger. Participants must be 16 years old before the completion of the course. A prerequisite swim is required. Register Online>>
Come and swim coached workouts with other adult swimmers. This Adult Masters Swim Team will be coached by one of our aquatics staff who is qualified and experienced in swimming. Each workout will be new and challenging. Each class we will work on various skills including: Stroke Technique, Endurance, Speed, and Strength. You must be 18 or older to participate.
The team will compete in The Allegheny Mountain YMCA/YWCA Masters Swimming Association. Meets are held once or twice a month beginning in September and ending in April with a Championship meet.
This is a US Masters Swimming program so there is a nominal $10 yearly membership fee for
Y members and $90 yearly membership fee for non-members. As a member of the team you can attend any or all of the meets. There is a $7.00 meet fee for the meet(s) you wish to attend. You must compete in 3 regular season meets to be eligible to attend the Championship Meet.
For more information contact Jeanne Moss at the Downtown YMCA at 452-3261 (Ext. 274)
It takes just 10 seconds and 1 ounce of water for a water-related accident to occur. And, nearly 88% of all youth drownings happen under adult supervision. The Y’s new program, Safety Around Water, is designed to teach kids and adults how to be safe in and around water. The program does not focus on swimming technique, but focuses on important safety and survival skills to help reduce water-related accidents and drownings. This program is for non-swimmers/beginners and is meant to complement the Y’s traditional swimming lesson program. Lifeguard on duty. Free and open to the public. Other free programs you might be interested in : City of Erie Learn to Swim, City of Erie Parks & Recreation, and Meals for Kids.
The water fitness/aerobics program was developed for the YMCA by Mary E. Sanders, PhD. The exercises are performed primarily in a vertical position in shallow water. Water resistance creates an environment that improves cardiovascular conditioning; strength and endurance; and flexibility and balance. Classes will be in one of three formats: Regular Aerobics will work through all of the shallow water moves; Dance & Fun will incorporate elements of different dance forms and games designed to challenge dynamic balance; Cardio Intervals will challenge members’ strength and endurance. Work at your own pace; instructor-led modifications.
Class meets in shallow end of pool and uses floatation belts to maintain buoyancy and a vertical position in the water. The belt also aids recovery from cardio sets. You must be comfortable in deep water.
Sporties for Shorties is a new spin on a classic program at the Eastside Family Y. Formerly, Mighty Mites, Sporties for Shorties is a 10-week class which offers lessons in sports such as soccer, basketball, floor hockey and t-ball and includes a weekly swim lesson. Cost is $25 for members and $75 for non-members.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 and the second leading cause of accidental death for children 5 to 14. Accidental drownings can be prevented by teaching youth, teens and adults to swim, so they can be safe around water and learn the skills they need to make swimming a lifelong pursuit for staying healthy.
Y swim instructors are nationally certified. Their training includes CPR, AED, First Aid and Oxygen Administration.
Y Swim Lesson curriculum is based on a continuum that focuses on a skill-based progression that builds confidence and supports swimming skills. Lessons are broken into specific stages that are designed for that age group on a cognitive and social ability.
Program enhancements include: low swimmer/instructor ratio, longer class length for advanced progression, ease at time of registration, improved curriculum focusing on skills-based instruction with an emphasis on personal safety, tools and resources to support families at home. Class sessions are 8 weeks.
Stage A: Water Discovery (Parent/Infant & Toddlers)
Parents accompany children which introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment through exploration and encourages them to enjoy themselves while learning about the water. Click here for stage descriptions. Click here for lesson selector. Video Demonstration coming soon!
Stage B: Water Exploration (Parent/Infant & Toddlers)
Parents work with their children to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.Click here for stage descriptions. Click here for lesson selector. Video demonstration comings soon!
Stage 1: Water Acclimation (Children 3-12 years)
Students develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. This stage lays the foundation that allows for a student’s future progress in swimming. Click here for stage descriptions. Click here for lesson selector. Video demonstration coming soon!
Stage 2: Water Movement (Children 3-12 years)
Students focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water. Click here for stage descriptions. Click here for lesson selector. Video demonstration coming soon!
Stage 3: Water Stamina (Children 3-12 years)
Students learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages in the event of falling into the body of water. This stage also introduces rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action. Click here for stage descriptions. Click here for lesson selector. Video demonstration coming soon!
Students develop stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl and learn the breaststroke kick and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke. Click here for stage descriptions. Click here for lesson selector. Video demonstration coming soon!
Stage 5: Stroke Development (Children 6+, Teens, Adults)
Students work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke. Click here for stage descriptions. Click here for lesson selector. Video demonstration coming soon!
Students refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle. Click here for stage descriptions. Click here for lesson selector. Video demonstration coming soon.
Private/Semi-Private Swim Lessons
Private (1 swimmer) and semi-private lessons (2 swimmers with similar ability) are a great option for swimmers of all ages and abilities looking to accomplish specific objectives. These lessons give you individualized attention to help improve or acquire swimming skills.
This class meets in the shallow end of the large pool navel to nipple depth. This is the ultimate workout for total body fitness. A combination of cardio and muscle strength and endurance exercises are used. Work at your own pace; instructor-led modifications.
We combine a sequence of movements designed to get your heart pumping, build strength and endurance and improve your body composition from head to toe. This class is choreographed to today’s popular music.
YOGA –Thursdays at 10 a.m. @ BLOOM Collaborative – 138 East 26th Street:Each class emphasizes emotional healing at a relaxed pace in a safe and nurturing environment. This class offers simple and effective tools to heal those suffering from PTSD. Yoga delivers inner peace, vibrant health and relaxation.
TAI CHI – Wednesdays at 6:30pm @ Downtown Y Tai Chi, referred to by the Harvard Medical School as “medication in motion”, helps with stress relief, reduces anxiety and depression; and has been proven to improve arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, fibromyalgia , PTSD, and back and spinal problems, as well as increase strength, mobility, balance, and endurance.
WATER FITNESS -Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. @ Downtown Y This low to high-impact aerobics class held in the shallow end of the pool will utilize the resistance and buoyancy of water to tone muscles while protecting joint. Water Fitness has been proven to help as increase strength, mobility, balance, and endurance.
Please make sure to check out our Family Changing Room located next to the pool and to use our newly added Pool Steps to make entering and exiting the pool easier.
Shallow water exercise class that focuses on strength/endurance activities, balance work and target ADLs (activities of daily living). Class held year-round at the Downtown, Eastside and Glenwood Park Ys. Class held outdoors in the summer at the Eastside Y and Camp Sherwin.
This certification course is designed to prepare participants with the skills and knowledge needed to recognize aquatic risks and assist a lifeguard in the emergency response of an accident or injury. Minimum age: 14 years and must be able to swim 100 yards and tread water 2 minutes, legs only.
Become a swim instructor at the YMCA. Commit to 3 hours per week and receive a free adult membership, or pay the difference of $27.07/month for a family membership. This introductory course is given to YMCA instructors teaching Swim Starters, Preschool, School Age, Teen and Adult classes. This course will give new instructors the primary basics for teaching aquatic classes that are student centered, value oriented and safe and effective in teaching skills.
Prerequisites: Ability to complete 4 of the 6 strokes in good form (front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke and butterfly), tread water 2 minutes with 2 different kicks.
Course Cost: Free for YMCA of Greater Erie staff, members $100, non-members $120 Cost includes Basic Life Support, Oxygen, First Aid and Instructor certifications along with two online trainings required for the course.