Loyola University Maryland

Department of Recreational Sports


image divider

Class Descriptions

Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills
Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills
Level 3: Stroke Development
Level 4: Stroke Improvement
Level 5: Stroke Refinement
Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills top

Prerequisites: None

  1. Feel comfortable and be safe in the water.
  2. Acquaint students with the swimming area and understand basic pool safety.
  3. Progressively learn elementary aquatic skills.

We encourage students to explore movements in the water and observe what comes naturally to them in order to build on those strengths. Students are encouraged to ask questions so we can address any fears. Parents are also encouraged to ask questions to also help address questions their children may have as the course progresses. Throughout the course, we provide a wide variety of experiences to meet the course objectives that provide a fun and safe environment.

Exit Skills:

  1. Enter water, bob 5 times to chin level and safely exit water
  2. Float on front with support for 3 seconds, roll to back (with assistance)
  3. Float on back with support for 3 seconds
Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills top

Prerequisites: Level 1 certificate or able to demonstrate all Level 1 exit skills

  1. Learn to float without support and recover to a vertical position.
  2. Develop locomotive skills and beginning stroke.
  3. Expand on basic rescue and self-help skills learned in Level 1.

Exit Skills
1.    Step from side into chest deep water, move into a front float for 5 seconds, roll over into back float, return to standing position, then move into a back float for 5 seconds and return to a standing position
2.    Push off and swim using a combination of arm and leg actions for 15 feet on the front; push off and swim on the back using a combination of leg and arm actions for 15 feet

Level 3: Stroke Development top

Prerequisites: Level 2 certificate or able to demonstrate all Level 2 exit skills


  1. 1. Build on the skills in level 2 by providing additional guided practice.
  2. 2. Teach students to coordinate the front crawl and back crawl and introduce elements of treading water and the fundamentals of the butterfly.
  3. 3. Students should also learn rules for head-first entries into the water from the side of the pool (9' or deeper).

Exit Skills
1. Jump into chest-deep water from the side, swim front crawl for 15 yards with face in the water and rhythmic breathing pattern (on front or side), maintain position by treading or floating for 30 seconds and swim back crawl for 15 yards.

Level 4: Stroke Improvement top

Prerequisites: Level 3 certificate or able to demonstrate all Level 3 exit skills


1. To develop confidence in the strokes learned thus far and to improve other aquatic skills. 

2. Improve aquatic skills and increase students endurance by swimming familiar strokes (Front/Back crawl) for greater distances.

3. Help student's continue to build on the butterfly and introduce the elementary backstroke, breaststroke and elements of the sidestroke. Basics of turning are also introduced during this level.

Exit Skills
1.     Perform a feet first entry into chest-deep water, swim front crawl for 25 yards, maintain position on back for 1 minute in deep water (float or sculling) and swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards.
2.    Swim breaststroke for 15 yards, tread water for 1 minute and swim back crawl for 25 yards.  

Level 5: Stroke Refinement top

Prerequisites: Level 4 certificate or able to demonstrate all Level 4 exit skills


1. Improve the coordination and refinement of strokes.

2. Participants refine their performance of all the strokes (Front crawl, back crawl, butterfly, breast stroke, elementary backstroke, and sidestroke) and increase their distances.

3. Flip turns on the front and back crawl are introduced.

Exit Skills
1.     Perform a shallow dive into deep water, swim front crawl for 50 yards, maintain position for 2 minutes on back in deep water (float or scull) and swim elementary backstroke for 25 yards.
2.    Swim breaststroke for 25 yards, tread water for 2 minutes and swim back crawl for 50 yards.

More Information

For more information about Aquatic Programs, contact Meagan Stachurski, Assistant Director of Recreational Sports Aquatics and Special Events, at mastachurski@loyola.edu.