Greater Sacramento Area

(916) 652 - 7709

Graduation day

Somewhere between 16-30 lessons graduation generally occurs.

This varies with each child’s ability and temperament.

On Graduation Day the child is placed off the side, fully clothed, and has to be able

to go under, surface, (face-up), get their mouth and nose out of the water,

and maintain a back float for 5-15 minutes, or a length of time

determined by the instructor, without being assisted in any way.

If assistance is needed then we try graduation on another day.

An instructor is within arms reach of child at all times.

The last part of lesson is running the child through all of the rolls and flips

with additional parent training, if necessary.

Older toddlers may kick to side/steps and pull themselves out,

if that has been part of their training.

We don’t keep a child submerged for an extended period of time

Our goal is to keep a child’s mouth out of the water,

as much as possible.

There is a great difference from other infant swim programs,

where the emphasis is placed on underwater swimming.

Our belief is that underwater swimming comes "in it’s own time".

Positive reinforcement

With continual positive reinforcement a child works for approval.

We praise positive behaviors and ignore negative or inappropriate ones. Attention to negative behavior creates more of the same.

Daily record

We keep a daily record of child's progress.

When working with lots of children

it helps knowing what they accomplished the previous day.

It also helps another instructor know a child's capabilities and progress. Continuity is important,

but sometimes instructors may switch children during a lesson.

We work as a team: instructors, child and parents.

Eye contact

It goes without saying that as humans we connect with our eyes,

so we also communicate with the child through eye contact.

A child needs to know that we are with them 100%.


It is vitally important to the success of a child that they learn to trust us. Trust takes time and is built in a loving and reassuring way.

We speak in a calm, soothing tone, always maintaining a positive attitude.

Why in clothes

Children learn to float in clothes

because 86% of the children who drown do so fully clothed.

Falling into water while clothed is quite a different feeling

than just being in diapers or a swimsuit.

When wet, clothes are heavy and the child has to learn

to roll and compensate for the extra weight of the clothing and shoes.

This helps them be fully prepared and not caught by surprise

from the difference in sensation.

Our Goal

It is to create a "positive experience" for both parent and child.

The use of stars, stickers and happy faces are used as incentive.

Upon graduation, T-shirts are given for a job well done.

Tee shirts help give the child a greater sense of accomplishment

and are worn with great pride.

We have our hands on a child all the time

Until a child able to sustain a free back float by themselves

our hands are always touching them.

A gentle tapping, on the back of the head,

as assistance to keep their mouths and nose out of the water,

is used while they are in the learning process.

A gentle stroking of their faces is also used as a calming reassurance.

We handle a child with secure, patient, gentle firmness

Our approach is to create a sense of security and safety.

Children can feel that in the way that we handle them.

Patience is paramount!

If we are secure they feel that sense of security.

All lessons are private

A session consists of an initial (minimum)16 - (15-min) lessons

over four weeks.

After the 16 lessons we then continue on a per lesson basis

until child successfully graduates.

Why only 15 minutes?

It is very tiring work, especially for an infant or toddler.

Why 16 lessons in four weeks?

We have found greater success in graduation by lesson 16,

if done as an intensive over four weeks.

We keep our eyes on the childs faces at all time

Should we need to look up or away

our hand is securely under the back of the child’s head

insuring their nose and mouth stay out of the water.

We don’t throw children in

This is a common fear of parents,

and has been done in some infant programs.

This is where tremendous trauma can occur.

Our approach is actually quite the opposite.

We adopt a hands-on approach

as we gradually guide them through the process.

Only near the end of all the lessons,

when they have been sufficiently prepared,

are they put off of the side of the pool, fully clothed,

as a part of the Graduation Day process.

A sequence of steps

Steps build one upon the other.

In a slow, gentle, loving way

a child is conditioned to flip to their back and float,

when placed in water.

The BEGINNING is same,

the MIDDLE is individualized,

and the END Graduation Day is the same.

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