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Swimming Lessons for Adults

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Swimming Lessons for Scaredy Cats

Jan 2011

Sadly this mama has never learned to swim, and now have a 3 year old that is a little trepidatious of water too. So two questions: Do you know of any learn to swim classes for adults (pref. in Berkeley area) that are fearful of water? I looked at something called the Miracle Swimming Institute, which looks great, but is WAY beyond my modest budget range. Any beginning swimming classes at Ys or local rec type places that are good for those fearful of water? I've tried regular beginning classes before but never seemed to follow along very well because I was still to nervous to let go of the side of the pool! And for my kid, is there a best way to approach swimming lessons? Should I just try to put him in classes now and keep at it until he's comfortable? Wait til he's older? And any recs for places patient with little ones? I just want to get past this fear of water and of course don't want to pass it on. Thanks swimmers--we hope to be among you one day.


Although probably further than you would like, I highly recommend the private swim school we attend, Little Swimmers in Concord. The instructors are patient and caring. I've witnessed both teachers work calmly (and successfully) with young swimmers who were scared of the water. Lessons are private or semi-private for lots of individualized attention. You can check them out on the web at www.littleswimmersconcord.com Swimming mom
I can totally relate. Check into timoliver swimming in Oakland. Warm, quiet, calm and peaceful pool with only a handful of students at any given time. Tim and his staff work with swimmers of all levels, including special needs. I call him The Swim Whisperer! My daughter, who has some sensory issues, went from freaked out to water baby by her third lesson with him. Breaking the scaredy-swimmer cycle
Hi, My daughter learned to swim at Canyon swim school in El Sobrante when she just turned 5. She was scared of water too. I chose this place because the water is warm and comfortable, the teachers are in the pool with the students, and the ratio of teacher student is great 1:4. I think they can help adults too, but do not know for sure. The pool is seasonal. You can find out more by reading BPN archives and visiting their web site. Good luck! fan of Canyon swim school

My husband never learned to swim

April 2009

Hi, my husband grew up without learning how to swim and is not comfortable in water more than a few feet deep. He is otherwise incredibly fit and exercises regularly but sinks in the water. Does anyone have a recommendation of a class or individual who specializes in teaching adults to swim? Thanks He wants to be able to swim with our kids


East Bay Regional Parks offers adult (and child) swimming lessons. It worked wonderfully for my husband, who has wanted to learn to swim for some time. Last fall he took at class at Roberts Park in Oakland at the same time our son took a class on the other side of the pool. He signed up for a group lesson but ended up being the only person in that class, so got some one-on-one instruction. He's looking forward to his next lessons once the pool opens this year, and is much more comfortable in the water with the kids now. For more information go to http://www.classweb.ebparks.org/eConnect5.2/Activities/Activities.asp?SCheck=74199363&SDT=39920.4757312153&SectionId=4 Happy with swim lessons at Roberts Pool, EBRPD

Swimming Lessons for Mom

June 2002

After years of hearing that swimming is the ideal exercise, I'm ready to take the plunge. Yep, that's right -- mom can't swim. Now, I wouldn't drown if tossed in a body of water (I can tread water, do the backstroke, etc.) but I never mastered the crawlstroke or breastroke -- I've always had an aversion to putting my face in the water, and I never got the hang of the breathing. Can anyone recommend an instructor and pool for me? I live near Rockridge BART, and I would prefer something relatively close to home, although a kind and nurturing instructor is just as important. I checked the website, but everything there is about swimming lessons for kids. Thanks.


While not lessons, I learned the crawl/freestyle stroke from a book. Like you, I knew how to not drown, but I didn't know how to swim laps. I checked out a book with pictures and instructional text, then watched people at lap swim who looked like good swimmers, then got in the slow lane and practiced. Good Luck. Liz
If you have a UC affiliation, you might look into taking courses through their P.E. department (now called Human Biodynamics or something similarly fancy). That was where I learned to swim 10 years ago. Although the size of the class (20) may have slowed down the pace of instruction, the trade-off was a really good- natured atmosphere. Being in the pool with so many other adults who hadn't learned to swim did a lot to dispel my embarassment, and I recommend the classes. Jennifer

Pre-Natal Swimming Classes

Jan 2009

I am pregnant and need to find a prenatal aquatic exercise class. Maria


The downtown Berkeley Y has a great prenatal water exercise class. water lover
August 2006

I am looking for recommendations of / pointers to any kind of prenatal swim or water exercise classes in the East Bay. I contacted the Berkeley Y about their Prenatal Water Exercise class but was told by staff I would have to purchase a Full Service Membership to attend. Berkeley Y just isn't that close to me and I wouldn't make use of all the other benefits, so this doesn't seem like an economically sensible option. Last posting I found for this onsite was from 2003, and I'm hoping that in the meantime someone has found some other classes...TIA! Leah


I took a great water aerobics when I was pregnant last summer at the Mills College pool. The class wasn't a prenatal class, but the teacher modified things for me. It was on Sundays at 9 am and also one or two weekday evenings. I think it cost around $8/ class. Laura
The YMCA downtown Berkeley has great prenatal water classes on Monday 6pm and Friday at 6:10pm - you can just show up, it's great Kristen
April 2003

Apparently the Berkeley YMCA has stopped allowing non-members to take their pre-natal swimming classes and for me to join the Y just for that class seems pretty expensive. Does anyone know of any other pools that have pre-natal swimming classes? Anywhere in the East Bay would be fine. Thanks. Amy


I take the prenatal water aerobics at the Berkeley Y and although I am a member, I never have to prove Berkeley membership. (Although I switched my membership from Oakland to Berkeley when I was about 3 months pregnant because there are no prenatal classes in Oakland.) If you are already a member of another Y, I think you could just pay $3 to get into the Berkeley Y at the times there are classes. There are no signups for the water exercise classes--you just show up--although there are signups for the prenatal yoga classes. By the way, the classes are great! 3 times a week and really relaxing and enjoyable. The teachers are good (although with different styles). I always sleep well after my classes! So, if you don't find another place to do water exercise, I recommend the Berkeley Y. Apparently they also have a good childcare program for children 8 weeks and older. Good luck!
I would double check at the YMCA, re: pre-natal classes for non- members. You may need to pay a $40 ''community membership'' fee, which usually allows you to participate in a class but not the rest of the Y's facilities. This is how it worked for the baby swim class at the downtown Berkeley Y. Marian
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