After 20+ years of teaching Red Cross Levels combined with our Ready, Set, Swim! teaching techniques, the Red Cross has exited the Aquatics industry. Rather than signing up for a program that does not meet our quality standard, we simply formalized the teaching techniques we had already been using, into a full curriculum with our own measures of success. Ready, Set, Swim! has 12 levels that were created in a way to empower, build comfort, confidence, and skills for life. Upon completion, swimmers will know how to confidently swim in both shallow and deep water, with advanced technique that could even land them a place on a competitive swim team if they wanted to. As Ready, Set, Swim! has grown, we are consistently told that there is truly no other swim program like ours – that we are “unique”. What sets us apart is the amount of freedom within our framework that allows every lesson to meet the individual needs of a swimmer. There is something for everyone; caregivers with infants as young as 4 months, fearful 9-year olds, to over-confident 3-year olds, seniors, triathletes… and the list goes on.
The tried-and-true program is based on Science and behaviour modification principles, progressions, and repetition. We have created not only a curriculum, but a common language for students and teachers to speak, to connect, to build trust. Some would say that our relationships are our secret sauce. We believe in crawling before we walk, walking before we run, blowing bubbles before we submerge, gliding before we crawl, and jumping before we dive. Our highly qualified instructors have all completed our comprehensive training program that will leave them feeling empowered to take on their own classes with confidence and ease. We have successfully trained 100+ swimming teachers in our Ready, Set, Swim! Program to date.
Our lesson planning has found that swimmers are most productive for 30 min classes at a time. In these 30 minutes, we consistently recognize every milestone starting from the first toe that enters the pool for the first time. We stay focused, have fun, and believe that progress makes permanent. Each level is split into three pillars: Ready, Set, and Swim Skills.
Our Ready skills are the major Water Safety component of each level. Whether it be learning how to enter and exit a pool safely, choking rescues, or our “Big 3” rules for any aquatic situation, swimmers progress and add layers of knowledge on each water safety skill throughout the curriculum. Your swimmer will finish the program with age-appropriate expertise to approach almost any first aid situation, how to stay safe in the water, how to keep others safe, and be more than equipped to complete any Lifesaving courses to follow.
Our Set components are our physical preparation elements for any activity, rescue or swim. We believe that this is such an important pillar as it really ties the Ready and Swim skills together. These skills are the physical foundations such as the basics of kicking, reaching to and from a wall, diving, treading water, and more. Our Set Skills really help swimmers take verbal cues and put them into action.
Our Swim Skills are-you guessed it, the swims and strokes we learn! From Front crawl, to Back Float, to Whip kick, to Butterfly, we get our swimmers where they need to go. We believe in strong communication, and that you are never too young to have goals. If you are trying to make a swim team, we will work with you to set you up for success. If you are terrified of the water, we will focus our energy on repairing your relationship with the water. If you want to brush up on some back crawl after a long time away, we will work on stroke correction techniques. If you just LOVE swimming, we are with you. We ask questions in order to set up the session to be most beneficial for your needs. We cannot stress enough that we swim for life. This means learning swim skills in both shallow and deep water independently, so you are prepared for wherever life takes you.
Time and time again we see that when we lead with trust, the rest always follows. It just takes time and care.
How does it compare to the old Red Cross program?
Check out our Compatibility Chart to see where your old Red Cross or Lifesaving Society level meets up with our curriculum! You can also read about the types of skills you will find in each of our levels in our Ready Set Swim Overview.
Progress Reports are written once in the middle of the session to provide caregivers and swimmers a written report of everything being worked on and celebrated! Report Cards are given out at the end of every session with feedback as well. HOWEVER, the feedback we pride ourselves on the most is the feedback we give to both caregivers and swimmers every. single. class. We believe that there should be no surprises, and everyone should be on the same page always!
Badges and Class Progress Mindset:
With 12 new levels, that means we have 12 new badges! While we believe a badge is our least important measure of success, we understand that many families love them! We believe in celebrating wins throughout the levels, even in more difficult times. We never use badges as a bribe or a threat. With all of this being said, we also believe that when a swimmer is ready to move on to a new level, we will give them the badge because they do deserve to be recognized for completing this milestone! This means that we do not need to wait until the end of the session to start working on more advanced skills. We always teach from where our swimmers are at. This also means that if a swimmer can do some skills in level 5 as well as 6, we will work on skills in both. We can work in more than one level at a time! We push them enough to show them what they are capable of.
Last but not least, we are here for you!