The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

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Learn to Swim Progession for Infants and Toddlers, Stage Two

As the young toddler demonstrates his confidence is increasing, he is becoming more relaxed in the swim, and his kick is beginning to provide some propulsion, it is time then to move to Stage Two of the Surface Swim progression.  This stage will help take his level of competence to another level.  This doesn’t happen overnight, and be prepared to give plenty of child-focused practice opportunities in all stages of learning, always putting the child’s happiness and willingness to perform the skills FIRST.

“CHILD HAPPINESS FIRST–TASK MASTERY SECOND!”  All Swim Lessons University Instructors are trained using this philosophy as the cornerstone of success for the child first, and the program second.  At SLU, we believe toddlers and young children can learn to swim and be safer in the water without a forceful, negative approach.  The approach can be progressive, but children should progress at their pace so they not only learn to swim, but that they learn to both respect and love the water.  Now back to Stage Two…

During Stage Two as seen in the video below, you can see that the INSTRUCTOR GOES UNDERWATER HIMSELF wearing goggles so he can  OBSERVE THE TODDLER EVER SO CLOSELY.   The moment the toddler appears that he is ready to come up for a breath (in this case the 24 month old lifts his head on his own), the instructor calmly and gently assists him so that he can easily get his breath, avoiding the chance of him taking in any water.   This is Stage Two and plenty of time should be spent on it before moving to Stage Three where we introduce the “Pop up Breath.”  Since this child demonstrated he is capable of lifting the head for a breath after swimming with the face down for several seconds, this is a great indicator he is ready to move to Stage Three and learn the Pop-up Breath.   If the instructor needs to assist the child from the face down position, it may be better to continue with stage two since he simply may not be physically strong enough or skilled enough to start on stage three.

I sure hope this video and blog help you and or your staff!  But please know these are just glimpses of the footage and instruction you will see in the 2nd Edition of the new Parent & Tot Instructor Training DVD

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at  We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

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September 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm
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