The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Learn to Swim Progression for Infants and Toddlers, Stage One

At Swim Lessons University, we take infants and toddlers through a child-focused, individual and naturally paced progression. Here is Stage One of the “Surface Swim,” where you can watch me help 21-month old, Saylor get comfortable with this first step in the learn to swim process.

There are two topics that are critical that I would like to point out:

First watch how I go under water, wearing my favorite Finis goggles, and keep my eyes on Saylor’s face to ensure she is happy throughout the process. I never let her go, nor do I take her under the water. Humans swim at the surface. Therefore, when you introduce swimming to young infant and toddlers, it is especially important that you avoid taking them under the surface or and avoid dunking them. You gently place the face in the water after giving a 1-2-3 start command.

Secondly, watch how I bring Saylor up for air as soon as I sense she is ready. Don’t overstay your welcome. Their facial expressions and their body language tells you everything you need to know in order to keep the task child-focused.

Once your student becomes comfortable enough with stage one, you take them to stage two where you actually let them go and let them propel themselves through the water. Nevertheless, you are underwater with your goggles on and ready to help them to the surface as soon as you see they are ready. All three stages can be found in Swim Lessons University’s  comprehensive video course for training and certifying swimming instructors, “Parent and Tot” – How To Teach Toddlers to Swim.

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 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm Comments (2)