Chelsea Piers Swim School Progression | Chelsea Piers Connecticut | Stamford, CT

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Program Progression

Our goal is to get your little one swimming and safe in the water. The Chelsea Piers Swim School is built on a progression-based curriculum that teaches skills in an age and developmentally appropriate way while the kids have fun.


Swimmers discover the pool and learn the basics of water safety and swimming fundamentals. As they progress through the levels, they build confidence in the water and in their basic strokes.


Once a child has earned a Gator Badge, s/he may move up to Stroke Development. Stroke Development is broken into three distinct levels, each of which is designed around different skills. As each set of skills are mastered, stars are earned. As stars accumulate, swimmers move through the three different levels of Stroke Development.

Level Requirements and Definitions

Chelsea Piers Stroke Development

Gator Badge

Gator Badge indicates that a child can swim the length of the learn to swim pool without interruption, demonstrating big arms, rolling to the back to breathe and kicking, independent of teacher intervention.

Level 1 Requires Gator Badge

Streamline Backstroke Kick
Side Breathing
  Belly Kick – Assisted/Unassisted 
Catch-Up Free – Assisted/Unassisted
Proper Side Breathing 
  Backstroke Arm Motion – Assisted 
Double Arm Backstroke
Unassisted Freestyle/Backstroke

Level 2 Requires 3 Stars from level 1 or evaluation for placement

  10 Kick Switch Freestyle/Backstroke
10/3/10 Freestyle/Backstroke
Know all Freestyle/Backstroke Drills by Name
  Beginning Butterfly/Breaststroke Kick
Backstroke Stroke Count from the flags to wall
Swim 1/2 length of space freestyle without help
Swim 1/2 length of space backstroke without help
  Legal Breaststroke Kick
Legal Dolphin Kick
Beginning Breaststroke
Beginning Butterfly
Technically sound Freestyle/Backstroke for 1 lap of space

Level 3 Requires 3 Stars from level 2 or evaluation from placement

  Point Kick
Dolphin Press
"Race Pace" Freestyle
  Know all Breaststroke/Butterfly Drills by name
Jacks Drill/Catch
2/2/2 Butterfly
3Kicks-1Pull – Breaststroke
Freestyle Flip Turn
  Drop-Down Push off w/Streamline
Backstroke Flip Turn
Legal Breaststroke
Legal Butterfly