Red Cross Swim for Adults & Teens

Red Cross Swim Basics

Red Cross Swim Basics is a two-level learn-to-swim program for adults and teens. These courses are designed to develop or increase swimmers’ comfort in the water through basic flotation, movement, and breathing skills and to foster the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to stay safe in, on, and around the water.

Program Structure

Red Cross Swim Basics 1 offers an introduction to swimming with a focus on front swim. Red Cross Swim Basics 2 focuses on developing front and back crawl, establishing comfort in deep water, and increasing the swimming distance.

Evaluation & Progression

Water Safety Instructors evaluate based on performance criteria (see the Instructor Worksheet). Progress is tracked in the Red Cross Swim Journal. Swimmers progress to the next level or program (either Red Cross Swim Strokes or Red Cross Swim Sports modules) when all items in the performance criteria have been successfully completed.

Red Cross Swim Strokes

Red Cross Swim Strokes is a stand-alone stroke development program for adults and teens, and for participants in Red Cross Swim Kids who require additional work on a stroke to complete the level. The program is designed to further develop strokes chosen by the swimmer in consultation with the Water Safety Instructor, and increase swimming distances and proficiency.

Program Structure

The stroke(s) is/are chosen in consultation with the Water Safety Instructor and developed according to the Red Cross Swim Kids progressions and performance criteria.

Evaluation & Progression

Each swimmer is evaluated against their personal goals set with the Water Safety Instructor.

The Red Cross Swim Strokes Chart is used to assist in setting goals.

Progress is tracked in the Red Cross Swim Journal or Red Cross Swim Kids Progress Card.

Water Safety Instructors evaluate based on performance criteria for strokes on techniques and distance.

Red Cross Swim Sports

Red Cross Swim Sports is a stand-alone sampler of various aquatic sports for adults and teens. The program is designed to encourage swimmers of all abilities to learn the fundamentals of aquatic activities and sports that may be available in their community, and to pursue active healthy lifestyles.

Program Structure

The sports are chosen based on interest and facility composition:

  • Swim Workout
  • Triathlon Swim
  • Lifesaving Sport
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Boating
  • Diving
  • Underwater Hockey
  • Water Polo
  • Surfing & Boogie Boarding

Each sport module is designed to be offered in two lessons and the skills/activities can be altered so that swimmers with a variety of abilities can participate together.


Red Cross Swim Sports is participation-based. The lesson plans contain information on the skills to be taught.