Swim, Sport & Play


Swim Safety and Swim Test

Swim Test and Earning a Wristband:


  • Youth 10 years and younger must have a guardian 19 years or older on the pool deck.
  • Youth 13 years and younger must take a swim test.
  • Lifeguards may require any patron of the YMCA to perform a swim test at any time regardless of age.
  • All swimmers 13 years and younger will receive a wristband they must wear while they swim. Wristbands will be issued at each visit to the Y.

To earn a Green Band, swimmers must:

  1. Jump into deep water and resurface
  2. Float and/or tread water for 30 seconds consistently
  3. Swim 25 yards on the front and/or the back non-stop
  4. Exit the water without using a ladder or steps:
  • Swimmers may not touch the pool gutter, wall, ladder, floor, or lane lines for the duration of the swim test. 
  • Goggles are allowed.  
  • Swimmers must swim independently. They may not swim with guardians, siblings, friends, and/or others during their swim test.

Red Band

Those who do not pass the swim test or those who decline to take the swim test are considered non-swimmers.  Non-swimmers:

  • Must be supervised by a guardian 19 years or older in the water within arms’ reach, OR must wear a weight appropriate U.S. Coast Guard Approved personal flotation device (PFD). 
  • Must maintain a 1:1 guardian/non-swimmer ratio when not wearing an approved PFD. 
  • May not use pool slides


Visitors to the Pool will be expected to:

  • Have a parent/guardian on the deck (10 and under)
  • Take a swim test (13 and under)
  • Shower before entering water
  • Use only U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation devices
  • Comply with swim wear dress code:
    • No cutoffs or thongs
    • Keep swimsuits tied and fastened at all times
    • Keep swim diapers on infants and toddlers

Visitors to the Pool will be expected to REFRAIN from:

  • Horseplay, running, shoving, dunking, OR breath holding
  • Bringing glass containers or food onto the pool deck
  • Visiting if experiencing sickness or fever
  • The use of gum, tobacco or vaping
  • Sitting or hanging on the lane ropes
  • Bringing animals on the pool deck (exception: service dogs)
  • The use of inflatable flotation devices
  • The use of Kickboards, Pull Buoys, Swim Paddles and equipment reserved for lap swimmers, swim team, and swim lessons
  • Diving unless in designated areas

YMCA management has the right to ask any patron to leave for noncompliance with safety rules and etiquette

For printable versions of Policies, click the buttons below:

Swim Lessons - Group


Group Swim Lessons are offered for all ages and abilities.


Summer I & II  Registration opens May 6 for members and May 13 for the public. 

Summer I

June 3-July 14 (6 weeks)
June Saturdays 1-22 or Sundays 2-23 (4 weeks)
Mini 1: June 3-14 (2 weeks)
Mini 2: June 17-28 (2 weeks)
July Sat/Sun 6-27 or 7-28 (4 weeks)
Mini 3: July 8-19 (2 weeks)

Summer II

July 15-Aug 25 (6 weeks)
Mini 4: July 22- Aug 2 (2 weeks)
August: Saturdays 3-24 or Sundays 4-25 (4 weeks)
August: 5-30 (4 weeks)
Mini 5: 5-16 (2 weeks)
Mini 6: Aug 19-30 (2 weeks)


Swim Starters (Parent/Child) | Stages A & B | Water Discovery/Water Exploration
With a parent, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skill through fun and confidence building experiences, while parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.

Swim Basics | Stages 1-3 | Water Acclimation/Water Movement/Water Stamina
These stages are perfect for students who are new to swimming and just learning to float and swim with assistance. Students learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills: 1-Swim, float, swim & 2-Jump, push, turn, grab.

Swim Strokes | Stages 4-6 | Stroke Introduction/Stroke Development/Stroke Mechanics 
These stages are perfect for someone who is comfortable swimming 10-15 yards on their front and back, but needs help learning strokes and increasing endurance to swim longer distances

Please click on the LESSON SELECTOR GUIDE below to help you select the proper class

Parent-Child: 6 months – 3 years old (Stages A & B)
Preschool: 3 – 5 years old (Stages 1-4)
Youth: 6-12 years old (Stages 1-6)
Teen: 13-17 years old (Stages 1-6)
Adult: 18+ years old (Stages 1-6)

CANCELLATION POLICIES: Classes with less than 3 participants may be cancelled. Participants will receive notice of any cancellations before the class start date. Aquatics staff will make every effort to reschedule registrations if a class is cancelled. If a class is cancelled by the Y and registrations are not able to be rescheduled, participants will receive a full refund.

Swim Lesson - Private

Private Swim Lessons

Dive into the fun with our private swim lessons tailor-made for youth and adults! 

These private sessions aren’t just about perfecting your backstroke or mastering the butterfly; they’re about making a splash and having a blast while doing it. We welcome swimmers of all skill levels, from those with special needs who need a little extra support to more experienced swimmers, and adults too!

Swim Lessons - Summer Day Camp

These lessons are for participants also registered in the same weeks of Summer Camp. This convenient option allows campers to participate in swim lessons during their camp day! We will walk the participants from the camp to the pool. Once the lesson is over, we will walk them back.

Summer 2024
Levels and cost vary by location.
Locations | Alabaster, Hoover, Pelham, Shades Valley, Trussville and Youth Center


Swim Team - Introduction

Want to get ready for Swim Team?  This program is designed to help your child do that!

Does your child love swimming? Have you been thinking about getting them started in competitive swimming, but aren’t sure if they would like it?  This 7-week program introduces children to the basic skills and structure of swim team with a focus on proper stroke technique, stroke development training to increase endurance – all while making new friends! Program instructors will help your child develop while maintaining a focus on the YMCA?s core character values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

Currently offered at Hoover, Shades Valley and Trussville. Click HERE to see all options or select your desired branch below for details!

Swim Team - Year Round

 2023 – 2024 Year Round Swim Team!
Swim Birmingham YMCA is a year-round program offering training for beginners through advanced swimmers.  SBY’s certified coaches will work on improving your child’s swimming ability while maintaining a focus on the YMCA’s core character values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.  SBY competes in both USA Swimming meets, as well as YMCA competition.

Swimmers are organized by age and are grouped within those divisions by ability. The beginner to the most experienced swimmer will be challenged while perfecting their technique and building endurance, all while having fun!

*Please note the Minimum Requirement prior to Swim Team participation:
Tread water for 30 seconds – then swim the length of the pool unassisted (25 yards)

Ages 5-18


  • Greystone – Head Coach – Jamie Talecki
  • Hoover – Head Coach – Dena Richards
  • Pelham – Head Coach – Brianne Gentry
  • Shades Valley – Beth Wilson
  • Trussville – Head Coach – Alex Mueller

Questions?  Contact your branch Aquatics Director:

Swim Team - Summer

2024 SBY Summer Swim Team
June – July 2024 | Registration opens March 1!

SBY Summer Swim Team is a fun, competitive summer league swim team for ages 5-18. Age groups are divided into 6 groups: 6 & Under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-18. The team encourages regular swimming to build endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. Participation on the team is based on basic swimming abilities.

SBY’s summer team is a member of the Jefferson Shelby Swim Council (JSSC), a summer swim league consisting of many areas member teams

Please note the Minimum Requirement prior to Swim Team participation:
Tread water for 30 seconds – then swim the length of the pool unassisted (25 yards)

“NOTE: JSSC Summer League Swim Meet Requirements:
*8 & Under: swimmers will swim minimum of 25 yards at summer meets
*9 & Older: swimmers will swim minimum of 50 yards at summer meets

Summer Swim Team: includes four practice times each week for all levels, team t-shirt and cap, 4 or 5 JSSC dual meets (usually on Tuesday nights), optional summer league Invitationals and meets (additional fee applies to these meets if choosing to participate).   

YMCA Members:
Fee – $192  (split into two monthly payments of $96)
Non members:
Fee – $384 (split into two monthly payments of $192)
Practice Locations:
  • Greystone
  • Hoover – Head Coach – Dena Richards
  • Pelham – Head Coach – Brianne Gentry
  • Shades Valley- Head Coach – Beth Wilson
  • Trussville – Head Coach – Alex Mueller

Questions?  Contact your branch Aquatics Director:

Masters Swim

Masters Swim welcomes anyone 18 and older who wants to improve their swimming abilities. Our goals are to have fun, improve swimming technique, learn new skills, get faster, and meet people who are like-minded. We welcome all ages and abilities to our program.

Workouts typically range 3000-3500 yards. Workouts are flexible,  often adjusting intervals, sets, and distances to accommodate the varying abilities.

Lanes Reserved and Available at our Mountain Brook branch:
Mon – Fri: 6:30am – 8:30am
Saturday: 7:00am – 9:00am
Sunday: 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Lanes Reserved and Available at our Shades Valley branch:
Starting December, 6 2022

Tues & Fri: 5:30am – 6:30am
with Coach Daniel Kamber.

Polar Bear Club

POLAR BEAR CLUB 2024: Jan. 8 – March 17
The POLAR BEAR 10-Week Water Fitness Challenge is a fun, free winter fitness incentive for our lap swimmers.  Every time you swim, log your yardage in the log book.  Results will be posted weekly.

The top 10 swimmers who swim the furthest will earn a Polar Bear Top 10 T-shirt! Shirts are also available for purchase via the registration link below.

Safety Around Water

The world is 71% water.
Children are 100% curious.

Drowning can happen nearly anywhere with standing water. But, as a parent or caregiver, you can’t keep your children sidelined.

You need to equip them with the tools they need to be confident in and around water so they don’t lose out on the health benefits of exercise, the opportunities to bond with family and friends and the sense of accomplishment when they learn new skills. The Greater Birmingham YMCA Safety Around Water Program is designed to engage and educate youth and parents about the importance of water safety skills and provide more of America’s youth access to water safety lessons. 

Free service to the community supported and made possible by our generous donors and other philanthropic funding sources

Through Safety Around Water, children and adults learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills and how to respond if they find themselves in unexpected water situations. This could include how to reach the water’s surface if they submerge to safely reaching a pool’s edge or exiting any body of water in addition to the basic strokes, proper breathing, and technique. 


We will update as details emerge in 2024!