By Chelsea Cullen, Communications Director, YMCA of Northwest North Carolina

The excitement of the Summer Olympics has kids across the country wanting to be the next Missy Franklin or Michael Phelps. Here are a ways to get your child more involved in swimming:

Dip your toe in. The YMCA offers a swim lesson program that provides a critical life skill and love for all things aquatic. Lessons begin for children as young as six months, and then vary by age and ability. Introduce your little one to the water through games, songs, and activities that enhance physical, cognitive and social development.

Build on the basics. Swim lessons aren’t only for beginners. Youth Lesson levels focus on stroke development, water safety, and personal growth. Many YMCA branches also offer more advanced and specialized programs to help students swim faster, practice more effectively, improve endurance, and be the best they can be in the pool.

Feel confident in the water. We help kids overcome fears, build confidence in the water and develop skills that last a lifetime. Our trained, qualified instructors are trained in the philosophies and disciplines set by YMCA of the USA, a national leader in swim lessons for more than 100 years.

Try Swim Team year round. The Riptyde Swim Team (TYDE) is a year-round USA Swimming and YMCA swim team offering a full range of competitive and recreational programming for all ages. Known as the “neighborhood” swim team, TYDE practices in communities across Northwest North Carolina at YMCA branches. Swimmers build confidence and a strong work ethic as they develop goal-setting and time-management skills.

Set your sights on the gold. TYDE swimmers have made it to the Olympic trials, but coaches truly work with each swimmer’s ability level to help them succeed and reach their individual goals. TYDE has grown to become one of the largest and most respected swim teams in North Carolina and across the country. The team’s philosophy is to develop swimmers who are better prepared in life by being better prepared in the water.

Whether your child is just starting out in the water or aiming to make it to the Olympics one day, the Y has you covered. Find a branch near you at or visit

Sponsored by YMCA Northwest North Carolina