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Campus Recreation > Aquatics > Swim Lessons > Eligibility & Fees

Swim Lessons FAQ

I’m interested in taking private swim lessons. Now what?
Register for lessons at Member Services in the Rec Center. Complete the Registration/Waiver and Participant Information Form and pay the registration fee.

Information about private swim lessons, including a summary of the program, is available on our website or at Member Services in the Rec Center. Or, contact Senior Associate Jeanne Orr at jorr@umass.edu if you have additional questions.

Do I need to have recreation membership to register for swim lessons? Why?
Yes. Private, one-on-one swim lessons are available to students, faculty/staff, alumni and associates with recreation membership. Participants must have recreation membership to take private swim lessons. Membership & eligibility information is available on our website or at Member Services in the Rec Center.

You will want to swim during recreation time at the pools without your instructor -- practice what you have learned, exercise and enjoy swimming. As with all recreation facilities, recreation membership is required for access. Your UCard that swipes valid through the card reader is required for entry to the pools.

I turned in my forms and payment. Now what?
Senior Associate Jeanne Orr will review the registration materials and may contact you to review your goals and skills or ask additional questions. Once the registration materials have been reviewed and accepted, the swim instructor will contact you to set up the lesson(s).

Please be aware that we may need to close private lessons during the semester when we reach capacity. What does this mean and why? It means we will not accept any new private lessons although returning clients can continue. Our instructors may have reached capacity with respect to taking on new clients and/or recreation participation at the pools is such that we will need to limit participation. The decision to close private swim lessons is determined by the Senior Associate.

Are swim lessons available for participants with different skill levels?
Yes. Swim lessons are for recreation members ages 6 and up with any skill level from beginners to swimmers with skill proficiency who want to work on stroke development and endurance. Our primary goal is to teach participants to swim to the best of their ability in a safe and fun environment.

Who are the instructors?
Our private swim instructors are undergraduate and graduate students who have experience teaching lessons, are certified lifeguards, and/or are certified Water Safety Instructors. We try to match the instructor to the skill level and goals of the participants. If you would prefer a male or female or specific instructor, please indicate this on the Participant Information Form.

How long are lessons and what do I do when I come for my lessons?
Each swim lesson typically lasts 30-35 minutes. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow time to change into your swimsuit, secure your personal belongings, present your UCard to the lifeguard on duty, and meet your swim instructor on the pool deck. Your UCard must swipe valid through the card reader for access to the pool and swim lesson.

I purchased five lessons. Do I need to schedule the lessons all at once?
You will schedule your lessons with your instructor. Depending on your goals and skill level, it may be more beneficial to schedule lessons at consistent times/days during the week.

Will my lessons be at Boyden or Totman pool?
During the academic year, private swim lessons can be held during recreation lap/open swim times listed below:

Boyden Pool
Saturday & Sunday
Totman Pool
Monday & Tuesday
7:15-9:00am & 11:15am-3:00pm
Thursday & Friday
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Saturday & Sunday

It is strongly recommended to instructors and participants to conduct lessons at the same pool. Why? Conducting lessons at both pools requires instructors to have your information at both pools. This is not ideal.

What about my personal belongings during my lessons?
We strongly recommend that you secure your personal belongings in a locker with a lock. Men’s & women’s locker rooms are available in Boyden and Totman. Day use lockers (no overnight storage) are available. You can bring your own lock or borrow a lock from the towel counter. If you would like to have a locker to use during your membership session(s), please see staff at the towel counter. An assigned locker includes a lock and towel. With an assigned locker, you can keep your belongings secure during your lesson(s).

What equipment should I bring?
Campus Recreation provides equipment for lessons. Participants are welcome to bring their own goggles and swim caps.

What if I can’t make my lesson?
If you are unable to make a scheduled lesson, you must notify the instructor at least 24 hours in advance. If you do not show for your lesson or cancel with less than 24 hours notice, you will forfeit that lesson. To reschedule your lesson, we ask you to adhere to this policy by contacting your instructor in a timely manner. Please be aware that lessons are non-refundable, non-transferable (someone else can’t take your place) and expire at the end of the semester in which the lesson(s) was/were purchased.

What if I have an emergency and cannot make a lesson?
In case of emergency (i.e. sudden illness, family emergency), call Member Services at the Recreation Center (413-545-0022 or 413-545-2693) and request to speak with or leave a message for Senior Associate Jeanne Orr. Then, follow up with notification to your instructor. The decision to reschedule or forfeit the lesson will be at the discretion of the Senior Associate in consultation with the instructor.

For more information on private swim lessons, contact Senior Associate Jeanne Orr @ jorr@umass.edu


Fees & Procedures

Swim Levels/Skills


Participant Info Form