Swim Lessons

The Department of Recreational Sports offers a free Adult Swimming Program at the O'Connell Center Pool. These classes are for students, faculty, staff or spouse/partners with a valid Gator 1 Card. There are no swimming lessons for children at this time.

Adult Swimming Program

Swimming is an excellent form of cross training for a total body workout. RecSports Aquatics Water Safety Instructors strive to take fitness to the next level by helping students acquire the skills to enhance performance in the water. Our Adult Swimming Program is designed to focus on adults who want to enjoy swimming both recreationally and for personal fitness. Our lessons are structured to give individualized attention and provide the resources to practice skills independently. Should a student sign up for a class that is above or below their level, an instructor may suggest an alternative class to suit the needs of the swimmer.

Level 1 - Introduction to Water Confidence (Novice)

This class is tailored to the individual with little to no swim experience and may be apprehensive about completely submerging. Instructors work closely with swimmers to increase water confidence by guiding them through the process of basic movement in the water. The goals of this class are to teach proper breathing while swimming and recovery to a standing position from the horizontal floating position. This will prepare you to learn the basics of Freestyle in Level 2.
Skills Learned - Breath control, submerging, rhythmic breathing, floating (on front/back), recovering from floating position.

Level 2 - Basics of Freestyle Swimming (Intermediate)

Are you confident being in the water and ready to become a stronger swimmer? This class will teach you the fundamentals of Freestyle while increasing your endurance in the water. Our instructors will provide you with the skill set to add swimming to your exercise plan. This class is recommended for those who must take a RecSports Swim Check in order to use water crafts at Lake Wauburg.
Skills Learned - Rotary breathing, 50-yard Freestyle swim, Elementary Backstroke, treading water

Level 3 - Stroke Development Variations

Do you know Freestyle and want to add variety to your swimming experience? Maximize your fitness potential by adding another dimension to your water workout with the introduction of new strokes and techniques such as Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, and even flip turns! Sign up to work closely with a certified swimming instructor.
Skills Learned – Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Flip Turns

Level 4 - Stroke Refinement & Improvement

Are you ready to take your workout to the next level? Increase your swimming potential and endurance by working closely with one of our swim instructors to improve your technique and maximize your strengths. This class is available to participants who are comfortable with rotary breathing and can swim at least one stroke for 50yrds without stopping. Individualized stroke refinement is offered during this session with feedback given to improve overall stroke performance.
Skills Learned – Swim etiquette, basics of writing a swimming workout, introduction to interval training in the water, drills for improving technique

Class Schedule

View schedule below and please remember to bring your Gator 1 Card to class.

Level 1: Introduction to Water Confidence  7:00pm - 7:25pm
Level 2: Basics of Freestyle Swimming7:30pm - 7:55pm
Level 1: Introduction to Water Confidence8:00pm - 8:25pm
Level 3 & 4: Stroke Development and Refinement  8:30pm - 8:55pm

Level 3 & 4: Stroke Development and Refinement7:00pm - 7:25pm
Level 1: Introduction to Water Confidence7:30pm - 7:55pm
Level 2: Basics of Freestyle Swimming  8:00pm - 8:25pm
Level 1: Introduction to Water Confidence8:30pm - 8:55pm

Registration Process


  • Visit https://rsconnect.recsports.ufl.edu/.
  • Click “Programs”
  • Scroll down to “Category” on the left side of the screen
  • Click “Adult Swimming Program”
  • Click your level (the options are Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3&4)
  • Click “Sign In” on the right side. There may be a couple different options depending on your level, so be sure to pick the time that works best for you. 
  • After signing in, select the class again and follow the prompts to check out.
  • Please limit registration to one lesson a week.
  • Registration opens 25 HOURS before the class and closes 1 HOUR before the start of the class or as soon as the class fill up.
  • Didn't get signed up in time or no more spots? No problem! Come join the standby line (read below)


  • You may cancel your registration by calling the Southwest Recreation Center at 352-846-1081
  • Be prepared to give your full name and UF ID number
  • You must cancel your registration up to 3 hours prior to class in order to avoid a penalty
  • Penalties will be given to participants who register for a class and do not show up.
    • First offense: email warning
    • Second offense: email warning
    • Third offense (and all subsequent offenses): participant will be blocked from all RS Connect registrations for 5 days

ARRIVE: To claim your registered spot, you must arrive no later than 5 minutes prior to class or your spot may be given to someone in the standby line. You must wear a bathing suit and bring your Gator 1 Card. We highly suggest you bring goggles and a towel. Goggles are an essential piece of gaining comfortability in the water. Places in Gainesville to purchase goggles include Dicks, Target, and Walmart

STANDBY: In the event that a participant cannot or does not register for a class, the standby line is an option. Simply show up 5 minutes before the class and if there are any empty spots you may be admitted, according to class capacity.

Directions to O'Connell Center Pool

Enter the Stephen C O'Connell Center through the lower gate 3 facing Stadium Drive. You will walk down the wheelchair ramp (the outdoor pool will be on your right). Enter the indoor pool and visit the lifeguard desk in the middle of the pool to sign in.


If you have any questions, please contact the Aquatics Office by emailing us at aquatics@recsports.ufl.edu. See you at the pool!