Adult Learn-to-Swim (ALTS)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 percent of American adults can’t swim the length of a pool, which puts them at risk of being one of the 10 people who drown every day in the United States.

USMS’s resources and expertise uniquely positions us to address the problem of adult drowning. In 2013, our Swimming Saves Lives Foundation launched the inaugural April Is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month campaign to bring awareness to the staggeringly high drowning rate and to effect change by providing funds to programs offering adult learn-to-swim opportunities in communities across the country.

During the first April ALTS campaign, we discovered that our members and member-coaches needed more resources for teaching adults to swim and become safer in water. So in 2015, USMS launched its Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Program. The curriculum draws from nationally recognized experts and includes the five basic water competencies identified by the American Red Cross.

We're also making ALTS lessons easier to find for adults who don't know how to swim, by providing a search tool to find certified ALTS instructors by ZIP code and by integrating information about our ALTS instructors and programs into our Places to Swim tool. In addition, we'll continue to build our library of ALTS articles and videos to serve as both inspiration and resource to anyone wanting to learn to swim or anyone wanting to become involved in learn-to-swim programming.

If you or a loved one doesn’t know how to swim, please use our instructor database or Places to Swim on the USMS website. You will be able to use your ZIP code to identify places to swim within your area. You can contact the facilities in your area to see what kind of programs are available.

If you can’t find adult learn-to-swim lessons in your area, or would like more information, please contact us at

For learn-to-swim lessons for CHILDREN, contact the USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash program.

How do I find adult learn-to-swim lessons?

Use our searchable certified-instructor database or Places to Swim search tool to find USMS programs in your area. Not all USMS programs offer learn-to-swim lessons, so you'll need to contact the programs and ask them if they offer lessons. You can also check our list of Swimming Saves Lives partners—these are programs that have offered adult learn-to-swim lessons in the past—to see if they're currently offering lessons. If you cannot find a program or instructor in your area, the USMS National Office can help. Contact Education Manager Holly Neumann at 941-556-6285.

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