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Aquatics - Squirrel Hill

JCC Sailfish Swim School: Tadpole to Olympian!

At the JCC Sailfish Swim School we believe swimming is a necessary life skill and it is our responsibility to support water safety education in the community.

We provide high quality swimming instruction by our friendly, energetic, and enthusiastic team, and continuously update and improve our teaching methods.

Our newly formatted swim lessons are taught across five locations with consistent instruction and levels no matter which JCC site you choose.

For Lap Swimmers!

You can book lap swimming times on MINDBODY up to 3 days in advance (click HERE for log-in and info.)

Facilities: The Katz Family Swimming Complex
Lap Pool:
25 yards·7 practice lanes (6 competitive lanes) · Depth 3’6” to 4’6″ · 80 degrees
Small Pool: 50 feet (6 lengths =100 yards) · 3 lanes · Depth: 2’10” to 4” · 90 degrees · Hydraulic lift

Comfort in the water and learning to be safe in and around water are skills for life. At the JCC, aquatics are among the most important services we provide. So come for a swim or water workout, enjoy the water with your kids. It’s all here for you!

Squirrel Hill Swim Schedule January 1-April 30, 2023


Join us for the annual swim meet honoring the memory of beloved swim teacher and coach Jack Morris. Participants include Squirrel Hill Swim Team members, any level 5 or 6 swimmers and Sailfish team members.
The meet is held annually on a Sunday afternoon in February.

To make a contribution to the Jack Morris Endowment Fund for JCC Aquatics, call the JCC at 412-697-3510 or donate at

The Jack Morris Endowment Fund provides scholarships for children to participate in JCC swimming programs.

For information Carla Likar, [email protected] 412-339-5429

Sailfish Swim School: What Level Am I?

Guppy and Me: ages 6-24 months (Parents are in the water)  
Parent/child class where songs and games are used to build confidence in the water.

Tadpoles: age 2 (Parents are in the water)  
Children learn to get in and out of pool unassisted, blow bubbles, put their face in the water, practice front and back floats with support, explore arm and leg movements and kicking on their front and back with support.

Minnows: ages 3-5 Children learn to kick on their front and back and blow bubbles while putting their face in water. They practice front and back floats with minimal support and changing direction while walking, paddling or holding the wall.

Jellyfish: ages 3-5 Children practice unsupported front and back floats (starfish float) and front glide with their face in for 1 body length—superman glide or streamline position.

Catfish: ages 3-5
Children combine arm and leg action for freestyle and backstroke. Beginner breathing techniques are introduced.

Starfish: ages 6-12 Children practice unsupported front and back floats and start to combine arms and legs for four strokes of freestyle.

Goldfish: ages 6-12 Children practice bobbing/treading while moving to safety in chest-deep water. Freestyle rotary breathing will be the main focus along with perfecting backstroke arms and legs.

Dolphins: ages 6-12 Children learn to swim underwater and tread in deep water. They practice freestyle with rotary breathing and backstroke. Breaststroke will be introduced.

Sharks: ages 6-12 Children refine freestyle and backstroke, perfect breaststroke and are introduced to butterfly and open turns.

Aquadults: ages 13+

Aquadults classes are designed to help beginner swimmers regardless of their starting point. Aquadults group lessons are ideal for adults who have never learned to swim, have a fear or hesitation of the water or want to perfect their swimming stroke.

Beginner: Get comfortable in the water, learn breathing and buoyancy techniques, floating, gliding, and kicking. The class will introduce freestyle, backstroke, and sidestroke.

Intermediate: Learn breaststroke and refine freestyle and backstroke skills. Rotary breathing is introduced.

Advanced: Focus on more advanced techniques, such as flip turns and refining of the four competitive strokes for efficiency and speed.

Adult Swim Lessons: ages 13+

It’s never too late to learn to swim. Learn to overcome fear of the water, master the basic techniques and become a more confident, skilled swimmer. Dates & Times

Private Swim Lessons

Call to schedule for one-on-one instruction.

  • $40/half hour
  • $210/6 lessons
  • $320/10 classes

To schedule please click here. 

Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (Begins June 30, 2021)

Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Exercise Gentle movements increase joint flexibility and range of motion, while restoring or maintaining muscle strength. Must have a physician’s referral to participate in this certified program. Wednesdays and Fridays 11:00 AM -11:45 AM. Small pool. No fee

Aqua Aerobics (Begins June 30, 2021)

This aerobic class includes total body conditioning and toning. Wednesdays and Fridays 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM. Lap pool. No fee

SilverSplash (Begins June 29, 2021)

Short bursts of cardiovascular aerobic exercise are combined with a series of strength, flexibility and balance exercises using a specially designed SilverSneakers® kickboard. Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM. Small pool. No fee

Aqua WalkOut (Begins June 29, 2021)

Enjoy gentle, slow movements in the warm water. Walk forward, backward and sideways as arms assist your movements. Stay as long as you like—this group has the warm water pool space for an hour. Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM. Small pool. No fee

Squirrel Hill Swim Team: ages 6-12

Children compete in local intramural meets. Must be an American Red Cross Level V, or be tested by the staff.

JCC Sailfish Stroke School: ages 8-12

Call Al Rose, 412-906-2583.
Learn the four competitive swimming strokes and how to swim faster. Enrollment limited to 24 swimmers. Register at the JCC Centerfit Desk. For more detailed information check the JCC Sailfish website:

Pittsburgh Group Sailfish: ages 7-13
This group is for beginning competitive swimmers who have passed their Red Cross swimmers test. Swimmers will learn all strokes, starts and turns.

Allegheny Group Sailfish: ages 8-14
Swimmers must have some competitive background and meet USA BB/B times and workout set time standards. Swimmers will compete locally. Instructions and training will focus on all strokes, starts and turns and aerobic swimming. Attendance will be taken.
Al Rose, Head coach

Pennsylvania Group Sailfish: ages 10-18
Swimmers must have a competitive background and meet the standards for this group. Instructions will focus on all strokes, starts, turns, race planning and faster set swimming. Swimmers will compete locally and regionally. Attendance will be taken.
Al Rose, Head Coach.

U.S. Group Sailfish: ages 13-18
Swimmers must have advanced skills, meet the standards for this group and have the willingness to commit to excellence. Swimmers will compete locally and nationally. Attendance will be taken.
Al Rose, Head Coach.

U.S. National Group
Junior Nationals or Super Sectional times. Swimmers will compete nationally and locally. Attendance will be taken. (Number of swimmers will be very limited.)
Al Rose, Head Coach.

For adults interested in competitive swimming and harder workouts.
Al Rose, Coach.

Adult Conditioning
For adults interested in fitness through swimming. Practices move outdoors to the Family Park in Monroeville from May to August.

Call 412-695-5429 for information on Water Safety Certifications training.

Carla Likar – Aquatics Director

Come work at a great place: The JCC is seeking part-time lifeguards/group/private swim lesson instructors!

All applicants are required a minimum of 1-3 years swim instructor experience. Applicants must have up-to-date American Red Cross Lifeguarding, First Aid, & CPR/AED certifications. Water Safety Instructor Certification (WSI) is preferred. A free health membership is offered upon hire. All candidates must possess or obtain Act 33/34, FBI clearances, and mandated reporter training.

View Squirrel Hill Employment opportunities and application HERE 

Contact Us


[email protected]

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