2021 Swim Lessons -- FAQS
Welcome to our new swim lesson website!
Frequently Asked Questions:
- When are lessons offered?
- When do summer lesson signups start?
- Does my child need to be on the swim team to take lessons?
- How long are lessons?
- I thought that OPP offered Free Lessons during the summer?
- What are Clinics?
- How do I set up an account?
- How do I pay?
- How do I search for available lessons?
- What if I need to cancel a lesson?
- Why is there a limit of 6 future lessons per swimmer?
When are lessons offered? The vast majority of lessons are offered weekdays between 1:50 pm and 3:50 pm during the first 7 weeks of the summer competitive swim season (beginning Monday June 10th.) There may also be additional lessons offered outside this window -- during the spring and late summer/fall and also on the weekends, depending on coach availability.
When do summer lesson signups start? Signups for summer lessons (that is, lessons Monday June 10th and later) will be enabled Monday June 3rd at 12: 00 noon. We encourage you to set up an account before this time and also to make sure that you have an active paypal account which you know how to access. Please be patient with any glitches that might occur due to high user load on this date, we have lots of coaches offering lessons and some will be added later in the summer so we are confident that we can accommodate everyone.
Does my child need to be on the swim team to take lessons? No -- you must be a family member of Orinda Park Pool in order for your kids to take lessons but they do NOT need to be on the swim team. Some lessons given by our senior coaching staff are reserved for swim team members only ("Competitive Lessons") but our more junior swim team staff give lessons to general pool members ("Learn-to-Swim Lessons"). When you establish an account on the website you will be asked to indicate whether each of your swimmers is a member of the competitive swim team, a swim team mini, or a non-swim team member, and the website will modify itself to only show lessons and coaches which are appropriate for your swimmers. If you have some team members and some non-team members in your family you will be able to see all available lessons but you will be unable to register your "learn-to-swim" child for competitive lessons and vice-versa in the cart before checkout. So don't worry -- you can't make a mistake.
How long are lessons? Competitive and learn-to-swim lessons are 20 minutes long and are private (one swimmer per coach.) Our free lessons (see below) are 15 minutes and may have up to two swimmers per coach.
I thought that OPP offered Free Lessons during the summer? Yes, we do. But only to members aged 3-5 years old who are at the "bubble-blowing" stage -- just getting comfortable with the water but not yet swimming. Free Lessons are offered from 11 am to 12 noon on Wednesdays during the summer season. You can sign up one week in advance. If you have a 3-5 yo who is not on the swim team (or a Mini) you will be able to access the free lesson sign ups from the Clinics tab. Free lessons will appear immediately in your account (bypassing the CART/Paypal process since, after all, they are free!) If you cannot make your slot, we would appreciate it if you would cancel your lesson in the system as it will open the spot to other swimmers and alert the coaches to your absence.
What are Clinics? Clinics include all group group activities such as Spring Stroke Clinics, Adult Swim, Summer Afternoon Workouts, and Free Lessons. If you choose "Clinics" in the horizontal menu you will then be able to select a swimmer and view all the group activities for which they qualify. For instance, Spring Stroke Clinics are open to all members (please read the details -- there is a minimum skill requirement), Summer Afternoon Workouts are open only to swim team members (and again there is a minimum skill requirement), and Free Lessons are only open to 3-5 year olds who are not Minis and are at the bubble-blowing stage. You can add clinics to your cart from the Clinics tab. Clinics do not count towards your future lesson cap of 6 lessons per swimmer.
How do I pay? After you have added the lessons you want to your cart, click on the word "CART" on the far left of the horizontal menu. Once you have selected a swimmer for each lesson you should see a button entitled "Checkout with Paypal." When you click on this button you will be relocated to Paypal where you can check out, either as a guest or using your Paypal account (recommended.) Before the transaction is final you will be relocated back to the lesson site for a final order confirmation (IMPORTANT: Your transaction is not complete until you click the yellow "Confirm Paypal Transaction" button.) Once confirmed you will see the lessons in your account on the lesson website and you will also receive a receipt from Paypal.
How do I search for available lessons? There are two ways to search for lessons on the site. If you know what coach you are interested in (or want to browse their bios to learn more about our instructors) go to the "Lessons by: Coach" pulldown menu on the right side of the horizontal menu and choose a coach. Their schedule will appear below their bio -- click on the gold dates and buttons to view and reserve available lessons. On the other hand if you are looking for a lesson on a particular day and less concerned about the particular coach go to "Lessons by: Calendar", set coach and time search options if desired, and click on a gold date to see and reserve available lessons.
What if I need to cancel a lesson? You may cancel a lesson through the system at any time, just by hitting the cancel button in your account. Cancellations more than 24 hours prior to the lesson will receive a refund via Paypal of the lesson amount minus a $2 cancellation fee. Lessons canceled within 24 hours of the lesson time will not be refunded. We still ask you to cancel the lesson in the system, however, as this will alert the coach (via email) to the fact that you will not show up.
Why is there a limit of 6 future lessons per swimmer? We want to make sure that lessons are available to everyone. You may sign up initially for 6 lessons for each swimmer but as soon as one of these lessons is in the past you may reserve another lesson. This limit is enforced in the cart checkout process -- you will be unable to select a swimmer in violation of this cap. If you notice that your swimmer's name is disabled in the select menu this is almost surely why.