The YMCA pioneered group lessons in 1910, and today teaches more Americans how to swim than any other organization. The YMCA offers lessons at three levels for adult swimmers, clinics that focus on a single stroke, and workout groups that are the equivalent of Masters swimming clubs. The Y has several branches in the Washington area. Go to www.ymca.net to find the closest branch.

Many area schools, including St. Alban's and American University in the District, recreation centers and aquatic centers offer group swimming lessons year round. Neighborhood swimming pools often offer lessons in the summer. Some health clubs in the area have pools and offer instruction.

There are 23 Masters swimming clubs in the area that meet year-round. Visit the Potomac Valley Masters Swimming Web site at www.pvmasters.org for a list of the clubs, where they swim and how to join.

Instructional videos or DVDs can be very helpful. "Championship Winning Freestyle" is one in a series of excellent videos produced by Richard Quick, coach of Stanford University's women's team. This and other instructional videos can be found at www.sportsnationvideo.com and www.swiminfo.com.

The American Red Cross video is available through local chapters to individuals, but is marketed to -- and priced for -- institutions.

For more about Total Immersion or to buy the video or DVD, go to www.totalimmersion.net or call 800-609-7946. Call the 800 number for a list of TI instructors in the area.