Swim With Heart is non-profit organization that offers year-round swim instruction and competitive swim team training to residents of the Santa Monica and the surrounding areas. Here at Swim With Heart, we focus on personal connections, setting goals and achieving them, all while having fun.


Instructors here are specially trained to help swimmers break through barriers, especially those with special needs. For many children in our program, learning to swim is their first big win. At Swim With Heart, we replace the words, “You Can’t,” with “Yes, I Can!”


Because we have offer both progressive and individualized approaches, Swim With Heart is for everyone, from complete beginners to confident and competitive swimmers. We teach life skills in the pool that cultivate mental, physical and emotional strength. Our innovative instructors work with each swimmer to establish trust and mutual respect, develop courage, learn water safety and advance swimming skills.


Swim With Heart swimmers are soon striving for their best in the pool—and we encourage them as they apply this to all areas of their life.     That’s because inside the heart of each of our children lies a champion, and our children become braver than anyone ever thought possible!


Parents of Swim With Heart swimmers marvel at how their children grow and become confident enough to establish and attain goals, both in the pool and in life. This ripple effect then goes on to change  the world they live in, for the better forever!


We provide each child and their family with programs and services that present physical activity and exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.  This healthy lifestyle also includes an adult swim team, Swim With Heart Masters. Proceeds from the Masters program go to provide financial aid and scholarships for children our program who are in need and who otherwise couldn’t afford to participate.


Ultimately, our objective is this: That any child or adult who wants to learn to swim be able to, regardless of their ability to pay. For many parents of special needs children, the costs of education and therapy can be overwhelming. Our aim is to lessen that burden. In order to do this, we are continuing to build and grow a financial aid and scholarship program to ensure access to all.


At Swim With Heart, our program is uniquely designed and custom tailored for each child. From the initial intake of a child, to preparing to be in the pool for the first time, to developing a swimming routine, everything is customized to the suit the child’s level of ability.


Before a swimmer enters the pool, an evaluation is performed by our founder, world-class swimmer and coach, Michael ‘Mikey’ Flaherty. Mikey is obsessed with changing the life of each and every of her kids for the better. She demonstrates her commitment by doing in-depth interviews with the child’s parents, doctors, therapists, teachers and caretakers to prepare both herself and the instructors for how to best connect with the child while swimming. Mikey knows that making a child feel comfortable and accepted is the best way to build trust from the start.


After the initial intake interviews, Mikey and her team outfit the child with his or her team uniform. For many of the Swim With Heart children, this is the first time they have been part of a team. They wear their uniforms like a badge of honor, standing a little taller and beaming with pride.


For the first few lessons, each swimmer has one-on-one attention from the Swim With Heart instructors who assess the child’s physical strengths and weaknesses, and create exercises designed to help him or her get stronger and flourish.


Then we strive for our child to instructor ratio to be the lowest possible. This is necessary to maintain safety, develop the deep connections and get amazing results and out way to best serve our children. Learning to swim helps every body function at a higher level, especially children with special needs.


At Swim With Heart, we create miracles every day.  Children who are non-verbal have learned how to blow bubbles, then a few weeks later say their first words. Others who have never walked before have learned to float and strengthen their core, and very soon after take their first steps.


This is why our long-term vision is to have our own team pool, dedicated solely to the Swim With Heart Teams.  Having this would allow us to help even more children and adults achieve their fitness and life goals!


At Swim With Heart, our mission is to be far more than just a swim school. Our mission is to positively impact the lives of our students forever, setting them on a lifelong path of health, happiness and success!


We are looking for are people who know the value in the sport of swimming and how it breaks through boundaries.   SUPPORT US TODAY!