Youth Development

Swim, Sports & Play

The Y is the starting point for many youth to learn about becoming and staying active and developing healthy habits they'll carry with them throughout their lives. And the benefits are far greater than just physical health. Whether it's gaining the confidence that comes from learning to swim or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in sports at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out. We offer great programs like:


Heart 'N' Sole Running Club

Open to kids ages 9 - 14 who want to be part of a run for fun group, make friends, train for the Foot Lake 4, and get into the sport of running.  Each week in addition to our feature run we will incorporate fundamental running lessons, the Y core values, fun running games, conditioning exercises and stretching, and a healthy snack.  Each participant gets a great club shirt and is automatically entered into the Foot Lake 4 as the highlight accomplishment to the season.

Download PDF Registration or Register Online 

Lil Learners Boot Camp

Do your kids ever ask you what you do in group exercise class at the YMCA?  Now is a chance to show them what you do! Children ages 5 – 13 can work out with a parent while gaining strength, confidence, friendship, knowledge, and determination working out as a family.  This class will be held one Saturday a month during June, July and August.  Class will be held in Studio A.  Space is limited register early.




Youth Sports Programs

Youth Tumbling & Gymnastics (NEW)

This class is for children age 3 - 11 and will be divided out based on age and/or by skill.  Class will include forward/backward rolls, handstands, and cartwheels, building skills with balance, crawling, running and jumping.  Equipment will consist of low beams, low bars and mats.  Each session will run for 4 consecutive weeks and families can sign up for multiple sessions.  Contact Nicholas for full details on age breakout and program information.  ADDED TIME SLOT DUE TO HIGH DEMAND! SEE UPDATED REGISTRATION INFO! 

Download PDF Registration or Register Online  


High Performance Sports Agility Training (NEW)

This program is a high intensity, interval-based program, focusing on developing and improving strength, speed, agility, balance and coordination for young athletes. The training will be facilitated by members of the Willmar Warhawks hockey team; however the program is not sport-specific and can benefit all athletes. Each session will run 45 minutes and include a dynamic warm-up and cool-down. The program will aim to achieve 25 - 30 minutes of high intensity, interval training per session. Each participant will receive a T-shirt and a ticket to the Willmar Warhawks home game on October 31st.  


Youth Basketball

YMCA Youth Basketball focuses on three primary objectives: Fun, Fundamentals and Character Development. YMCA staff and volunteer coaches teach the fundamental skills of basketball along with values like teamwork, sportsmanship and our core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.  NEW Program features this season include addition of Lil' Basketball for 3 - 5 years of age, added dedicated practice time, reusable multi-sport jersey, and team building skills assessment.   

January 12th will be a Team Building Skills Assessment for Grades 1 - 3.  A practice will be held 1 time per week (either on Tuesday or Thursday) and will be determined by the coaches availability.  Practice times will be either 5:00 - 5:45, 5:45 - 6:30, or 6:30 - 7:15 pm.  

Each player will be required to purchase a $10 Multi-Sport Reusable Jersey, available at the Front Desk.  These can be used for all YMCA Youth Sports.  

Download PDF Regstration or Register Online 


Intramural Basketball

This league is open to high school students (grades 9-12) who are not involved in their school’s basketball program.  Students from all area schools are welcome to participate. The league runs 8 weeks on Mondays with games at either 6:30, 7:15 or 8:00pm. The season begins on January 14th and ends AMrch 4th with a “March Madness” tourney on March 11th and 18th.  Contact Nicholas for more infomation.  

Download PDF Registration or Register Online 

Youth Swim Lessons

YMCA Progressive Swim Lessons

The Y Aquatics Program is participant centered. The emphasis is on learning, not passing or failing. Each development level is divided into 5 components which include personal safety, personal growth, stroke development, water games and rescue.   It is not uncommon for a child to repeat any given level.

Our swimming lessons are specifically tailored to the child’s age, swimming ability, level of physical development and confidence in the water. The participant will advance in the program as they become more skilled in the water.


Still have questions? Contact Sarah, Aquatics Director at (320) 222-9622.


Download PDF Winter/Spring Regisrtation or Register Online 

Click here for the Gym, Pool and Group Exercise Schedules


Water Safety

Water Safety Awareness

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity.  Water Safety Awareness can help you make sure kids learn essential water safety skills, which can open a world of possibilities for them.

On Saturday, June 16th from 9:30 Am - Noon Willmar Community Education and RecreationKandiyohi County Area Family YMCA, and Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office are partnering to provide Water Safety Awareness classes for kids ages 6-11 years old who do not know how to swim. 

The FREE, hour long water safety class will include interactive skills lessons on water adjustment, how to use and wear a lifejacket, how to call for help and safely assist others in danger with reaching/throwing, and boat safety with KCSO. 

Parents are invited on deck at the Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center while kids are in the water. An adult caregiver must be in attendance for a child to participate. Please bring a swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen for each participant. 

Volunteers are needed to make an event like this possible and successful.  If you would like to volunteer to help with the event, please contact Sarah.

If inclement weather should occur the event will be held at the Kandi YMCA.


Safety Around Water Classes 

“FREE” Safety Around Water classes for kids ages 6-15 years old who do not know how to swim and have never had lessons.  July 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, and 24.  Please note, you pick a time slot (3:45pm or 4:35pm) and then you come to all 8 days at your selected time!  Max of 30 Children Per Class.  Contact Sarah for more information.   


Birthday Parties

Let Y staff organize your child's special day! Two hour parties feature a flexible schedule with options for swimming, play time in the Gymnasium or Kids’ Gym, table games in The Center and a private room for gift opening, food and fun.

All birthday parties are scheduled by contacting Rachel at or by calling her at the Y at (320) 222-9622. In the case that she is not present to take your call in person, please leave a message and she will contact you as soon possible.  Please schedule your party in advance to allow us to schedule staff and prepare for your special event.

Birthday Party Tips:

  • Parties may be reserved for any two hour block when space is available – call Rachel for availability.
  • All swimmers must wear a proper swimsuit and bring their own towel.
  • Socks are required for play in the Kids’ Gym.
  • Some areas of the facility are scheduled for Y programs on various dates and times and may not be availability for party use. Sarah will guide you through all options.
  • For the safety of all swimmers, the Aquatic Center has additional rules which must be followed. Click here to view the Aquatic Center Guidelines.


Basic Birthday Party


  • Two hour party with YMCA Staff person to assist you and your guests
  • 60 minutes in our Aquatics Area
  • 30 minutes of activities in the Gymnasium, Kids’ Gym or The Center
  • 30 minutes in the Party Room for gift opening and any food that may be served
  • A gift from our YMCA for your special birthday child

Hassle-Free Birthday Party


  • Two hour party with YMCA Staff person to assist you and your guests
  • 60 minutes in our Aquatics Area
  • 30 minutes of activities in our Gymnasium, Kids’ Gym or The Center
  • 30 minutes in the Party Room for gift opening and any food that may be served
  • Party Food: 2 large pizzas, 8-inch round birthday cake, two – 2 liters of pop, necessary basic paper products and a gift from our YMCA for your special birthday child.
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