Lifeguard training

What Skills Will I Learn During Lifeguard Training?

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What to Expect from Lifeguard Training

Lifeguard training goes beyond simply learning how to rescue someone from drowning. Certification programs are designed to teach lifeguards a variety of important skills that will help them keep swimmers safe. In this article, we will explore the range of abilities you will learn and enhance during lifeguard certification.

Swimming Proficiency

Of course, being able to strongly swim is a core requirement for lifeguarding. Lifeguard training will evaluate your swimming performance and ensure you have the endurance and techniques necessary to perform rescues.

You will practice swimming rescues using a variety of strokes, such as the front crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, and backstroke. Being able to demonstrate controlled, effective swimming is vital for the job.

Water Rescue Skills

You will spend a significant portion of lifeguard training learning, practicing, and perfecting different water rescue techniques. This includes entering the water fully clothed, reaching assists without entering the water, throwing assists using devices like rescue tubes, spinal injry management, and in-water rescues. Being able to quickly and correctly execute different rescue scenarios is incredibly important for lifeguarding.

First Aid & CPR Certification

Another essential component of lifeguard certification is first aid and CPR training. You will earn certifications in first aid, adult/pediatric CPR, and AED use.

Knowing how to properly assess injuries, provide first aid, and perform life-saving CPR and AED use could mean the difference between life and death for pool patrons. The first aid lifeguard training will also cover bandaging, controlling bleeding, recognizing heat illnesses, and more.

Scanning & Surveillance Skills

A core function of a lifeguard’s job is scanning the pool area and keeping an attentive eye on all swimmers. Lifeguard training emphasizes developing scanning techniques that are methodical, thorough, and efficient.

You will practice methods of rotation scanning, spotting hazards or distresses, and identifying the number of swimmers in your zone of protection. Becoming a proficient scanner is essential for accident prevention and emergency response.

Decision Making & Leadership

Lifeguard certification teaches lifeguards how to think quickly and calmly in emergency situations. Scenario lifeguard training replicates stressful situations to improve judgment, leadership, and decision making skills.

You will practice delegating tasks, communicating effectively with patrons and staff, documenting incidents, and making appropriate choices in simulated health and safety scenarios. Building strong leadership and critical thinking is important when lives could be on the line.

Customer Service Skills

While lifeguards are not just customer service representatives, strong interpersonal skills are important for maintaining orderly and enjoyable pools. Lifeguard training covers how to approach swimmers respectfully and courteously to address issues before they escalate.

You will also learn to diffuse tense situations through communication and with your professional authority as a lifeguard. Building rapport with patrons of all backgrounds is conducive to ensuring everyone’s safety.

Ongoing Lifeguard Training Certification

Lifeguard certification must be kept current through continued education and recertification processes. CPR/first aid, water skills, and other core components need to be practiced on a regular basis.

Lifeguard training emphasizes ongoing self-assessment and annual recertification for required skill sets. Staying vigilant with regular in-service practice keeps lifeguards prepared to respond effectively to any scenarios that may arise.

Tips for Lifeguard Training

Now that we’ve covered the main skills you will learn, here are some extra tips for preparing for and getting the most out of your lifeguard certification course:

Physical Preparedness

While swimming ability will be assessed, it’s a good idea to get in extra practice before your course. Strong treading, endurance, and stroke efficiency will allow you to focus on other skills during training.

Building your core, shoulder, and leg strength through exercises like planking, pushups, and jogging is also beneficial. Being physically ready will make skills like in-water rescues much smoother.

Study CPR/First Aid Materials Early

The first aid and CPR components move quickly due to the importance of these life-saving techniques. Spend extra time reviewing terminology, procedures, and practicing with first aid dummies before class to help the content sink in even more during lessons. Having a solid foundation will allow maximum focus on practical skills.

Comfort in the Water

While skills like enter-and-retrieve rescues teach you to enter even rough conditions, try to gain as much general comfort in the water as possible beforehand through ocean swimming, scuba diving, or water parks.

The less nervous you are in deep areas, surf, or other conditions, the better you can concentrate on training without stressing about your natural surroundings.

Relaxation for Stress Exposures

Scenario simulations aim to expose you to stressful conditions, but it’s still important to keep a level head. With practice observing your thoughts and using breathing techniques, you can enhance your composure during emergencies. Staying calm under pressure is vital, so relaxation exercises can serve as valuable preparation.

Ask Questions During Class

Lifeguard instructors want you to fully comprehend the responsibilities and skills required to keep swimmers safe. So speak up if any part of the course needs more explanation or demonstration—your instructors are there to help you learn, not judge questions. Clear understanding is the goal, and speaking up gets you the guidance you need to feel fully prepared come certification. Read more information click here.

In The End

Lifeguard training provides a strong foundation in physical abilities, medical skills, surveillance techniques, critical thinking, and interpersonal communication.

By focusing not just on swimming and water rescues but developing a broad range of competencies, certification courses produce responsible, professional lifeguards capable of preventing and responding to emergencies to keep swimmers safe.

For anyone seeking a rewarding career ensuring safety at pools and waterfronts, a lifeguard certification provides essential skills.


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