The Basics of Lifeguarding – use them at an NL Recert

Generally most if not all the recerts I do for NL are for working lifeguards. Often the candidates get so hung up on meeting the “Must Sees” for the situation exercises that they forget to actually apply the fundamentals of lifeguarding that ironically lay in the Must Sees. That is, the guards tend to focus on reaction, and not guarding and scene management.

How does this present itself?

  1. Poor positioning. Often guarding from the “glare side” of the pool.
  2. Simply tracking the other candidates and not guarding their zone and the pool.
  3. Not checking out a guard that appears to be involved with a situation.
  4. Confusing majors and minors.
  5. Focusing on treatment and forgetting the global situation.

The best way to handle situations is to treat them as if they were actually happening for real.

  • Most guards, or at least the good ones, position themselves on the pool deck in the best location(s).
  • Where as we do track the high risk patrons, we still include everyone else.
  • As team players, if we see a guard dealing with a situation, we at the very least monitor it and get involved (help out) if necessary; we do not just ignore it.
  • Major and minors are the backbone of Lifeguarding reaction; it is fundamental to professional response.
  • And, yes we need to focus on what we are doing in regards to treatment, but we can’t ignore what is going on around us.

In a nutshell, we apply what happens during actual guarding to the NL program and surprisingly it works.

LP