Become a Better Lifeguard

Working as a lifeguard is a good job. Over the course of your career, you will learn and develop many different skills and characteristics. While many people recognize that working as a lifeguard will improve their communication skills and their swimming strength, there are a few skills that often go unthought-of. Here are three forgotten skills that you will develop as a lifeguard.

  1. Mental Toughness: Each shift your main job is to watch people, who are there to enjoy themselves, and to make sure that they are safe in and around the water. As you sit in the hot sun and scan the water, it can be easy to let your mind drift to thinking of the satisfaction you would get from enjoying the refreshing water. This is where you must develop mental toughness to keep your focus. During your shift, there will be many external distractions, but the biggest distraction of them all will be your mind. As a lifeguard it is important that you develop strong mental toughness to ensure the safety of the guests that are enjoying your facility.
  2. Time Management: Let’s face it; lifeguarding can be a grueling job. While sitting atop your lifeguard stand you must keep your focus to scan the water to ensure the guest’s safety. In between your shifts, you only have so much time to rehydrate, Lifeguard certification grab a bit to eat, and complete your other job tasks. In doing this, you must become effective at managing the little time that you do have. Working as a lifeguard, you will become very good at planning your breaks and executing that plan within your allotted time. Doing so will keep your facility running efficiently and will allow you to be ready for the start of your next shift.
  3. Active Listening: Often times during shifts, guests will come to you with questions or concerns. Since your main goal is to ensure the safety of the guests in and around the water, you must not interrupt your scanning duties unless you secure coverage from another lifeguard. This is when it becomes vital that you become proficient in active listening. Active listening is an effective communication tactic that lets other people know that you are hearing what they say without providing standard eye contact. You can accomplish this by repeating any questions that is being asked or by being direct in the reason that you are not looking them in the eye. During the course of your shift, you may be required to use active listening many times. Make sure to focus on developing your active listening skills to become a more effective lifeguard.

When people take a job as a lifeguard they expect to develop good swimming skills and leadership qualities. While this is normally the case, there are many other qualities that you will develop that can fly under the radar. Keep these three qualities in mind while you are working as a lifeguard so that you can actively develop those skills and become a better versed lifeguard.

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