Want a Lifeguard Job? What to Expect at Lifeguard Tryouts
We know how physically, and mentally challenging lifeguarding can be. So, to help you prepare for the lifeguard swim tryouts, here is some important information for 2018. What to Expect for Lifeguard Tryouts?
- swim 1,000 yards in open water (time limit of 20 minutes)
- continuous 200-yard run, 400-yard swim and 200-yard run (time limit of 10 minutes)
Red Cross pool lifeguards must complete several prerequisite water tests prior to registering for a Lifeguarding Course.
- swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating rhythmic breathing (use freestyle, breaststroke or a combination of both)
- tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs with your hands in your armpits.
How to Prepare for the Tests?
Build your upper and lower body. There are plenty of swim work outs on line. Use a kick board to build leg muscles. Lift weights to build your arms and legs.
Know how to perform the freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke. Make sure that your strokes and breathing techniques are smooth and correct, ask a professional to evaluate your stoke.
Set up a running schedule to improve cardiovascular fitness. This is necessary for long swims. Take your workout to a sandy spot; running on sand is more difficult than running on pavement or grass. Strong legs are essential for both swimming and running. Use stairs to build your lower body strength.
Strengthen your core and upper body. Do pull-ups, dips, bench presses, and curls to build upper body and arm strength. Strong upper bodies may mean difference between life and death. Your upper body is needed to bring victims back to safety.
The Swim Test (What to Expect)
There may be a beach load of candidates trying out, because lifeguard jobs are prestigious and highly desired. When you line up, stay to the outside, with a good angle towards the distance markers. If you line up in the middle of the pack you could be kicked in the face, punched or rammed unintentionally. So, swimming a little farther is sometimes better. Use the tide, look for rips, learn to body surf, learn to duck dive and hit the shore running. Sprint until you cross that finish line. Try not to be passed before that finish line, as they only take a minimal number of candidates.
Many swim tests are conducted outside. The weather conditions can be cold and stormy. Just because you pass the swim test under the time limit does not mean you move on.
What to Wear
Dress for all weather conditions, sweatshirts like the Humbolt Hoodie, to keep you warm while waiting for the test to start. If it is raining something waterproof like the K-38 is best. Remember the water will most likely be near or below 50 degrees, so keep your muscles warm. It is always smart to wear something warm on your head like a beanie. This keep your body warmer since 80% of your heat goes out your head and feet.
Women trying out to be a lifeguard need a suit that will stay on through the waves, and straps that stay up as you rotate your arms. We suggest a one piece lifeguard swimsuit or two piece lifeguard suits for women that suitable for lifeguard tryouts.
Lifeguard Interviews (What to Expect)
The interview is not the typical, “why do you want this job?”, or tell me about yourself. They get in your face and yell at you, and you have to stay calm and show them how you would handle a possible drunk or disorderly beachgoer.
Finally, if you are selected to continue you are sent to a lifeguard style boot camp.
How to Choose a Tryout Location?
Choose a location based on where you truly want to be a lifeguard. If you do not pass at one location, always look to find another location nearby but don’t give up. If you do not pass at state lifeguard tryouts, try city or county lifeguarding.