A Lifeguard is much more than the Webster defition; “an expert swimmer employed, at a beach or pool to protect bathers from drowning or other accidents and dangers.”.
An excellent Lifeguard needs; Professional, Pro active, Guest Service, Keeps his area Clean, Skilled, Emphatic, Organized, Social, Kind, Strict, Flexible, Disciplined, Attentive, Fit, Knowledgeable, Leadership.

The following link is the presentation given during a seminar in Jakarta about Lifeguarding Excellence organised by ARKI. Click here for the full presentation in pdf on lifeguarding excellence.


The Lifeguarding pyramid covers the following items

  • Recruitment – Recruiting the right people
  • Training – Provide LG Training
  • Basic Needs – Basic Lifeguard needs:
    • Shade, Water, Breakroom, etc
  • Culture – Creating a culture
  • Development – Development of new leaders to continue the cycle.

Recruiting the right people

  • How do you select? Skills VS attitude?
  • Create a value based “wish-list”.
  • Make your tests relevant.
  • Think about group vs individual, personal interview vs case, trainable vs natural skills


Basic Lifeguard needs

  • Environment protection (umbrella’s, water availability (coolers or bottles)
  • Realistic work environment (zones of protection, equipment, etc)
  • Variation (move positions every 30 to 60 minutes)
  • A place to relax (nice breakroom, and good food choices)
  • Support from management in section (from toilet breaks to guest complaints)

Lifeguard Training

  • What is your standard? DIY, certified, or full service
  • Training time: 3 days to 2 weeks
  • Different levels? Slide dispatch vs Lifeguard
  • Additional training: English / Guest Service / etc.

An Excellent Lifeguard is created by a culture of excellence

Culture is influenced by;

  • Language (What & How is being spoken)
  • Attitudes, Norms and Values (what are the underlying rules of the team)
  • Education (value and amount)
  • Social Organization (i.e. how is the manager addressed)
  • Artifacts (Symbols and items with significance)
  • Rituals (i.e. morning briefing, thanking LG for the day)

Operation ways to influence Lifeguard culture

  • Training (Management, Guest Service, Development)
  • Quarterly outing, team dinners, movie, birthday celebration,
  • Lifeguard of the day, week, month, year.
  • Lifeguarding competitions internal, external.
  • “Make their day” card to handle guest issues, Minifigure giveaway


  • Develop strong future leaders with the right skills.
  • Strong and clear values
  • Authentic care for the team
  • Lead by example


Comments are closed