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Instructors and Swimming Teachers

Your team should have instructors for water survival and lifesaving training who can explain, demonstrate in the water, and evaluate all skills.

Instructors should be strong swimmers who are competent in all the water survival skills shown in this publication. The ideal instructor-to-student ratio during training and assessments is one to six.

Lead by Example

Swimming and lifesaving lessons often require that the teacher joins the class in the pool to demonstrate a certain skill. It shows that you are not shy of the water and can do what you teach. You become more part of the team, rather than preaching from the pool side.

Two teachers or more working as a team are better than one. This works best when young teachers follow an experienced teacher, also called "shadowing".

lifesaving class
It's more fun to teach together.
Girls enjoying a lifesaving lesson


Lifeguard Supervision

Lifeguards should watch your activities at all times. You can't teach and supervise the pool at the same time, you will be too busy with your training or teaching that you may miss what happens around you. Lifeguards look out for you and alert you if needed.

Although it may not be required, instructors should hold a lifeguard training certificate. If several teachers hold lifeguard qualifications, they can take turns with watching the pool and teaching in the water.

lifesaving class
lifeguard supervision


Teacher Uniforms

Swimming teachers need to be recognised easily by students, lifeguards, and other pool users. Bright colours work best in a pool. Avoid light blue clothes as they hide where you are.

Teachers usually wear a uniform consisting of shorts or long pants, and a shirt or anorak with the pool operator's logo or your team logo. This quick drying outfit should be comfortable on pool-side and in the water. Remember that you may not move in the water as much as your class, so stay warm in appropriate clothing, especially outdoors.

lifesaving class teacher
lifesaving class teacher


lifesaving class teacher
Warm outdoor swimming uniform.
lifesaving class teacher
Teachers lead by example.
lifesaving class teacher
Class follows the example.

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