A Day in the Life: Lifeguard/Swimming Instructor

How long have you worked at ESBC?

I have worked at Meadowside Leisure Centre as a Centre Attendant for 3 years and 2 years as a swimming teacher.

Can you tell us about your first day?

During my first day as a Lifeguard, I got to meet all the lovely staff who all made me feel very welcome. The duty officer, was available throughout the shift to answer any questions I had, which made me feel at ease. For the first 20 hours of lifeguarding here, I shadowed other experienced lifeguards: which not only taught me the rules of lifeguarding here, but also gave me experience completing the day-to-day jobs of a lifeguard i.e. cleaning, and setting up equipment.

As a swimming teacher, the preparation before my shift with the swimming coordinator was really beneficial and made me feel at ease for my first classes. A list of their stages and the requirements to complete each stage were made clear to me, and where and when I was teaching. I wasn’t left alone either during my first sessions, in fact I was allowed an assistant in the water until I felt comfortable teaching on my own.

What is it like working at ESBC?

When working at ESBC as a lifeguard you are constantly on the move, so shifts go fast, even evening shifts. The staff are friendly, as well as understanding: with someone always there to offer help and advice when you need it.

For teaching at ESBC it is very similar. The children are great, and at ESBC you are surrounded by all the tools you need to help the children progress. There is a variety of equipment, only used by the after school swimming teachers, which can develop the range of activities in sessions. Even the equipment is put out for you.

What do you like about your role?

As a lifeguard, I love being able to develop new skills other than just lifeguarding. For example, on a normal shift I could be setting up equipment, deep cleaning, leading a party in addition to lifeguarding. Therefore, I need to be organised and self motivated to find what needs to be done without constantly being asked by management. The job also aids my communication skills through continuous customer interaction, so positivity whilst working is a must.

In teaching, I love helping the children and watching them develop in swimming. Therefore, similarly to lifeguarding it is important to be positive when teaching and ensure you always have a smile on your face.

What skills do you need to be a lifeguard and swimming teacher?

For both roles you need your qualification, but other than that it is important to have good communication skills with customers, parents and importantly your peers. Additionally, you need to be organised to ensure you’re on time and ready dressed appropriately to complete the job. It is also important that you can work independently as well as in a team, as this job requires both of these aspects regularly. Most of all, it is critical that you are positive at work here, if you’re negative than you will influence the staff, customers and children your teaching too!

Can you outline a typical day?

When lifeguarding at ESBC, a typical day will involve lifeguarding the pools in rotations of 30 minutes at a time. However, when you’re off pool, there is a job sheet that needs to be completed which includes cleaning tasks, maintenance tasks and sometimes office tasks, such as online training. We also changeover equipment in the different areas: i.e. football to badminton or a different room set up. The job sheet involves jobs which can be done individually or as a group.

As for teaching, a typical day will involve coming in 10 minutes before the lesson to ensure your lesson plan is completed, and the registers are all there. The equipment will be out on poolside for you, so any additional pieces will only have to be collected from the store. The classes will then be completed on 30 minute slots. After the classes, any badges that needed to be filled out can be completed, and any problems can be reported to the Swimming Coordinator.

What’s the most satisfying aspect of your role?

The ability to help others and watch them develop in swimming as well as keeping them safe in the pools. The peers within the role will also make your day and job easier and a friendly environment to work in.

What are the frustrations?

I wouldn’t say there are any necessary frustrations with the roles if you enjoy the job itself. If you don’t enjoy interacting, lifeguarding or teaching than this isn’t the role for you.