Time is money; we all have to work within our labor budgets and we all want to maximize the allotted time available. 

By laying the groundwork in advance, and having those important components in place as previously mentioned, we can optimize our in-service training sessions, whether we have 15 minutes, or 2 hours.

Here are some proven teaching techniques/ideas that can assist you in conducting the most productive and successful in-service, whether you are on the deck or in the pool:

  • Instructors/facilitators arrive early to organize any equipment
  • Start on time, set the example
  • Valuable time is lost in transition; lifeguards will move as slow as you let them so keep them moving; if they get cold, you’ve lost them
  • Utilize drills that maximize the hands-on skill for each participant, and limit the amount of needless shifting (i.e. once you have seen all guards enter the water from the deck, do they need to climb out each time and do it again?)
  • Position instructor/facilitator for optimal viewing of all participants so “mass” corrections can be given
  • Keep them tight; if they can’t hear you, you have lost them; have a signal such as a whistle blast to regroup our huddle up
  • Stagger the start of drills to allow you to watch each individual perform the skill, while minimizing the time the guard is spending in a static position
  • Land drills/practice should also be organized to maximize your view from one position (arranged in parallel rows so can observe and correct as you walk between)
  •  All lifeguards should be actively engaged in the activity or drill as much as possible; less “watching,” more “doing”
  • Confucius says: “Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will understand. Let me do it, I will learn.”