What Should I Bring to My Lifeguard Class?

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You’ve prepared mentally and physically and the day has finally arrived – it’s time for your American Lifeguard Association lifeguard certification class to begin. To get the most out of your training and feel ready from day one, it’s important to bring the proper gear.

This guide outlines the key essentials to pack so you have what you need to focus fully on your learning. Follow these recommendations and you’ll stay comfortable and optimally equipped throughout the entire course.

Gain Valuable Experience Outside of Class

When not spending time in your lifeguard training course, look for low-pressure opportunities outside of class to further bolster your skills before certification. Reach out to local pools, waterparks or beaches that employ ALA-certified lifeguards and kindly ask if you can observe them on duty for a shift. Observing active lifeguards in real work environments allows you to noticed nuanced techniques outside of instructional settings.

You can also continue practicing skills on your own time by setting up drills and mock rescues with friends. Filming your attempts with a phone or GoPro lets you re-watch afterwards and identify areas for improvement. Putting in extra training outside the classroom environment helps solidify lessons from your lifeguard class while gaining experience that will serve you well on the job after certification. Any added practice regimen means you’ll be optimally experienced for the final exams and feel thoroughly comfortable taking on lifeguard responsibilities upon completion.

Swimwear and Towels

As the crux of the course involves extensive time in and out of the water, it’s no surprise that quality swim attire tops the list. Pack at least two pairs of swimsuits – one for the pool and another for open water sessions if applicable.

Bring an extra just in case one gets wet. In addition, towels big enough for both drying off and sun protection are a must for post-swim comfort. Dark-colored or rashguard-style swimwear minimizes glare in the water for better underwater vision too.

Note-Taking Materials

Much of the course involves essential lecture-based safety education. Arrive prepared to take thorough notes on all curriculum topics with a notebook, pen or pencil, highlighters, and index tabs for organizing sections.

Consider a waterproof notepad or taking notes on your laptop if provided. A loud alarm clock can also help keep you on schedule if staying overnight for intensive courses. Proper documentation means what you learn in class will stick for the long-term.

Personal Hygiene Supplies

Multi-day lifeguard certifications can involve extended time spent at the training facility in all weather conditions. Pack toiletries, medication if needed, sunscreen, bug spray, moist towelettes or baby wipes, feminine products, shower sandals, and a reusable water bottle for hydration. Extra changes of clothes are also wise for comfort between sessions or for outer layers. Being well-cared for aids in focus and performance.

Safety Gear

Certain equipment is mandatory to bring based onALAtraining standards, including proper fitting swim attire, goggles, and a face mask. Optional specialized gear that strongly enhances skills-building are training rescue tubes, fins, masks, and snorkels.

Investing in quality water safety accessories helps solidify proper usage through realistic practice. Extra gear ensures you have a backup if any breakdown during testing. Learning with proper safety tools mimics real lifeguarding preparedness.

Personal Food and Snacks

Depending on course duration and location, plan to bring some non-perishable, easily transported snacks and meals to sustain your energy. Protein-packed items maintain concentration best. Consider protein bars, trail mix, nuts, dried or fresh fruit, veggie packs with hummus or ranch, plus reusable silverware if needed.

Hydration is key too – flavor additives perk up plain water. Proper fueling keeps tummies from distracting bellies during essential lessons or practice.

Expect Physical and Mental Challenges

While bringing the proper gear helps you feel ready for your ALA lifeguard training course, it’s important to also prepare mentally for the rigors ahead. The curriculum is intensive and designed to push you both physically and mentally to develop the strength and composure required for real-life rescues.

Expect lengthy swim sessions to build endurance, extended time in stressful simulations, demanding skill demonstrations, and fast-paced written exams.

During skills testing, instructors may bark orders or create chaotic in-water environments to see how you perform under pressure. Class times may also be long with early mornings and late nights.

Going into the experience with an open but determined mindset will serve you best. Have confidence in the training you completed and know that challenges are how you’ll ultimately learn. Focus on giving your maximum effort at all times no matter your fatigue levels.

Seek Help When Needed

That said, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from your instructors if truly struggling. The ALA courses move at an intense pace meant to prepare you for the rigors of lifeguarding, but your teachers want to see you succeed too.

If a skill isn’t clicking, skills practice is proving difficult, or you need test-taking strategies, proactively request extra support. Instructors are there as a resource and want candidates to leave the course confident in their new abilities. Don’t internalize struggles but rather communicate challenges for targeted assistance.

Rest and Recharge Daily

Although hours are long, make sure to still prioritize rest each evening and refueling meals. Your body needs downtime to recover from strenuous activity levels, and mental breaks aid focus the next day. Even if studying, be sure to power down screens by a reasonable hour.

Consider relaxing activities like light stretches, reading non-course materials, phone calls with family or relaxing music. Proper relaxation optimizes your capacity to learn and retain information from subsequent lessons.

Above all, keep a positive outlook that you have what it takes to succeed with grit and hard work. Visualize your capabilities improving each day of the intensive course. With continued dedication to mind and body wellness throughout training, rest assured you’ll earn that lifeguard certification feeling thoroughly prepared for aquatic responsibilities ahead. Read more information click here.

In Final Opinion

Arrive at your ALA lifeguard class ready to focus fully on the learning experience. Following these packing recommendations ensures you have what’s necessary to stay prepared, comfortable, and optimally equipped for all facets of the certification process.

With the right gear and provisions in tow, you’ll feel primed to give your best effort and ultimately earn the coveted lifeguard certification through focused participation. Your hard-earned skills will then keep swimmers safe for years to come.

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Written by johnmichaelbro123