Do I Swim Well Enough?
You don't have to be a great swimmer, but you do have to be a good/strong swimmer. Scroll down for a description and a video showing the pre-test.
Poor swimming is the number one cause of not being successful in the lifeguard course. The prerequisite test is described below. Keep in mind, that you must be able to swim a proper front crawl (freestyle) with breathing to the side, OR a proper breaststroke with breathing putting your face in and breathing to the front each stroke. You must know how to do one of these two strokes correctly.
If you were never on a swim team, go to a pool and try the prerequisite test.
Do I swim well enough to be a lifeguard?
Watch the video to see.
A. SWIM 300 yards continuously using a proper front crawl or proper breaststroke
B. TREAD for 2 minutes using legs only
C. BRICK TEST: Swim a distance, surface dive to the bottom of the deep end, retrieve a 10 lb brick, and swim it back.
Detailed explanation above
Lifeguard Course Swim Pretest
1. Swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used only for this test.
2. Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under the armpits.
3. Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds:
■ Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed.
■ Surface dive, feet-first or head-first, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.
■ Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so they are able to get a breath. Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.