View Full Version : Does everyone make their coaches be lifeguard certified

June 27th, 2016, 08:48 AM
Hi All, my facility requires all coaches to be life guard certified. Is this a standard practice for masters coaches? Please share if you do or do not and why. Thank you!

July 8th, 2016, 12:40 PM
Our Masters team is part of a large kids team. They have about twelve different coaches (for all their feeder teams and main teams) including me as the Masters team coach. We must all be registered USA Swimming Coaches with the required training (Safety Training, CPR, Athlete Protection, and Background check). They do not require lifeguard certification. I think that it is a good idea since I know that only about 50% of the pools they swim at have lifeguards on duty and the rest do not. Of the four weekly Masters practices, we have lifeguards on deck for three of them. I am the lifeguard for the fourth practice. Hope this helps.

August 8th, 2016, 02:22 PM
I am not required to be lifeguard certified. We have a lifeguard on duty at all times. You can't act as lifeguard and coach at the same time, it has to be one or the other. If I am actively coaching there is no way I could effectively lifeguard. While it doesn't hurt to have that skillset, so in a pinch the guard could run to the loo and you step back as coach, the guard can't be distracted with watching someone's technique, giving critique or giving set instructions and effectively scan the pool at the same time.

August 9th, 2017, 01:08 PM
This issue has come up in our LMSC several times in recent years. Long story short, the certification requirement depends on the facility and circumstances.

For my old USA-Swimming gig, we were coaching w/o guards from 4:45-6:15am, so if a kid went down, it was on us to yank him/her out and perform first responder actions. Note: It is a coaching requirement to have some sort of lifeguard and CPR training for USA-Swimming (ARC's Safety Training for Swim Coaches course).

As far as masters goes, if your practice is before the facility opens, I would hope your facility is requiring your coach (or at minimum, someone there) to be lifeguard and CPR certified. If there are always going to be guards watching your practice, then I could see why you would not NEED to have your coach certified.

Personally, I think all coaches SHOULD be certified in some way. Regardless of the guarding situation, your coach is probably going to be watching over his/her swimmers with more attention than most guards (at least the ones I have experience with). I would think that the chances of one of us older folks having a random medical emergency would be higher than with kids, so why not have someone on deck who can assist in that event?

In our area, many coaches do double duty with USMS and USA-Swimming, so we don't have too much of an issue finding certified coaches. There are, however, plenty of non-coaching professionals who moonlight as coaches, and I am sure the certification situation varies by team and person. I would imagine some LMSCs might be willing to assist in covering the cost of the course.