JG Prep Winter 2022-23

It is never too early to start getting ready for Jr Guards. If you are trying out in the Spring, joining the Winter classes is a great idea. If you have already passed Jr Guards and want to swim to stay in shape or work on strokes, you can join JG Prep classes or Swim Squad. There will be two Winter sessions - Session 1 is November  28 - January 21 (6 weeks) and Session 2 is January 23 - February 18 (4 weeks).

The Winter schedule for sessions 1 and 2 is below:

Mon 4-4:45 pm Miraleste $160/$130
Mon 5:30-6:15 pm Miraleste $160/$130
Tue 4-4:45 pm Miraleste $190/$130
Tue 5:30-6:15 pm Miraleste $190/$130
Thur 4-4:45 pm Miraleste $190/$130
Thur 5:30-6:15 pm Miraleste $190/$130
Sat 10:45-11:30 am Miraleste $160/$130

*There are no classes between Dec 23 and January 8.

**Monday classes in session 1 will end on January 9 as January 16 is Martin Luther King Day.

Starting in Session 2, Friday classes will be added on the following schedule:

Fri 4-4:45 pm Miraleste $130
Fri 5:30-6:15 pm Miraleste $130


The first price above is for session 1 and the second price is for session 2.

Registration will open on November 13. If you would like private lessons, please contact me at (424)901-3702.


Class Prerequisite:

Swimmers must be able separate from parent, swim 4 lengths of the pool (100 yards), and 50 yards of Freestyle under 1:30, unassisted and without stopping on the first day of class.

To Register for Jr. Guard Prep

@ Miralesteclick here.


About Jr. Lifeguard Prep

Jr. Lifeguards is a program offered through the LA County Lifeguards and BeachSports; ZAP is not affiliated with either of these organizations but we offer conditioning classes to help non-club swimmers prepare to take the test required by both LA Co and Beach Sports.

JG Prep is for kids ages 9 and up who already know how to swim but who will benefit from extra conditioning and stroke refinement prior to taking the swim test. Swimmers are expected to be able to swim 4 lengths of the pool freestyle (aka front crawl) without assistance on the first day. JG Prep is NOT Learn-To Swim. If your swimmer needs additional help with basic skills such as proper kicking or breathing to the side, we can arrange for some private instruction with a coach for an additional fee.

NOTE: It is important to be on time to class. Part of the curriculum is building endurance and the swimmers need to be in the water for 60 minutes to maximize their conditioning. There are no make-ups or refunds.


Parents, siblings, etc. may observe  class from designated areas at each location (see below)Please allow swimmers to walk in and get started independently. Parents are not permitted to stand or kneel poolside or communicate with swimmers while they are in the water. If you have an urgent message to give your child please speak to the coach. If you need to speak directly to your swimmer, please speak to the coach and they will have your child get out of the pool. By enrolling your child(ren) in our program you are agreeing to this policy.


MIRALESTE: The bleachers along the brick wall/lane 1 only. Please keep all other areas of the deck clear, including the small bleachers by the boiler room, as we utilize different parts of the deck, at different times, for our Premier Team.


The Test(s)
LA County requires swimmers to swim 100 yards freestyle in the following times:

  • 11 and under (C's): 1:50
  • 12-13 year olds (B's): 1:40
  • 14 and olders (A's):1:30

LA County 2022 Test Dates:

  • Swim Test #1 – TBD
  • Swim Test #2 – TBD
  • Swim Test #3 – TBD
  • Swim Test #4 – TBD
  • Swim Test #5 – TBD


BeachSports Jr. Guards has the requirement of 100 yards swum in 1:50 or 2:30 and treading water continually (head up) for 5 minutes regardless of age.

Testing Locations
ZAP is an approved BeachSports testing site. Tests are conducted by appointment only, and are free to members enrolled in a ZAP preparation course.

For the LA County program, swimmers must pass the test at one of the LA County testing sites on one of the three scheduled days.

For information about LA County junior lifeguards http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/lifeguard/lifeguard-youth-programs/


Does my swimmer need to be a fast swimmer to do this program?

Swimmers must be able to swim 50 yards of Freestyle (2 lengths of a 25 yard pool, like West End, South End, Miraleste and PenHi) without stopping or assistance. If you have to pull over to rest or wipe your eyes, you’ll want to get a few lessons for your budding swimmer before they try this course.

What do swimmers need to bring to class?

Swimmers need a 1-piece swimsuit that fits, goggles that work, and a towel. If hair is longer than a few inches (past your ears), they also need a cap. Caps can be either silcone (more expensive, thicker) or latex (less expensive, thinner). Do not get one that is fabric!

All of these things can be bought at any sporting goods store, or you can go where most local competitive swimmers go: The Swim Guy: 2772 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90404. 310-­793­-9150.

I’m not sure what a Jr. Lifeguard is, but all my kid’s friends are doing it. What is it?

A Jr. Lifeguard, or “JG”, is usually someone who participates in the Los Angeles County Jr. Lifeguard Program. This program, is administered and taught by actual L.A. County Lifeguards and has a long history here in the South Bay.

BeachSports, a private organization started by an LA Co Lifeguard, offers their own version of Junior Guards at Avenue I in Redondo. LA City also has a Junior Lifeguard program at Cabrillo Beach.

Jr. Guards must try out for the program, and those who make it report to a certain beach each day for 6 weeks during the summer. JG’s learn to do do calisthenics, run, swim, paddle, sometimes surf, and even do basic first aid. They learn about tides and rips and warning flags, and they compete against other JGs from other beaches. Some kids say it wouldn’t be summer without JGs!

What does my child need to do to try out?

Everyone who wants to be an LA County JG must go to an official LA Co JG Test Site (see the class schedule page for testing dates) and take a swim test. Depending on their age, swimmers must swim 100 yards Freestyle in under a certain time. (1:50 for swimmers 9-­12, 1:40 for swimmers 13-­14, and 1:30 for swimmers 15­-17 years old), and pick up an object in 7 feet deep water.

For the BeachSports program, swimmers ages 9-16 must swim 100 yards of Freestyle under 1:50 and tread water independently for 5 minutes. ZAP is a official test site for BeachSports, you just need to make an appointment to get tested and signed off. Testing is free if you are currently swimming with ZAP either on our swim team or in a JG Prep class.

The standard seems fast... What if my child doesn’t make it?

If they don’t make it under the required time, they won’t be able to be a Jr. Guard. They can re­take the test at a later test date/site, but if they still don’t make the cut at one of the three test dates, they will not be allowed to be a Jr. Lifeguard that year and we recommend that they continue their swim conditioning to build endurance and improve skills.

Why do they make the test so fast? Why are they so strict?

The test is important because all Jr. Guards swim in the ocean almost every day during the 6­-week program. There are no walls, lane lines, or buoys to hang onto if you get tired or scared. Tides change, winds kick up, and any number of things can happen while you’re swimming in the ocean and is why it’s important for every JG to be a strong and confident swimmer before they start the program. Safety is a top priority for everyone. JGs isn’t for everyone, but most kids have fun when they are strong enough to get out there and do it. The guards won’t take the kids out in the ocean if it is unsafe.

Is JG Prep only for people who want to be a JG?

Nope! Anyone aged 9 (by July 30) and over, who can swim 50 yards of Freestyle continuously, can enroll in this class. We often have swimmers who don’t want to be a JG, but who just like swimming and want to stay in shape. Just know that the class is geared toward the Jr. Guard test, which means we are only teaching Freestyle technique, conditioning for Freestyle, and testing regularly.

Do the kids get tested in class?

Swimmers are timed regularly so they may keep track of their progress. Coaches will talk with your swimmer if they think s/he needs more work before the first test. Swimmers must get "officially" tested though to enroll in the actual JG programs.

Do you have class if it is raining?

We DO swim in the rain, but we DO NOT swim in lightening. The coaches are trained to gage whether lightning is close enough to evacuate the pool, and s/he will get you out if that happens. If you see lightning on your way to the pool, turn around and go home. We’ll schedule a make­up class in the event that this happens.

If we have a conflict and can’t make it, can my child do a make­up class?

We don’t do make­up classes, except in an instance of natural occurrences (lightening storm, earthquake, etc.) or something that shuts down our pool for safety reasons (ie chemical imbalance or a broken pump).

How many classes per week does my child need to take to pass the JG Test?

That depends on your swimmer. Stronger swimmers may need fewer classes, while kids who haven’t been in a pool since last summer may need more. Depending on how your child is progressing once we get to know them, we’ll check in with you and make recommendations in terms of frequency of training.

Do the coaches just make the kids swim laps or do they teach technique, too?

Going faster and building endurance is all about technique. The swimmers will definitely sweat, but they’ll also learn technique with the group and receive personalized corrections throughout the course. That being said, JG Prep is NOT glorified swim lessons. Participants MUST already be strong swimmers; we just help them build endurance nad confidence, and make minor tweaks to help them be more efficient.