Jaguars rookie fearful of H2O overcomes his fear… and so can you

September 12, 2018 - Essential Water


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When we consider of NFL players, we competence consider they’re fearless, deliberation all a hit they go by on the gridiron. But even some of a strongest players competence be gripping a secret. Jacksonville Jaguars far-reaching receiver DJ Chark was.

The football actor from LSU is being called a many considerable rookie of a Jaguars 2018 breeze class, yet when his group asked him to collect something he wished he could learn to do, his response was unexpected.

“If we could collect adult a new ability in an instant, what would it be?” Chark was asked.

“Swimming, we don’t know how to swim,” he answered.

DJ Chark’s fear of water

Chark told News4Jax nothing of his new teammates in Jacksonville knew he couldn’t boyant until a Jaguars recently expelled video of him holding lessons during a Winston Family YMCA.

Chark grew adult in Louisiana and pronounced he was shocked of a water. Just as his tallness of 6’3″ is deliberate an advantage on a football field, his tallness during a younger age helped him facade a fact he couldn’t swim.


“I remember, substantially center school, everybody being in a pool yet we had to stay in a shoal end. we always wanted to be in a low end, yet we didn’t trust myself adequate to do that,” he said. “And as we got taller, we was means to usually mount adult in many pools, so we never unequivocally took a time to learn.” 

UNCUT: DJ Chark’s full interview

By opening adult to a Jacksonville Jaguars about his inability to swim, yet expressing his enterprise to learn how, the team organised for Chark to take lessons during a YMCA with boyant instructor Mo Eaton.

“Where we astounded that he (DJ Chark) was not means to boyant and that he was fearful of a water?” we asked Eaton.

“I wasn’t astounded during all,” she answered. “We see so many adults and kids that are truly fearful of a water, yet to have someone that is a veteran contestant to say, ‘I am fearful of a H2O yet we wish to learn how to swim,’ was exciting.”

DJ Chark learns to swim

Courtesy: Jacksonville Jaguars

Chark was shaken during first. Even as an NFL player, even as an adult, a swimming pool was intimidating.

“I unequivocally got in a shoal finish first,” he said.

And with Eaton’s assistance — usually as a rookie learned opposite techniques and positions on a football margin during training stay — he took on a plea to overcome his fear and master swimming basics.

“When we put my face in, we move my face out. I don’t know if I’m ostensible to breathe,” Chark pronounced to Eaton during his first swim lesson. “I’ll be confused.”

“Their initial instinct is to siphon in,” Eaton explained to Chark in a pool. “It goes adult your nose and in your mouth, so we try to learn them to relax adequate to blow out, turn, and get a breath.”

Courtesy: Jacksonville Jaguars

For Chark, usually withdrawal a shoal finish of a YMCA pool was a vital fulfilment — let alone training a scold swimming mechanics and respirating methods.

“Yep, that’s it, relax, relax, that’s it. You got it. It’s all you. That’s all we man!” Eaton pronounced to Chark as he floated on his behind in a pool for a initial time.

“Nice, approach to put your face in!” 

“I can go a whole way,” Chark told Eaton when he was prepared to boyant his initial lap. “Let’s do it! Yes! we adore it! He’s going a whole way,” Eaton shouted.

“For me during initial it was some-more mental than physical,” pronounced Chark. “I had to get my certainty adult to jumping in a low finish and being like that. So that was huuuge. And afterwards once we was means to essence myself out to do that, afterwards it became physical. Learning a technique.”

WATCH: DJ Chark learns to boyant during YMCA

Courtesy: Jacksonville Jaguars

“It’s sparkling to be means to conquer something that was on my bucket list, and now when we go places, we don’t mind hopping in a pool,” he added. “I’m unequivocally vehement to continue to learn and get improved and better.”

Even by accident, DJ Chark inspires others

All of Chark’s hard work to overcome his personal fear of a water, and take a time to learn to swim, has incidentally desirous kids who have been examination him take lessons.


“He (DJ Chark) takes a time to give each child a high-five on a approach out,” pronounced Eaton. “And, when they demeanour adult during him, they’re excited, and they wish to work harder.”

“There are kids out there who are teased since they don’t know how to swim. we are a cold Jaguars player, so what do we contend to those kids?” we asked Chark.

“They’re not a usually one. There’s people older, younger than them that don’t know how to swim. When a story came out, we had people approach comparison than me tell me that they didn’t know how to boyant possibly and they was meddlesome in holding classes,” he said. “Even yet some people competence consider it’s funny, if we wish to learn how to swim, do it for yourself — not for others. Once we learn, it’s going to be a weight carried off your shoulders.” 

“A lot of people say, ‘So we can’t swim?’ And afterwards we tell them, “Well, we can now.'”


Young and aged can learn to boyant during a YMCA

“He was so coachable,” Eaton pronounced about Chark. “He usually kept observant to me, ‘I wish to learn how to float, we wish to learn how to swim.’ And we told him, ‘We’re going to do it, whatever it takes.'”

It indeed didn’t take too much. After a few lessons, Chark was gentle in a water.


“He (DJ Chark) can burst in come adult and tread. And when he treads, he’s indeed smiling and kind of articulate a small bit where a initial time he kind a looked during me like we wasn’t so sure, and that is what creates me wish to keep doing this,” Eaton explained.

 And she wants to make certain everybody knows that anyone of any age can accomplish what Chark accomplished.

“We are training adults now that are 60 to 65 years old, and training how to boyant for a initial time. And to be means to contend to them that one of a football players is training how to boyant as an adult, usually gives them that additional inducement to be successful,” she added.

The idea for a YMCA is “Safety Around Water.” The classification says in sequence to forestall drownings and save lives, everybody contingency learn essential H2O reserve skills.

Free boyant skills test 

To make certain we or your child will be protected in a H2O emergency, giveaway boyant contrast is offering during First Coast YMCA pools. Find out some-more online or call 904-265-1775.

    If we or your child is in need of boyant lessons, certain internal YMCAs offer year-round swimming programs. Click here for some-more information. There is also financial assistance for those who qualify.

    From May to Aug 2018:

    • 6,274 have taken a giveaway boyant skills test
    • 3,076 have upheld a giveaway boyant skills test
    • 4,901 have taken boyant lessons and/or reserve around H2O classes 

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