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Old 07-28-2013   #1
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Default Sink or swim? Chargers' top rookies bond Manti Te'o helps D.J. Fluker overcome fear

Sink or swim? Chargers' top rookies bond
Manti Te'o helps D.J. Fluker overcome childhood fear of drowning


Quote:
D.J. Fluker had never swum. He was too traumatized to try.

Once, around age 4, the Chargers right tackle fell and sank to the bottom of a 12-foot swimming pool. His mother jumped in after him, tightly wrapping her arms around her first-born and pulling him to safety.

No problem, Manti Te’o told Fluker last month.

Whatever trust must exist between two teammates was present this summer between the top selections of the Chargers’ rookie class, as Te’o, the second-round draft pick, helped first-rounder Fluker overcome a childhood fear of drowning. They were together at the NFL Rookie Symposium in Ohio, the linebacker swimming laps for a workout while the 340-pound Fluker stood in the shallow end, paralyzed from wandering any deeper.

“I was terrified of water,” Fluker said. “He was like, ‘Man, relax. I got you.’ ”

Te’o said he began the lesson the only way he knew how — the way his father taught him.

The first step is getting comfortable with the face being underwater. Fluker wore contact lenses and couldn’t see underwater, but nonetheless grew OK with it. From there, they graduated to buoyancy and form.

“Dad just held me up in the water,” Te’o said.

While lifting Fluker’s stomach to keep the lineman parallel, Te’o instructed Fluker to simultaneously kick his legs and dig his hands into the water. So Fluker kept kicking and digging, kicking and digging, his size-22 feet and 10˝-inch hands creating a sizable splash.

Te’o decided it was time.

“He said, ‘All right, I’m going to let you go,’ ” Fluker said. “I’m like, ‘Let me go? No, no, no, no, no.’ I just sank...”
read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/...-chargers-nfl/
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