POSTED: Friday, July 6, 2012 - 9:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 12:01am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — It’s 5 a.m.
The sun has yet to peak its head over the horizon east of the campus of Southern University but the Jaguar football team is wide awake.
“You hate it but in the back of your mind you know you are getting better,” senior Chris Brown said of the early morning summer workouts lead by first year strength and conditioning coach Corliss Fingers.
“I am pushing them beyond their comfort zone. That is not something that they like. They are not used to it. They want to call me every name in the book because I am in their ear yelling do it again,” Fingers said.
Fingers, a small but vocal woman, says words have never hurt. In her 18 year career she’s been doubted verbally many times.
“How can I spot somebody that is squatting 500? For safety reasons. I'm little and not that big. What can I do? I’ve never played football before. These are the things that I've heard,” she explained.
All of the questioning for the simple fact of being female.
“The stares and the shock is something that I am used to. I don't treat it differently. It’s just another hurdle and challenge. Once you get to my program you forget that I am a woman and a female. You see that I am a good strength coach,” Fingers said.
Already, the Jags are seeing results.
“She is going to push the best out of you. We are seeing ourselves do things that we’ve never done before in the weight room,” Browne said.
“They are ring-less and they are championship-less,” Fingers said crediting the Jags hard work.
Perhaps the most impressive note is the grueling workouts are voluntary. Fingers says the Jags have come a long way hoping their work this summer pays off in the fall.
“Just one person puked today (Friday). That’s good compared to where we were when we started. I want them to take control in the forth quarter. It is going to be our time,” she added.