Focusing in

Some new accessories have been added to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center this week.

And they’re here to stay.

Huge “I’m In!” signs have been affixed above the doors to the outdoor practice fields, weight room and indoor facility, echoing a sentiment Coach Carroll wants his players to subscribe to every time they enter a practice, workout or walk-thru.

“‘I’m in’ means tapping in and completely focusing on the task at hand,” Carroll said during Tuesday morning’s introductory team meeting. “We’ve got to leave everything outside and zero in on football so we can be the best we can be.”

The “I’m in” philosophy dates back to Carroll’s first season at USC in 2001, when he randomly thought of the phrase on the spot. From that day on, he asked his players to make tapping in a daily habit, whether for a practice or on game days.

“There’s a lot of power in your words and how you talk,” Carroll said. “Saying ‘I’m in’ and the physical representation of tapping in affects how you practice and play. And that’s what this is all about, because practice is everything. It’s the only place where we make us, so we’ve got to be tuned in completely every time we take the field.”

Another one of Coach Carroll’s motivational techniques, massive “I’m In!” signs have been hung above the doors to the practice fields and weight room at the VMAC.

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