“Winning forever to me,” Carroll said, “would be easy to say we win every game from now on, and I would love to do that. We endeavor to do that every time we go out, but I know better. I know that you can’t win every single game every bit of the way, even though all USC alums want me to. Winning forever to me is finding a way to maximize your potential — be everything that you can possibly be in whatever you’re doing.”
Carroll said that when he first became the Trojan football coach nine years ago he launched a philosophy “to do things better than it’s ever been done before in everything we’re doing across the board — coaching, counseling, teaching, practicing, working out, tactical analysis, technical preparation, everything we could think of.”
“I went up in front of the team,” Carroll related, “and said, ‘Five years ago we talked about doing something and we had a vision, a mindset that we were going to create something really unique and special here. And not for a second did we back off that. Fellas, look where we are today. Here we are the night before the biggest game in our lifetimes in college football, there’s not even a question of who’s going to win. Of course we’re going to win.’”
Carroll continued recalling the speech he gave to his players, “‘The issue is this — we set our sights years and years ago to get to this point right here and to prove that we could do this just because we were dreamers and we were hopeful and we were going to do something really special. And the fact that we’re going to play this game tomorrow is not the issue. The fact that’s so important is what we have done, what we have illustrated and the lesson we can take away from this. By having a vision that nobody would back off on, that nobody would take a backward step on, that nobody would ever think couldn’t happen, we found our way to put ourselves exactly where we wanted to be. We’re doing it better than it’s ever been done before.’”
“Everybody else in the world is looking at doom and gloom and how bad it’s going to be and how we’re going to just make it — and that’s for the other people who follow that,” Carroll said. “If you can shift yourself and believe in the fact that you can create something that you have to live with and you’re not going to be satisfied unless it’s going to come to life for you and you will not back off and not let anyone discourage you, you can do whatever you can dream of.”
Instead of discussing pass coverages or the zone rushing attack, all of the position coaches have been sharing their philosophies, expectations, beliefs, values and emphases as they ready for Spring Practice 2009. Through introspective and passionate talks, each assistant shared the underlying themes and foundational principles for his position group and what he expects from his players on the field and in the meeting room.