PROTECT YOUR DREAMS: Don’t let negative talks bring you down I couldn’t help but sit here today and reflect on my journey that I’ve been to and where my life is at today. Being a coach at this level is never an easy task, and sometimes you have to take the stress that comes with it. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is what I do and what I love to do. But if I were to tell you three years ago that I would be in this position today, I be lying to you. It has not been easy though and will only get tougher as I continue to climb higher in this profession. Aside from my own inner motivations, there has been countless of things I have heard before that has created a strong inner drive within myself to prove the naysayers wrong. I have heard it ALL BEFORE:
You’re not good enough.
It’s a waste of your time.
Asians can’t coach football.
It’s too hard to do.
Nobody will hire a Hmong guy.
The list goes on and on. It is easy to give in to negative talks and allow it to bring you down. It’s easy to believe naysayers who will say what you can and can’t do. Sometimes the biggest dreams we have in life go unprotected because we our influence by the negative things that people will say towards it. Chris Gardner once said “If you have a dream, you’ve got to protect it”. I truly believe in this quote and believe how important it is that our generation continues to dream high but most importantly, protect your dreams at all cost. I was once a young Hmong kid from Saint Paul, MN, who had no connections to being given an opportunity to coach college football. Through persistence and a strong desire to protect my dreams, it has allowed me to be standing where I am at today. For the younger generation and now, dream high. Be bold, be fearless and NEVER GIVE UP.
Dennis Lee Xiong is currently an NCAA Division 1 assistant coach for Abilene Christian University Wildcats Football Team in Texas.