My family and I arrived in the United States in 1979. I am an immigrant from the island of Tonga. The American Dream has made me reach for my goals. Struggle is something we’ve all had to deal with and my life story is no different. In business, sports and relationships, we learn lessons. Growing up with less allowed me to appreciate more. Not knowing how to speak the language when I was young taught me to listen. Dropping out of college to help my family make ends meet taught me that there are no shortcuts to success, and sacrifice is demanded to get what we need and want. Sports and academics taught me that everything must be earned.
In the summer of 1999 I returned to junior college to take two classes that would allow me to enroll at UC Davis, affording me the opportunity to play football. That experience changed my life. The coaches emphasized life lessons that I remembered my parents would speak to me about, but I paid more attention this time because it was attached to making the team and playing time. I was a 23 year old sophomore trying to make the team, live out my dream of playing college football, and graduate. In my family with nine siblings, I would be the first to graduate.. Equal time was spent on developing the player or coach as a person and developing the football skills required to succeed.
When I started my career in motivational speaking, I spoke to groups, companies, and organizations about Character, Integrity, Work Ethic, Discipline, Respect, Commitment, Audacity to Dream, Skill Set, Attitude and Finishing.The teams were successful because they planned to win, expected to win, and could execute the win.The teams were successful because they followed these characteristics in their lives individually and collectively as a TEAM. Invictus wishes to use holistic sports training to instill these life lessons and life characteristics in the youth of the greater Sacramento area, so that they will have every opportunity to succeed.
It is our hope that the youth in our program will know what CHARACTER is, make CHOICES that reflect INTEGRITY, are CONFIDENT in their ability to excel in ACADEMICS and strive to be a CHAMPION in their lives. I know what it feels like to be the kid sitting in the bleachers because my family did not have the money so I could participate. I know what it feels like to be standing in the free lunch line in elementary school, junior high and high school feeling embarrassed when my classmates walked by. That’s why our athletic sessions filled with life skills programming are free for every child we have room for. I’m also humbled to know what it feels like to win on Championship teams that had an expectation to succeed.. These examples are why Invictus Foundation chooses to engage the youth and communities of the greater Sacramento area to be inspired, motivated, and encouraged. Invictus Foundation is training today’s youth to become tomorrow’s LEADERS.
My experience includes the following:
Life, Leadership, Business Coach
Master Speaker on “Life Champion” Series
UC Davis BSS
Former NCAA Football Coach
Linebacker Coach/Director of Football Operations
NCAA Football Record: 11 Years: 125 Wins and 18 Lessons (Not Losses)
8 Seasons of Division 1 Football: 7 Conference Championships
8 Bowl Game Appearances, 4 Bowl Championships
2 BCS Bowl Championships
My wife Martha and I have two children, our daughter Susan Mele and Son Viliami Semisi (Jr.) We reside in Elk Grove, California.