The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

our daughters our Shockers

August30

Many of my readers know that I coach my daughter Haley Anne in soccer. These are naught less than fantastic days filled with high adventure and life lessons (for both of us).

I wrote this piece for our soccer teams Blogsite earlier in the week around my coaching youth soccer, and want to share it with my broader community of readers:

What is it about our daughters?

We look at them in all their varying shapes, sizes and attitudes – and, see princesses.

Mixed with that is the uneasy realization that we have to prepare them for a world that will often hurt them while they work tirelessly (we expect) to help make it a better place.

With that perspective in mind perhaps you come to understand when I ask them, almost daily, whether they be “silly little kittens” or “mighty tigers”.

I understand that opposing teams start matches using this against our Shockers in a derisive manner. But, by matches end, those other teams are typically hands-on-knees and understand that we are bold and fearless – and mighty tigers all.

I often find myself looking at parents and saying things like: “Have I thanked you for having AC?”. Of course that is because they likely did something great on the pitch. But, it’s also often the result of something I saw in them as a growing person. They may not be ready to espound Jeffersonian ideals just yet. But, they exhibit ever more abundant positive qualities like compassion, fairness – and, fearlessness. A balance required to succeed in almost anything worth doing in life. And the drama often played-out on the football pitch is so often a corollary for life. Yet another opportunity to remind ourselves why it is so often referred to as the “Beautiful Game”.

Yesterday, as I made my way through the parking lot at Central Park, I had an opportunity to spend a few minutes with Vicki Bineau (Lauren’s Mom). I hope Lauren won’t take exception to being singled-out (although she better get used to it because I ALWAYS have my heart on my sleeve), but I found myself, as I often do, thanking parents like Vicki for “trusting me” with her daughters.

That seems to always take parents by surprise.

I look into the faces of our young citizens and I see, oh so much, hope and passion, and fear, and uncertainty, and the potential for confidence. The latter is the best part. Seeing that something we are doing one-on-one, and through the team, is building their self-esteem.

Our Shockers will look back on these days, a short spell, to be certain, and hopefully always draw on a memory that is the catalyst for a resevoir of strength and determination to face a challenge. Any challenge.

Perhaps “We are Shockers” will echo in the back of their mind in a moment of truth (in fond memory is certainly good enough). Maybe “I want the ball” will be something they carry with them daily.

When new players sign-on with Shocker Nation, it is, almost always, a similar story… There is timidness, and a dread of the endless running – possibly a resentment towards sprints. There is also uncertainty around why Coach Brian yells – even while I seem to be having fun. However, after a few weeks they feel their bodies strengthen. Skills they did not realize were possible become second nature (like dribbling the ball and looking up and down the field). I look them in the eyes (and, I can tell this is unnerving at first), and say things like: “I know you have it in you; and, I am going to count on you to give it your best”. And, they accomplish all manner of things.

This can include keeping their chins up. Heads held high with a steady gaze.

And fist bumps are meaningful.

Some times it’s only, seemingly, a small thing such as ball control. It can also be making a courageous stand against a determined fast-break. But, regardless of the actual result, they grow, and learn something every time.

We are going into our third week and we have been quietly discussing things like respect, leadership, a legacy of the uncompromising FIGHT and our legendary defenses. Why and how we win as a team. How individuals can form a team that is like an unbreakable chain – providing it’s forged with integrity, hard work and keen desire.

And, they get it. It’s in their eyes. They run their laps without complaints now. They understand the drills and enjoy the AGGRESSION DRILL.

So… It’s different every season – yet, in the same way.

We are Shockers, indeed. Always that. But, we are citizens first. And, they are our daughters. Always that.

Coach Brian

2 Comments to

“our daughters our Shockers”

  1. Avatar August 30th, 2009 at 1:13 pm bbwebb Says:

    A few things stuck out to me in your recent post as I scan like a hawk for means and ways to goals I hold dear. As I navigate through my own hurdle of ‘silly’ (illusory really) blocks and challenge points, adult, though no different from those of your Mighty Shocker Nation, I feel compelled to comment.

    As a member of your adult coaching team, I must note that you inspire the same fearlessness, compassion, the desire to run another lap and ‘right doing’ with the folks who’ve graduated high school and degrees well beyond. You assist your more seasoned team in reconnecting with their passions, THEIR inner resolve, inspiring them as well to work smartly and tirelessly toward their goals, jumping real or imagined hurdles, with confidence, assured of a ‘win’ which might come in the form of achieving that goal or the lessons gained. All good.

    That’s what makes YOU a winning coach and the ‘thank you’ needs to boomerang back to you. I feel certain my fellow adult citizens feel the same.

    Not all of us had great coaching growing up and can’t we ALL benefit from heartful assistance as we expand into our individual potentials, whatever our age!

    Thank you Mr. Cork!


  2. Avatar August 30th, 2009 at 2:42 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Thank you for that affirmation BB.

    Much is learned on both sides. And, for me, at the very least, that is what always keeps me leaning forward.

    Cork


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