The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Philosophy

Coaching the Y Combinator

October20

So… as most of you know, I’ve been coaching my daughters in Soccer (and, it seems, everyone else’s sons in Lacrosse) for quite some time. In Georgia, the reputation of Shockers Nation has prevailed going on ten years now.

I sent the following to my Soccer parents this morning:

Shockers!

Some light reading for your hectic Sunday:

I’ll look for you, my hearty-and-ferocious Shockers all, later this afternoon at Bethesday Park as we march on Gerogia FC. This is a reminder to be at the fields no later than 430pm. Cheryl sent out special approach instructions earlier this morning.

Meanwhile, I’m going to share with you a long-standing theory of mine that has driven my coaching style for almost two decades. This takes my approach with “life lessons” to something of an extreme. However, I suspect the more technical amongst you might appreciate this, if just a bit

I’m certain you’ve noticed that we try to rotate our players through positions, and attempt to sub when practical, if not possible. The objective is to maintain good form, and keep the match interesting (this is how athletes learn best). That said, there are always a few players that play the entire match, or close to it. In the case of Soccer, it’s almost always a Stryker, our unique “Stopper”, and our Wing Defenders. For me, the variable, here, is Stopper. In any event, this consistent player formation is based upon the “Y Combinator” theory:

In computer science, a fixed-point combinator (or fixpoint combinator) is a higher-order function that computes a fixed point of other functions. If the effect of the other function is to advance a particular computation one step, or to do nothing if the computation is finished, then the fixed point will be a function that advances the same computation by as many steps as required to complete it. This can be used for anonymous recursion: to construct recursive anonymous functions.

Think about that for awhile, and you understand how this description elegantly applies itself to Soccer (and, Lacrosse), and helps explain why our Shockers can remain devastating against most other clubs despite our rotation (and, often because of it). It might also help you understand why you see me sub the way we do.

By the way… Thank you for having your dughters.

Who Wants The Ball!

- Coach Brian

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awareness

February23

as I continue to share something of a personal journey with you, let’s reference one of my more recent posts as a baring-point:

rules today that pave The Road for tomorrowbut also, why change need not be arbitrary.

we started with, desire.

so, we move-on to, awareness.

a·ware  (-wâr)

adj.

1. Having knowledge or cognizance: aware of the difference between the two versions.
2. Archaic Vigilant; watchful.
and then,
a·wareness n.
Synonyms: aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, awake, alert, watchful, vigilant
These adjectives mean mindful or heedful: Aware implies knowledge gained through one’s own perceptions or by means of information: Are you aware of your opponent’s hostility? I am aware that the legislation passed.

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”. – Nathaniel Branden

I think this means we must be aware of the need for something, possibly change, and then accept that it’s our path, and embrace the effort through it’s application. then, once you’ve accepted this mission, others will follow, and that is also a form of acceptance.

for me, it’s about having a Servants Heart. my roll is making things better for other people. when things are good for people around me, I’m great. when things are not so good for people around me, I am dark. I suppose that makes me something akin to a Rhodesian Ridgeback (dog). I’m a reciprocator, and a kind of mirror. so, I go out of my way to make everything right around me. that way, I can breathe, literally.

it helps to have questions:

  • what are you good at? dig deeper. what are you really, genuinely, good at?
  • what do you want to do?
  • who needs you?

if you can divine that last question, you probably know what you are good at, and where you can be affirmed by being surrounded by people that need and want you.

ignorance is possibly the opposite of awareness or knowledge. just like death is the opposite of life or salvation. knowing what you are good at takes self-awareness (as I discussed in desire). you probably need to know some answers to these questions before you can make purposeful and meaningful steps towards that self-awareness that helps or allows you to be useful to other people. you know the old adage…

“you can’t help others until you can help yourself”. – Unknown (but, likely a philosophic sophomore)

this leads us to how, when and where we can help others. where does your special talent reside? what and where is it’s foundation? I believe there are three ways to pin this down:

listening.  this ability to be mentored or taught is crucial. because that, in turn, allows us to positively influence others.

experience. this can be realized through epiphany, or gradual awareness. the idea that past experiences influence future experiences was termed continuity by John Dewey.  all experiences, argued Dewey, impact on one’s future, for better or worse.  basically, cumulative experience either shuts one down or opens up one’s access to possible future experiences. experience refers to the nature of the events someone or something has undergone.  Experience is what is happening to us all the time – as we long we exist. our experience becomes a platform of influence that can benefit others.

influence. one of my soccer players once said, “Coach Brian is teaching us how to use our super powers for good”. I learned a lot about myself in that moment. I leveraged a lot of my own experience, knowledge and servants heart to teach her teammates how to win despite many obstacles, including themselves. the core to my coaching has always been life lessons for citizen athletes. it works for people in business, as well.

this can’t always be easy. perhaps it should not be easy. but, it can be simple. leadership is an example. the ability to make good decisions, and guide others through that process may not be easy, but successful often looks or appears simple.

when I coach kids in sports, or adults in business, I often say…

“it may seem simple, but it won’t be easy”.

since we don’t know what we don’t know, we should to look for opportunities to change, evolve, grow, just be different. consider the following points to help you process the establishment of awareness:

  • look around yourself , in the moment. at what might be or could be or should be, different.
  • you may have misplaced or missed an opportunity.
  • what you see may not be what you expected or expecting.
  • consider the possibility that you have lost perspective and seek guidance. meditate. pray.
  • is it possible you are moving down the wrong path? what do your instincts tell you? are things working? or, are you always having to “muscle through”? do other people accept your guidance and influence?
  • are you willing to pay the price?

 You gotta have a PLAN

vision + plan + desire + / different = change.

readers of this blog (and, the others), and the people that I coach professionally, relative to any span of time, know that a driving theme for me is having a plan.

having a plan helps you maintain awareness. try and keep it simple.

look… even with the kids I coach in Lacrosse and Soccer, I teach them to know where they want to “end-up” with the ball. people that follow me are also familiar with the concept of “finishing well”. so, thinking two and possibly three moves ahead (oaky… think Chess, as well) offer s distinct advantage and helps focus us in the moment. this helps with a sense of direction driven by vision. the vision, driven by desire, has to be inspired and is the catalyst for doing things, stuff, anything, everything, something vitally important, differently. that difference, is the key. you can make a difference, be different, do it differently… it’s all separated from the thing you want to be different and changed.

through The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28) we can understand that by leveraging your talents, attributes, passion, and vision you can manage both challenges and opportunities and better focus on the objectives that have you finishing well.

while it’s not a foundation for a strategy, hope, fueled by faith and prayer helps refine our vision (hint: you don’t need peyote).

I’m an entrepreneur. not a “serial” entrepreneur (that term has always struck me as creepy sounding). a successful entrepreneur. I’m drawn to other people that like to start things and drive them forward, with will and purpose, through a vision with a platform for change ever on the horizon. I use all of this thinking as a Dad, husband, friend, philanthropist, etc as well. very few people can summon the courage to follow their dreams, ideas, and vision. many things chip away at our resolve. but, staying true to a plan that is founded in solving specific needs enables us to change (evolve) ourselves, and those around us.

building off of desire, keep asking yourself the key questions:

  • what am I good at?
  • what do I want to do?
  • who needs me?
  • why?
  • what am I going to do different?

do you feel joy?

I ask my Lacrosse and Soccer players, my daughters, and my business coaching clients if they perform with “joy in their hearts?”. if you can’t say yes, hopefully absolutely yes, then you must be aware for a need to change. as I tap that last sentence into existence I feel it’s so obvious. but, it’s not for most people. joy is a positive reinforcement and driver for repetition.

perhaps it’s important to have an over-arching goal that is a companion or underlying objective for life. what if that is nobility? become familiar with the term, noblesse oblige.

if we have a desire, it can be change, and we are aware of the potential for that change, and it means good things or greatness can come of it, why not move purposefully towards it. that gives life meaning. and, we’ll talk about that next.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

.
http://www.unsinkablebriancork.com (http://s.tt/1zWYT)

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desire

February19

I’m going to really push some thinking forward as I share something of a personal journey with you. let’s reference one of my more recent posts as a baring-point:

rules today that pave The Road for tomorrow, but also, why change need not be arbitrary.

are you your own “Burning Platform”? do you create your own Kobayashi Maru? you genuinely need to explore that.

it helps to start  looking around yourself. what are the influences that drive behavior?

some organizations, like the Army, refer to this as “situational awareness”. more on that later.

this includes looking at yourself, and the stuff around you.

people can be stuff. so, maybe it’s a relational thing. feel free to make it a physical thing.

but, to be clear, the desire to be different is where change begins.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley

that desire leads to understanding yourself which then connects you to change, or a change event. change can’t happen without fierce desire that may find its root in your heart and can spread throughout your gut, mind and soul.

to be candid, I’ll submit, and based on my experience with so many things that include being a “human bean”, dad, husband, athlete, coach (on several levels), business man, ordained change-agent, etc., the odds of making a lasting and possibly radical change in your life are stacked against you. it’s a harsh reality, but when even life is at stake most people refuse, won’t or can’t budge from what often proves to be the deadliest place on earth: the comfort zone. just think about your relationship with your spouse, money, and career-path, for examples.

I’m reasonably certain that only one-out-of-ten people are ready, willing or able to act on the desire for something new, and more importantly different, which can radically change behavior, and with it, their lives.

try this… think in terms of the physical (body), mental (mind), spiritual (soul) and emotional (heart). then ask yourself questions around those aspects of yourself that might include:

  • what motivates you to be different?
  • why do you want to be different (there is probably a difference)?
  • what goals will mean the most to you once you’ve accomplished them?
  • how do you want to change your life in those areas?
  • what gives you meaning purpose and power?

TRANSPARENCY: I’m not certain “power” belongs with all this. but, the word came (or found me) to me. so, perhaps there is meaning for it here beyond my own immediate reasoning.

so… looking at Mr. Huxley’s words, and my interpretation of their meaning, I think that if you want new or better results, you must change your behavior. do it!

more later. next, we’ll tackle awareness.

today, I am listening to, Fall At Your Feet by the venerable Crowded House.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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rules today that pave The Road for tomorrow

February18

desire

awareness

meaning

choice

love

change

giving

gratitude

reciprocity

I say it probably starts with awareness, and refine that with self-awareness. then you get to invoke change from within that gets reflected outward. that requires a desire for change that is drawn from choice. that brings meaning to why we should feel gratitude around doing things we love, for people that we value. if you believe that giving as much as you take, if not more, then finally reciprocity finds itself in the formula for success at life.

everything else is a burning platform.

“We all need a road that we can find that gives us love and peace of mind” - Songwriter Randy Thorderson

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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