The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Sports

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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If our leaders won’t Mexico and God will Bless America

October16

mexico and god bless americaIf our leaders won’t Mexico and God will Bless America

USA Soccer put down Panama last night for a meaningless 3-1 come-from-behind win in injury time.

Giddy Mexican commentators praise the saviors of their World Cup hopes: ‘We love you forever and ever! God bless America!’

however, that win kept Mexico’s World Cup hopes alive. this is great for North American Soccer, and HUGE for USA and Mexico relations.

we had Mexican sports announcers screaming, “God Bless America!” over international telecasts.

I love it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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yeah yeah yeah Memorial Day Microsoft and various HEROES

May27

I get inspired and motivated by all manner of things.

and, I tie them all together over the course of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds.

happy Memorial Day, everyone.

and, this is just one more reason to honor you, Dad. I sure wish you were here to hug the girls. however, I did take Emma Jo kayaking yesterday and told her stories about you. all of it was mildly interesting to het for about fifteen minutes. then she was hot and sweaty. not much fun for an eleven year old girl that was more excited to learn she is bound for a shopping trip to Dallas.

in a playful mood, at one point along the river, I did ask her if she thought we were being watched by “wild indian”s. I got an over-the-shoulder no so amused glance for my efforts. so, in typically goofy-Dad fashion I followed my question with, “how about some-what wild Indians”, then, “mildly irritated indians”. of course I had to go down a long list of options, and finally, “impossibly flatulent illegal aliens”. that earned me an, “can I call Mommy”.

meanwhile, I was asked Saturday why I’m so good at coaching kids in youth sports, Lacrosse and Soccer, to be specific. I had to think about that one. while my teams tend to win, and the players improve, I’d don’t think of myself as being a “good coach”. the truth is I think I’m valuable as a motivator. it gets dicy after that. all that said, we were at the Union Hill Polo grounds Saturday and I met a strapping young fellow all of seven. he has just started playing Lacrosse. when word got out that I’m in the Milton system many of them figured out who I am and it started to look like a lacrosse game was inevitable.

I’ll dodge that part of the story and get back tot he core question. I’m certain I can coax girls into playing great and successful Soccer because I convince them to believe in themselves and play as a team. most girls are not raised that way. while that is a blog post worthy of its own merits, I’ll run with it another time. but,I  believe I have a fair amount of success coaching boys in Lacrosse because I understand them better than most of their own Dads, especially if football has ever been involved. I relate to them. I probably think in similar fashion, and see the world in much the same way. my wife says I’ve never lost my sense of wonder and naiveté. I get VERY excited over “gear”.

haloin any event, all of this is a preamble to a brief discussion over Halo. going back to 2005 we had a shot at a movie with Peter Jackson (Hobbit movies) at the helm. but, Microsoft (owns all rights to Halo – and deserves a lot of credit for ONLY that), the best example of the evil empire itself mucked it all up by being greedy. its true, read more about that here:

How Peter Jackson’s Long-Awaited ‘Halo’ Movie Morphed Into Steven Spielberg Xbox-Only Series

 

Halo could have been a blockbuster similar to Avatar. but now it’s destined to be small-screened on the forth-coming XBox-TV.

this is classic Microsoft being stupid and stodgy and turning a great concept into frustrating irrelevance.

for perspective, Microsoft has come up with Office 365. but, you can’t import contact pictures up to it. so, in our social media networked business community that is another VERY stupid mistake.

so… that’s just par for the ill-kept course with Microsoft.

I want to buy more Microsoft stock (I bought a lot in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s). however, I keep having to ask myself how could a company that is so relevant be so goofy with its execution? kind of like Dad’s with sons that don’t understand what Lacrosse means.

it’s all tied together.

more later. we are off to the club today for a pool party. my Jeep driving Haley Anne might just join us. I am grateful for so much. I have been training hard of late and I am craving a hamburger.

today, in honor of Microsoft, and that of our Military heroes, I am listening to Despair by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. you can watch it here:

peace to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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riding that big glassy-fronted wave of life

March8

big wave riding record

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…this is what my life feels like, right now. however, I don’t think I want that to change.

life is like riding a big glassy-fronted wave. one stupid mistake and it things get nasty, or awesome.

what is the human body made of? water. the physical makeup of all our bodily fluids and ocean is very similar. and, its glorious they find each other.

life is like riding the [a] wave. something is always changing. adapting to these changes is the challenge, just as the surfer must adjust quickly and accurately if a successful ride is to be realized.

Eckharte Tolle wrote that “if the primary focus of of your life is the now, then you will be free from pain and suffering.” thusly, when you’re on a wave, time ceases to exist, and you’re in a such an intense combined state of euphoria, peace, presence and excitement that it’s something you have to return over and over again. once you realize that, to live any other way would seem completely insane. – Srinivas Rao, The Skool of Life

that makes surfing, and life’s potential rather like feeling close to God. just like being in the arms of a woman you truly and genuinely love.

so… you can’t change the way it breaks, but you can change the way you ride it.

…seriously.

“There’s no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.” - Frank Herbert, Science Fiction writer (1920-1986)

we encounter waves in every minute of every day. there are light waves which make things visible and sound waves so we can hear. even solid physical matter is a wave that is vibrating at a certain frequency. if we observe the behavior of waves, we can see how energy changes from one state to another, and back again.

just like the ebb-and-flow of life. the analogies and potential for metaphor are boundless.

I love to watch the ocean waves. my Mom was a child of the sea. she was drawn to it. her best childhood memories speak to it. she took me there at any and every opportunity. when I told her I might love surfing as much as running (this was big), she just nodded. she got it. of course, she was born under the sign of Cancer, the sign of the crab, so she liked coastal areas like Merced, California, and sunny beaches. she would spend an entire day contentedly watching the waves, preferably with me atop one.

the act centers me. sometimes waves are big and strong and sometimes they are gentle and calm. a wave can throw us back to the shore or if we are not careful can suck us in. water that were waves have nearly taken me a number of time. here is an example: no body is homeby brian patrick cork

life is whacky. and, God has a wild sense of humor.

whatever wave you are on, one thing you can be sure of is that they will always come, crash and then smooth itself out. if we learn to read the pattern of the waves in our lives through our interaction with them we can understand the energy of a wave, how to use it to our best advantage, how to dwell amidst its awesome power, and how to avoid crashing into, or being overcome, one.

big waves are actually quite rare. just like HUGE, epic events are much too rare in other peoples’ lives. I crave adventure, the wild twist of fate, less the cruel mirth of a capricious God.

for perspective…

eighty percent (80%) of all ocean waves are less than twelve feet high, and forty-five percent (45%) are smaller than four feet. the largest waves, those measuring over thirty-five feet, require anywhere from six to nine hundred miles of unobstructed ocean, or “fetch,” to reach full size. by the time such an anomaly encounters a reef break or shore incline, it has become a powerful rolling mass of wind-born energy moving through the water at speeds of thirty to fifty knots per hour and capable of exerting forces of more than three tons (that’s six thousand pounds of pressure per square foot) as it finally curls up-and-over itself and breaks. in life that may read like a tragedy… or adventure. some might ride that wild wave, whereas others might cower from it. however, in an attempt to elucidate (look it up) just why the experience of riding a wave is so unique, author Daniel Duane writes in Caught Inside: A Surfer’s Year on the California Coast:

“The climber never quite penetrates the mountain, the hiker remains trapped in the visual prison, but the surfer physically penetrates the heart of the ocean’s energy – and this is in no sense sentimentality – stands wet in its substance, pushed by its drive inside the kinetic vortex. Even riding a river, one rides a medium itself moved by gravity, likewise with a sailboard or on skis. Until someone figures out how to ride sound or light, surfing will remain the only way to ride energy.”

then, there is also…

emma jo rock climbing

for those driven to put themselves in the center of the “kinetic vortex” of big waves, the risk is incredible.

perhaps this is why being an adventurer, entrepreneur, provocateur is in my DNA. I’m “salty”.

being caught in the falling lip of a wave can send surfers underwater so deep and so fast that the pressure change breaks their eardrums and the capillaries in their lungs. there is the risk of losing everything in a heart beat. and, that is perfectly acceptable. dismemberment, fractures, or broken bones from contact with the ocean floor or from the seething force of whitewater are so common that Laird Hamilton – Big Wave Rider stopped counting his stitches after a thousand. both of his feet are disfigured from broken arches, but he claims that they may now be “stronger than before.”

how many times in LIFE have people around you said something like, “if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger”.

Derrik Doerner, another pioneer of tow-in surfing, and the man who launched Hamilton into the infamous wave at Teahupoo with a jet ski, was once hit in the face by a surfboard underwater. just before he went unconscious, he felt his cheek. “My hand went in, like, two inches,” he says. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in a helicopter. I had a broken jaw, broken cheekbone. I needed 123 stitches in all.”

…ride your waves of life.

“I never saw a moor, I never saw the sea; Yet know I how the heather looks, And what a wave must be. I never spoke with God, Nor visited in Heaven; Yet certain am I of the spot, As if a chart were given.” – Emily Dickerson, American Poet (1830-1886)

“Believe in love. Believe in magic. Believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will? –  Jon Bon Jovi

‘Tuesdays with Morrie’

okay… read this story to your daughters…

the story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. he’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “my God, this is terrible,” the wave says. “look what’s going to happen to me!”

then along comes another wave. it sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, “why do you look so sad?”

the first wave says, “you don’t understand! we’re all going to crash! all of us waves are going to be nothing! isn’t it terrible?”

The second wave says, “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.” – Tuesdays with Morrie, American Educator (1916-1995)

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.”  – Henry David Thoreau –  American Poet and Philosopher 1817-1862

“live your life darling. all of it. question everything. accept nothing.” – Barbara Anne Cork, Wife to one, Mother to all

the Chinese have a twist on the word, “interesting”. it’s a form of curse. but, it’s worth exploring.

there is a Muslim maxim that goes something like, “the promise is in the punishment, and the punishment is in the promise.”

I hope you all get hit hard by great waves. just don’t hold your breath too long.

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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