The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Sports Life

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

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

saying Goodbye to Chris Langer

October9

Hello Pearl.

I’ve only just learned about Chis’s death by reading the obituary section of the Radford Highlander magazine. I did a quick Google search and came up with his broader obituary.

I knew Chris for a couple of years at Radford University. I played on the Lacrosse team with him. I’ll submit his tour were the glory years. One of my favorite memories of Chris was him defending the goal at practice with a sawed-off goalie stick without a head. I’m pretty certain he was on acid. I recall Coach Woolley looking askance at him with chagrin. However, that weekend Chris shut-out Richmond. Chris was fairly well known for experimenting with a lot of things, including nutrition. He was always razor-thin. Chris was very intense. But, you could not help but like him on a deep level.

“An accomplished athlete, Chris played two intercollegiate sports for Radford University, where he was an All-Conference lacrosse goaltender and a member of the 1981 Virginia Intercollegiate State Championship soccer team.”

I’m not the least surprised Chris travelled far-and-wide with a rather ecclectic career-path searching for a way to connect with a lot of people and make a difference. I’m also not surprised that he appeared to feel that he pissed-off a lot of people. I’m sure they all forgive him because he had an aura of uniqueness about him that made him more interesting and inspiring than irritating or hurtful.

I really do hope this message finds you. People cared about your husband, and his legacy is real. Consider me a friend. I coach my daughters in Soccer and everyone else’s sons in Lacrosse. I tell my Chris Langer story to every goalie on every Lacrosse team I coach.

“Chris” Cork, ’84

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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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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