What makes a dad sports-savvy?
In 'Cool Sports Dad,' professional athletes offer 75 tips in many sports for dads to share with kids
In "Cool Sports Dad," Washington Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis makes this recommendation on throwing a fastball: Generate power from your legs, not your arm. (Chuck Myers, McClatchy-Tribune / April 5, 2010)
But you're already a great dad, right? And that's the hard part.
So, to add cool to your job description, how about arming yourself with nifty sports know-how, courtesy of "Cool Sports Dad: 75 Amazing Sporting Tricks to Teach and Impress Your Kids" (Skyhorse Publishing), by David Fischer?
This compilation of tips is filled with advice from pros in their respective fields. None is more than a few pages long, getting to the heart of workaday skills (such as fielding grounders, from MLB infielder David Eckstein) to the more challenging (how to escape a sand trap, from golf legend Gary Player) to the less-ubiquitous-but-seriously-flashy (spinning a basketball on your finger, from Harlem Globetrotter Michael "Wild Thing" Wilson).
Two chapters also cover less familiar sports, as well as outdoor games, such as darts, lacrosse and even surfing.
This book is geared to dad, but the kids can be girls and boys. Moreover, several contributors are women, leading us to note that nobody — including pro hockey player Jason Arnott — is stopping mom from helping her child master a slap shot. (Hint: Twist your hips when shooting!)
Each chapter leads off with a quick tip, followed by more precise information on the skill. We share a few here:
Boxing out for a rebound (Herb Brown, NBA assistant coach): Anticipate every shot will be missed.
Firing a fastball (All-Star pitcher Jason Marquis): Generate power from your legs, not your arm.
Scoring on a penalty shot (Olympic soccer medalist Heather O'Reilly): Don't reveal where you are going to kick the ball. The goalkeeper will be watching your eyes for a clue, she says, so once you decide which corner to aim at — don't look there.
Throwing a bull's-eye dart (Steve Brown, inducted into the National Darts Hall of Fame): Aim with your throwing arm, not your eyes.
Whatever you do, sports or not (from Globetrotter Wilson): Practice. A lot.