Cool Sports Dad: 75 Amazing Sporting Tricks to Teach and Impress Your Kids


Kids look up to their dads. Dads have to be able to break in a new baseball glove (and to know which glove is age-appropriate), to answer every question imaginable (why is a football called a pigskin?), to teach their child how to throw a knuckleball, skate backwards on hockey skates, or spin a basketball on one fingertip. When it comes to sports, dads are expected to know and do everything. Such an amazing dad is rare. For the rest of us, there’s Cool Sports Dad.

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Kids look up to their dads. Dads have to be able to break in a new baseball glove (and to know which glove is age-appropriate), to answer every question imaginable (why is a football called a pigskin?), to teach their child how to throw a knuckleball, skate backwards on hockey skates, or spin a basketball on one fingertip. When it comes to sports, dads are expected to know and do everything. Such an amazing dad is rare. For the rest of us, there’s Cool Sports Dad.

Cool Sports Dad is packed full of mini essays about sports by the world’s most knowledgeable experts. The contributors to Cool Sports Dad range from instantly recognizable All-Star names like Jerome Bettis and David Wright to the next generation of extreme athletes like BMX biker and 2005 X Games silver medalist Scotty Cranmer and Bassmasters fishing champion Kevin Van Dam. All have been chosen for inclusion because they are at the very top of their profession, be it baseball, basketball, football, BMX racing, or even fishing. Fathers may not know everything, but with Cool Sports Dad on-hand they can give the impression they do.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alexander Huber may not be a household name for most American readers, but a lifetime of remarkable free-ascent climbs has made him a legend in the climbing community. Kicking off at a brisk pace, Huber's memoir details a 16-meter fall he sustained on a climb in Yosemite. The book then shifts to his childhood in Germany, and the author describes learning to climb from his father and setting off with his brother (who could drive) to climb the Dolmite mountains in Italy. The narrative momentum grinds to a halt when Huber discusses the many mountains he has climbed in his career, the details of which will likely be lost on most readers. Huber assumes that readers know a piton from a bivouac, but a glossary would have been helpful (there is no explanation of the difference between "sport climbing" and "free climbing" for instance). While Huber's account will appeal to readers interesting in mountaineering and extreme outdoor sports, its myopic focus may be lost on a more general audience. Photos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616088286
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/13/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Fischer has written numerous books on sports for adults and young readers, including Greatest Sports Rivalries, The 50 Coolest Jobs in Sports, and Do Curve Balls Really Curve? He has written for the New York Times and Sports Illustrated for Kids, and has worked for Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, and the National Sports Daily. He was presented a Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Publishing in 1998. David lives in River Vale, New Jersey with his wife Carolyn and children Rachel and Jack.


A professor at Brandeis University, David Hackett Fischer is the author of several noted books on history, including Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement, The Great Wave: Price Movements in Modern History, Paul Revere's Ride, and Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. He is co-editor, with James M. McPherson, of the Pivotal Moments in American History series published by Oxford University Press. A graduate of Princeton and Johns Hopkins Universities, he divides his time between homes in Massachusetts and Maine.

Author biography courtesy of Oxford University Press.

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    1. Hometown:
      Wayland, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 2, 1935
    2. Place of Birth:
      Baltimore, Maryland
    1. Education:
      A.B., Princeton University, 1958; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1962

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part 1 Baseball 1

Choosing the Right Baseball Bat: David Wright, MLB player 2

Choosing a Baseball Glove: Nomar Garciaparra, MLB player 4

Breaking in a New Glove: Denny Whiteside, Rawlings Sporting Goods glove engineer 6

Fielding Grounders: David Eckstein, MLB infielder 9

Shagging Outfield Flies: Jacoby Ellsbury, MLB outfielder 11

Stealing a Base: Juan Pierre, MLB player 13

Firing a Fastball: Jason Marquis, MLB pitcher 15

Making a Knuckleball Dance: Tim Wakefield, MLB pitcher 17

Framing a Pitch: Jason Kendall, MLB player 19

Keeping Score at a Ball Game: Bill Shannon, MLB official scorer 21

Snagging a Souvenir Ball: Zack Hample, ballhound 23

Spitting Sunflower Seeds like a Major Leaguer: Orlando Hudson, MLB player 26

Part 2 Basketball 29

Swishing More Foul Shots: Grant Hill, NBA player 30

Shooting a Pull-up Jumper: David West, NBA player 32

Improving Your 3-Point Shot: Steve Kerr, NBA player 34

Shooting a Turnaround Jumper: Swin Cash, WNBA player 36

Dribbling like a Point Guard: Chris Duhon, NBA player 38

Learning the Crossover Dribble: Derrick Rose, NBA player 40

Making a Perfect Bounce Pass: Steve Blake, NBA player 43

Boxing Out for a Rebound: Herb Brown, NBA coach 45

Fronting the Post: Herb Brown, NBA coach 48

Spinning a Basketball on Your Finger: Michael Wilson, Harlem Globetrotter 50

Part 3 Football 53

Dropping Back like a Pro Quarterback: Matt Ryan, NFL quarterback 54

Completing More Passes: Matt Ryan, NFL quarterback 57

Throwing a Perfect Spiral: Aaron Rodgers, NFL quarterback 59

Faking a Hand Off with Play Action: Sage Rosenfels, NFL quarterback 61

Catching More Touchdowns: Tony Holt, NFL wide receiver 63

Kicking a Soccer-Style Field Goal: Robbie Gould, NFL placekicker 65

Booming a Punt: Brian Moorman, NFL punter 67

Long Snapping for a Punt: Jama Dearth, NFL long snapper 69

Making a Paper Football: Jerome Bettis, NFL player 72

Part 4 Golf 75

Gripping a Golf Club: David Leadbetter, pro coach 76

Reading the Green: Dave Stockton, golf pro 79

Keeping Your Putts on Line: Dave Stockton, pro golfer 81

Improving Your Short Game: Justin Leonard, pro golfer 83

Escaping a Sand Trap: Gary Player, pro golfer 86

Part 5 Ice Hockey 89

Snapping a Wrist Shot: Chris Drury, NHL player 91

Shooting a Slap Shot: Jason Arnott, NHL player 92

Winning Mote Face-Offs: Kris Draper, NHL player 94

Minding Your Net: Ed Belfour, NHL goaltender 96

Skating Backward on Defense: Tom Poti, NHL Player 99

Taping a Hockey Stick for a Better Grip: Eric Desjardins, NHL player 101

Part 6 Soccer 103

Blasting a Goal Kick: Tony Meola, MLS goalkeeper 104

Converting a Penalty Shot: Heather O'Reilly, pro soccer player 106

Bending It like Beckham: Brad Davis, MLS player 108

Improving Your Header: Brian McBride, MLS player 110

Saving a Direct Kick: John Busch, MLS goalkeeper 113

Stopping a Breakaway: Matt Reis, MLS goalkeeper 115

Part 7 Tennis 117

Serving an Ace: James Blake, pro tennis player 118

Returning a Speedy Serve: Melanie Oudin, pro tennis player 120

Swinging a Two-Handed Backhand: Melanie Oudin, pro tennis player 122

Landing a Topspin Lob: Brad Gilbert, tennis coach 125

Hitting a Feathery Drop Shot: Brad Gilbert, tennis coach 127

Nailing a Volley Winner: Wayne Bryan, tennis coach 129

Part 8 Indoor Fun and Games 133

Choosing the Right Bowling Ball: Chris Barnes, pro bowler 134

Executing a Proper Billiards Break: Ewa Laurance, billiards Hall of Famer 136

Using a Mechanical Bridge: Ewa Laurance, billiards Hall of Famer 139

Throwing a Bull's-eye Dart: Steve Brown, pro darter 141

Spinning on Ice Skates: Elaine Zayak, ice skater 144

Skating a Forward Crossover: Elaine Zayak, ice skater 146

Swimming the Breaststroke: Rebecca Soni, Olympic breaststroker 148

Punching a Speed Bag: Angelo Dundee, boxing trainer 150

Kicking like Bruce Lee: Erich Krauss, Muay Thai fighter 153

Juggling Three Balls in the Air: Jon Koons, juggler 155

Part 9 Outdoorfun and Games 159

Landing a Kick Flip on a Skateboard: Bucky Lasek, pro skateboarder 160

Riding a Rail on a Skateboard: Bucky Lasek, pro skateboarder 162

Skiing Moguls: Heather McPhie, U.S. Freestyle Ski Team 164

Surfing the Perfect Wave: Stephanie Gilmore, pro surfer 166

Spiking a Volleyball: Heather McPeak, pro beach volleyballa 169

Blowing Past a Lacrosse Defender: Gary Gait, pro lacrosse player 172

Riding a Bicycle with No Hands: Scotty Cranmer, pro BMX rider 174

Putting a Worm on a Fish Hook: Kevin VanDam, pro fisherman 176

Catching More Fish: Kevin Van Dam, pro fishennan 177

Skipping a Stone across Water: Russell Byars, record holder 179

Tossing a Frisbee: Bart Watson, U.S. National Ultimate Frisbee Team 181

Acknowledgments 185

About the Author 186

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