I selected Dad’s Playbook by Tom Limbert because it seemed like the kind of parenting book my husband might actually read. Limbert’s premise is that dads, like coaches, mentor, discipline, and love, which is why so many athletes refer to their coaches as “father figures.” He claims effective coaches don’t yell or motivate with fear; rather they inspire greatness. Therefore, in Dad’s Playbook, Limbert has collected more than one hundred of the relevant quotes from some of the greatest coaches of all time in the hopes of helping you “create a supportive, winning dynamic in your home.”
Limbert claims you don’t need a whistle if you speak from the heart. He separates Dad’s Playbook into five sections to illustrate this point: Lead and Inspire; Believe and Praise; Love and Respect; Teach and Learn; and Live and Enjoy. Then, Limbert starts each section with an introduction, explaining how the concept applies to both coaching and parenting. For instance, he begins the book by stressing the important role you play as the leader of your family.
“Through your example, every day you show your children how to treat each other, how to handle adversity, and how to get things done. Make no mistake about it,” Limbert continues, “it is a huge responsibility.” As parents, we must always remember that we are our child’s greatest role model and act accordingly. Coach John Wooden claims, “Young people need models, not critics.” One of the most important elements of leading and inspiring is balance, for coach Tommy Lasorda advises, “Managing is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze too hard and you kill it, not hard enough and it flies away.”
While Limbert acknowledges that praise is a controversial issue among parenting experts, he still recommends it. He claims, “When you believe in your child, she will in turn believe in herself – and ultimately succeed. Research can’t quantify this. It can’t be measured or tested in a lab, but we know it’s true.” But Limbert does recognize that specific praise is most effective, which is why he compiles numerous quotes to support this point. After all, coach Bill Walsh warns, ‘Nothing is more lame than a cookie-cutter compliment.’”
Love might seem like an unusual topic for a sports book but, as coach Phil Jackson explains, “Love is the force that ignites the spirit and binds teams together.” Therefore, before Limbert shares quotes about love and respect, he explains the important connection between the two, how it’s “a fundamental component of leadership and a gateway to compliance.” He claims if you treat your child with love and respect she responds accordingly.
Quotes from famous coaches. Pictures of sports icons. Memories of lessons learned. Dad’s Playbook by Tim Limbert is the perfect addition to your coffee table. Place it next to the remote control and the sports enthusiast in your house is sure to pick it up, if not at half-time then at least during a seventh inning stretch.
Read my other blog Befriending Forty.