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Arm Action, Arm Path, and the Perfect Pitch: Building a Million-Dollar Arm Paperback – February 11, 2009


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Arm Action, Arm Path, and the Perfect Pitch: Building a Million-Dollar Arm + The Art & Science of Pitching + Fastball Fitness: The Art and Science of Training to Throw With Real Velocity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Coaches Choice; Pap/DVD edition (February 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606790420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606790427
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas R. House, Ph.D., is recognized as one of the world s foremost authorities on pitching. He pitched on the professional level from 1967 to 1979 for the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, and Seattle Mariners. After his playing career ended, he coached for the Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, and Chiba Lotte Marines (Tokyo). In 1998, the American Baseball Coaches Association presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to baseball. Tom is also widely renowned as a scientist and researcher. His company, Bio-Kinetics, leads the way in computerized, three-dimensional motion analysis, helping athletes learn how to maximize performance through proper biomechanics. Another of his companies, Functional Fitness Paradigms, Inc., trains elite and everyday athletes to optimize their physical strengths and flexibility. Tom has authored or co-authored more than a dozen instructional books and has been featured on more than two dozen instructional DVDs.

Doug Thorburn arrived at the National Pitching Association in 2005 as an intern from the inaugural class of the Sports M.B.A. program at San Diego State University. Since then, he has taken the lead role with high-speed motion analysis and the NPA model for pitching biomechanics. Prior to joining the NPA and earning his M.B.A., Doug worked with the front office of the Sacramento River Cats, and earned a B.S. in cognitive neuropsychology from the University of California San Diego.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By HillPitcher2006 on July 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a self-taught/trained pitcher utilizing only Tom House's methods, I got myself a D-I scholarship on the soundness of his mechanical fundamentals and lifting and conditioning programs. I primarily worked off of The Pitching Edge (2nd ed.), Fit to Pitch, and some of his videos released around that time (early 2000's). After taking a few years off of pitching, I'm now getting back into training and decided to see what new materials were available from the National Pitching Association. Here are my thoughts on this boook:

CONS:
1. The title is terrible. Why not The Pitching Edge (3rd ed.)? It's hard to recommend a book to others when the title is practically a sentence.
2. The first 44 pages of the book are useless to anyone who knows Tom House and his work. Maybe new readers will find it interesting, but leave the history lesson on the website or in a paragraph in the back of the book. If we bought your book, we already trust your experience and methods.
3. It is unclear how much of the book was actually written by Tom House. It appears as though he only contributed a short paragraph at the end of most chapters.
4. I wish there was more material on strength training. Like ten times more material. Honestly, Fit to Pitch was difficult to understand and use, with all of its formulas and technical jargon. And did anyone really understand the Kevin Brown charts in the "peaking" section of The Pitching Edge (2nd ed.)?? Give us some straightforward training programs that are organized and presented in a usable format like every other S&C book out there.
5. The organization of the book is very confusing. It's difficult to use the book as a reference via the chapter titles because someone thought it was clever to name them after "conventional wisdoms.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Excellence on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best pitching book ever. Unlike some earlier House books that seemed like they were from the occult, this book is clear and understandable to mortals. The writing is superb, and the graphics clearly demonstrate each point. House has an understanding of pitching mechanics that exceeds everyone in the field. Now, he's reable by everyday baseball coaches. If you are concerned with mechanics of pitching, this is THE BOOK.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Caityb on June 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book really made me re-think what I thought I knew about pitching. I have heard all sorts of theories on pitching mechanics, and most of them seemed based on opinion. House and Thorburn do an exceptional job of breaking down these theories, and they use hard evidence to challenge them. This book is great for players, parents, coaches, or anyone that is curious about pitching mechanics. Thorburn even takes it a step further by tackling concepts and ideas outside of pitching.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Buyer_66 on March 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to learn better how to help my ten-year-old son become a pitcher. The intended readership seems to be at a higher level, probably for professional coaches at the high-school level and above, as well as for pitchers at that level. A lot of space is devoted to explaining the measurement results of samples taken from thirty pitchers, using video motion analysis. The pitchers are at various levels, high school through professional, but I suspect that the sample size is too small to have good confidence in the inferences drawn from the studies. But certainly, the data does provide interesting information.

Measuring the length of a pitcher's stride and calculating stride efficiency as a proportion of the pitcher's height seems a very useful analysis. A long stride apparently aids in velocity, as well as moving the release point closer to the batter, increasing effective velocity by a small amount. On the other hand, some professional pitchers apparently believe that too long a stride can hurt control. I read elsewhere that Greg Maddux shortened his stride a bit at some point during his career, deciding to emphasize control over velocity.

The best sections of the book in my view, were the discussions of five pitching aces and the observations about the differing arm slots. The photos show Pedro Martinez with a horizontal arm slot, basically side-arm, with other pitchers at higher slots. These analyses seem to convincingly argue against the common advice to "get on top of the ball." The information that side-arm throwing appears not to have any correlation with arm injuries may be very helpful. In my own son's case, he seems most natural throwing a bit sidearm, though he is still at such an early level that his style may change.
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