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The Art & Science of Pitching Paperback – February 28, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


If you are looking for ways to optimize a pitcher's performance, The Art and Science of Pitching is your book. -- Rob Nenn, Former Pitcher, Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, San Francisco Giants

It's a must read for pitchers, parents, and coaches. -- Randy Johnson, New York Yankees Pitcher

This book brings together the best information and instruction available on pitching and preparing to pitch. -- Karl Kuhn, Pitching Coach, University of Virginia

This book is exactly what it says it is. Once again, Tom and his associates have pitched a perfect game. -- Will Carroll, Owner/Author, Baseball Prospectus

About the Author

Tom House, PhD is considered by many to be the "father of modern pitching mechanics". He is a cofounder of the National Pitching Association, which leads the way in three-dimensional analysis of human movement, the physical preparation to support this movement, the metabolic preparation to fuel human activity, and the necessary mental and emotional make-up to accomplish all of the above. House pitched on the professional level from 1967 to 1979 for the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, and the Seattle Mariners. He has coached since 1980 for the Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, and Chiba Lotte Marines (Japan), as well as in Latin America. On the amateur level, House is an information and instruction coordinator for 12 baseball academies across the United States and Canada. He directly accesses 5,000 to 6,000 player, coaches, and parents per year in clinic settings. He travels the world as an international consultant, performance analyst, and sports psychologist. House is currently an advisor with the American Sports Medicine Institute and the Titleist Performance Institute, was a cofounder of the Pitch It Forward Foundation, and has paneled seminars for the American College of Sports Medicine.

Gary Heil, cofounder of the National Pitching Association and the Pitch It Forward Foundation, is an author, educator, lawyer, consultant, and coach, and presently serves as a member of the board of directors of Gymboree and FrontRange Solutions. For the past three decades, he has been an ardent student of the human side of organizations. He was a pioneer in the study of loyal customer relationships and he remains a vocal and passionate advocate for finding more effective ways to lead inspired teams.

Steve Johnson has been involved with the game of baseball on various levels for the past 35 years as a player, coach, and instructor, and currently serves as coach and advisory board member for the National Hitting Association. He is the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Lefebvre Training Center and developed the strength component for the Train the Swing program. Johnson holds a certification in strength and conditioning for the striker/thrower sports, and in this capacity has done extensive workshops and serves as guest lecturer to players and coaches at the professional, college, and youth levels.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Coaches Choice; DVD Video edition (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158518960X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585189601
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Green on January 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From page 47 to the end, this book is great. Chapter's 1-7 need plenty of help.
First, if your going to talk about momentum (linear and angular) and kinetic energy, then explain what they are and how they relate. The same goes for terms like adduction and abduction. In that way, when a glove hand gets pulled into the finish position under the armpit or wherever, we can talk about the effect of that on angular acceleration; which leads to a discussion of torque and onward to angular velocity and ball speed.
Second: get rid of quaint terms like foot/arch complex unless you explain what that means and why you have to say that instead of just 'arch'.
Third, if your going to use stick figures from 2D and 3D imagery and talk about separation angles, then it would be nice if you defined the angles. For instance, hip shoulder separation angle (40-60 degrees) is stated but not defined. My question was, angle relative to what? A vertical line running through the front hip node or what? This book is not an in-house memo and should not be written as such.
Fourth: Graphs found in the figures are completely inadequate. Figures 3-3, 4-5, and 6-2 are good examples of decent data inadequately displayed. What's the point of distinguishing right and left arms on a horizontal adduction graph when the lines describing those two arms look identical? The lines in 6-2 are, I guess, supposed to represent the glove and glove elbow but the lines are identical and unlabeled. Figure 4-5 is the worst offender. There are supposed to be three lines showing angular velocity change with time (which should have been tied to a discussion of torque but no dice. One line is barely visible and the other lines are, again, indistinguishable. Even my students know that color displays converted to black and white require some extra thought if the display is going to be useful.
Do right by your data, always. This data deserves better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Clark on March 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
I loved The Pitching Edge VHS years ago. It made perfect sense to me. I never got the book, but want to now. I have the utmost respect for Tom House; he has dedicated his life to helping pitchers be the best they can be. He prolonged Nolan Ryan's career. But, I found this book hard to follow. I had troubling lining up some of the photos with explanations. It was highly technical in places, so much so that I could not follow it (I've coached Youth and HS for over 20 years). I also found points counter intuitive, especially when coaching younger kids. I'd never tell a developing pitcher to close up and step across the front leg, or, conversely step out and fly open. Step to your target! I'm finding myself much less interested in the physics than in what my instincts or gut reaction tells me. I've followed the Pitching Edge for years and those principles have worked. My guys throw hard, have had no arm trouble at all, and can go innings. To each his own, I guess.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Woodrick on February 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up playing baseball and pitching. After college, I hung up the cleats and did not play until recently when I joined a mens senior baseball league. Reading through this book, you realize that many of the things taught to players were actually incorrect. This book sheds new light on proper mechanics and should be read by anyone wanting to be a better pitcher and keep their arm healthy. I am not as strong, flexible, or conditioned as I was in high school or college, but I am now throwing almost as hard as I was then and with no elbow or shoulder pain.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TW VINE VOICE on June 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tom House is the premier pitching coach in the United States and has a large cross section of successful pitchers that attribute many of their pitching achievements to House's training and expertise. His relentless studies on the biomechanics of pitching combined with the use of inventive technology have resulted in an encyclopedia of pitching expertise backed by science, experience, and results. In The Art & Science of Pitching, House (along with fellow authors Gary Heil and Steve Johnson) provides readers access to the full scope of his research.

The Art & Science of Pitching is laid out in four sections; mechanics, training techniques, strategies, and fitness, all complete with diagrams when applicable. This book is as comprehensive as it is valuable, meaning it is absolutely full of qualified information. One of the weaknesses of the book is in the authors' ability to convey the physics behind the mechanics of pitching. While it is evident they have conducted considerable studies on the subject, it can be difficult to replicate their explanations on the mound even when reviewing the diagrams provided. Another surprising omission is the lack of attention to discussing grips; which play a prominent role in pitching.

The information provided should be essential for anyone seeking to improve his or her performance; whether beginning as a pitcher of refining one's abilities after years of play. The book will prove somewhat complicated to use for those without any pitching experience; however, this should not detract from the wisdom provided, as it should be implemented from the start of any career if possible. I recommend this book to all baseball players interested in pitching but advise supplementing it with more basic material in order to be able to fully absorb the information.
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