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The Art & Science of Pitching Paperback – April, 2006
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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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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Top customer reviews
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.
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.