Cover image for The pitching edge
The pitching edge
House, Tom, 1947-
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Champaign, IL : Human Kinetics, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiii, 151 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV871 .H52 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
GV871 .H52 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, and on and on. Tom House helped develop these athletes into the great pitchers they became-Hall of Famers and Cy Young award winners. Having spent 20 years in the Major Leagues as a pitcher and pitching coach, and more than that studying the science of pitching, House was well-prepared to unleash the maximum potential from his star pitcher pupils. Now, in the new edition of his highly acclaimed The Pitching Edge , House accomplishes through a book what he has been doing directly for decades with pitching prodigies.

To House, pitchers are products of four things-their genes, their degree of mastery of the pitching motion,their level of physical conditioning, and their mental toughness and skills. The first factor cannot be changed; the other three can, and they form the three parts of The Pitching Edge .

Part I is the best, clearest, and most complete information on pitching mechanics ever presented in a book. Each phase of the pitching motion, from initial set up through the post-follow-through is explained in detail and demonstrated through computer-generated stick figures and accompanying full-body line drawings. Here, and throughout the book, the author offers special trouble-shooting advice for pitching problems in an element called House Calls.

Physical conditioning specifically for pitchers is covered in Part II. Far beyond the standard training advice, this section of the book provides clear exercise and program prescriptions for taking care of the throwing arm, preparing between starts and relief appearances, and maintaining all off-season fitness gains throughout the long competitive season.

Finally, in Part III House looks at the psychology of pitching. More than the standard goal setting and mental imagery mumbo-jumbo, this section mixes what House has found to be most effective in mental and emotional management on and off the playing field. Always focused on the practical, this part of the book includes many valuable lessons and tips for making winning strategic pitching decisions throughout the course of a game and season. As a bonus feature, House includes his new Athletic Determination Inventory, which measures pitchers' motivational drive and mental makeup.

In all, House has masterfully combined the art and science of pitching into a very useful guide for players and coaches. This book truly is The Pitching Edge .

Author Notes

Tom House is one of the top pitching experts in the world. After playing for the legendary Rod Dedeaux at USC, House pitched in the Major Leagues for the Atlanta Braves from 1967 to 1975, for the Boston Red Sox from 1976 to 1977, and for the Seattle Mariners from 1977 to 1979. He then coached pitchers for the Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers. He also has coached in Japan and Latin America.

In addition to his on-field experience, House has made pitching a scientific study. His company, Bio-Kinetics, uses computer-generated, three-dimensional motion analysis to help athletes maximize performance through proper biomechanics. House also holds a PhD in psychology and has been a sport psychology consultant for many professional and amateur baseball players.

House is the author of eight previous books on baseball and has produced eight instructional videos on pitching. He is a member of the Major League Baseball Players' Association, as well as the American College of Sports Medicine and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. In 1998 House was presented with the American Baseball Coaches Association's lifetime achievement award.

When he's not coaching or analyzing pitchers, House enjoys jogging, weight training, and golf. He and his wife, Marie, live in Del Mar, California.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Ages 16-adult. Former big league hurler Tom House is the competent instructor in this three-part program aimed at pitching coaches and serious baseball players. Beginning with instructions and drills practiced off the pitching mound, House demonstrates the importance of balance, direction, and weight transfer. Then he covers the mechanics of throwing a fastball, breaking ball, change-up, and split-fingered fastball. In the final segment, House uses sophisticated equipment to analyze the moves of several young pitchers. Throughout, captions recap House's pointers and emphasize the importance of proper form and alignment. As he interacts comfortably with his students (one of whom is Nolan Ryan's talented son, Reid), House also demonstrates how a coach can constructively challenge, instruct, and encourage young players. --Candace Smith

Table of Contents

Forewordp. v
Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Part I The Five Absolutes of Techniquep. 1
Chapter 1 Dynamic Balancep. 5
Chapter 2 Postural Stabilizationp. 13
Chapter 3 Flex-T Elbow Alignment at Foot Strikep. 23
Chapter 4 Late Torso Rotationp. 31
Chapter 5 Flex-T Elbow Position at Release Pointp. 37
Part II Functional Physical Trainingp. 53
Chapter 6 Programs and Tools for Trainingp. 59
Chapter 7 Transfer of Training to Performancep. 103
Part III Mental and Emotional Essentialsp. 109
Chapter 8 Strategic Commandp. 113
Chapter 9 Concentrationp. 119
Chapter 10 Confidencep. 131
Chapter 11 Self-Directionp. 135
Indexp. 147
About the Authorp. 151