I heard one of Tom House’s principle is to get an extension toward home plate. I’m determining to by ‘Pitching Edge’ by House and I need to know if his philosophy is good… and i’m not sure if this ‘towel drill’ and ‘extension’ is safe to buy. I’d like some advice from Roger and other NPA followers on this


The Pitching Edge is not up to date with his current teachings so I would recommend buying his more recent book, The Art and Science of Pitching. You can order it

I don’t believe “extension” is one of House’s current teachings. Rather, he believes that good mechanics and timing will allow the release point to happen out front where it should.

As for “extension” being the (or one of the) purposes of the towel drill, well, that is a common misconception. The purpose of the towel drill is NOT to prqactice extension or snapping down. It’s purpose is to allow one to get in lots of reps practicing their mechanics without the wear and tear of throwing a baseball. Hitting the target with the towel isn’t the goal - it’s just feedback. The goal is to have good mechanics. Hitting the target is feedback letting you know that you got your release point out front (assuming you did it using good mechanics as opposed to doing something like lunging).

During my pitching lessons (& throwing in general) I hear two things all the time -

  1. “extend towards the glove”
  2. & for fastballs - keep your fingers behind the ball.

The way my pitching coach has described it to me is that you should feel like your lat muscles (the big muscles in your back) are stretched out and your arm is extended to catcher’s glove (my coach actually said to throw at his cup - but I really would rather extend to the glove).

What is strange when I seem to be lossing velocity and control - somebody (coach or father) reminds to - extend towards the glove and keep my fingers behind the ball - my control comes back and my velocity goes up.

Based on some new science words I learned in school this would be empirical evidence that these two things have some positive impact on my pitching.