Long toss throwing has become a major component of most high school and college pitchers' throwing programs.
This article will review the purpose and effects of utilizing a long toss program in high school and collegiate pitchers, and then provide baseball coaches with practical tips and applications for long tossing.
Purpose of long toss throwing
- To stretch the throwing muscles of the arm, shoulder and back
- To strengthen and increase the stamina of the arm and shoulder muscles
- To develop better hand and arm speed which will increase velocity
Long toss program
- Jog, stretch and throw short distances easy to loosen up
- Start throwing at 60 feet, continue to back away from target after 4-5 throws at 75, 90, 100 125, to 150 feet
- When not pitching in a game, perform this drill every other day
- Normal time: 10-12 minutes; 15-20 long throws
- Get into a stance as you would to catch a fly ball
- Use an outfielder’s crow hop to gain body momentum and throw with an overhand or 3/4 overhand motion
- Use proper lead arm action - throw the glove out at the target and whip it down and back outside the lead hip
- Get full extension of the arm
- Flex at the waist during the release and follow through
- Finish with a long arc of deceleration of the throwing arm. Hand should end up low outside the lead leg
- When at the max distance, continue to throw on a line using the natural release point
- Follow the throw with your body. Transfer the arm and shoulder forces onto your legs and body
- Repetitions - make 15-20 throws at full distance, 5-6 at 75% effort, 5-6 at 90%, 5-6 at 100% effor.
- Cool down by tossing easy at 40-50 feet
Distance vs. velocity
It is dependent on launch angle, spin, elevation, etc. It is only a rough approximation. The numbers I remember and that seem to correlate pretty well to my son's velocity are: 50 mph ~ 120' 60 mph ~ 170' 70 mph ~ 210' 80 mph ~ 260' 90 mph ~ 305' 100 mph ~ 360' so 250' ~ 78mph 300' ~ 89 mph 350' ~ 97 mph, although since the drag starts going up pretty quickly in the upper 90s that's probably a bit on the optimistic side for 350'.
so would this mean that if I can throw the ball 280 ft i would be throwing in the low 80s?
280' would be equivalent to about 84 mph. However, that depends on how efficient you are when throwing long toss and how efficient you are when throwing off the mound. There are people who can throw the ball 280' but can't break 80 off the mound while there are people who can throw 84 off the mound who can't throw the ball 280'. It is just a generalization.
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What do you think?
Now it's time to hear from you:
Are there any additional tips for long toss throwing that I missed?
Or maybe you have an idea of how I can make this article even better.
Either way, leave a comment and let me know.