Does long toss translate to velocity?


#1

I know this topic comes up from time to time but would like to hear thoughts from others. My opinion is long toss distance does not translate to velocity. Don’t know that it does much if any good if doing to increase velocity from the mound. I do believe it is good for conditioning the arm. So many different opinions out there some being its not only not helpful for increasing velocity but counterproductive. My kid is a regular long tosser, loves doing it. Just curious to know how many out there do it & how many think it’s harmful.


#2

Long toss is just catch by another name.
Throwing for distance is great. The distance gives a measure of effort. The effort can be attained throwing into a target or net that is 20 feet away, but, in my experience it is hard for kids to gauge their effort this way.
Some say that long toss creates a different stimulus and creates more strain on the arm, elbow ect., that would be point of long toss. The only thing that accurately recreates throwing off of a mound is throwing off of a mound. But, throwing needs to be the cornerstone of work for a pitcher. Long toss, flat grounds, mound work and other things…it is all throwing.
I love long toss. But I do not think there is some magic correlation between a certain distance and velocity.


#3

If long toss translated to velocity, all MLB pitchers would throw 101 MPH.


#4

Assuming there is no wind, the ball must have a minimum exit velocity to travel a given distance. This assumes the ball exits at the optimum launch angle. If the angle is not optimum, the velocity will have to be higher to achieve that distance. In that sense, distance and velocity are related.

I feel like pitching velocity is improved by long toss when long toss alleviates some limiting deficit in the player. That might be shoulder mobility or timing or sense of effort. I also believe that varied throwing stimuli help the player improve command of throwing in general. In our experience long toss, has definitely helped to improve velocity. We also have empirical data that shows higher velocities for any given day when long toss is incorporated as part of the pre-pitch routine.

The biggest long term increases in velocity for our older player have occurred sometime after significant general strength improvement and mechanical changes.

It is a little hard to discern what has had the biggest impact because frequently a continuous shotgun approach is employed where our player conditions, long tosses, uses weighted balls, improves mechanics, improves nutrition, and naturally grows. Doing all those things will have a big impact on velocity for most players. However, he likes to long toss and likes the long loose feeling that long toss gives his arm.

Good luck,

Ted


#5

Well said Ted.
If the approach is long toss is good for arm conditioning…well, arm conditioning is going to be an important part of arm health and velocity.
Its part of the puzzle for sure.


#6

I have to disagree here guys. I think that long toss distance shows a persons arm strength. At the high school level, the kids who can throw longer long toss tend to throw harder than others.


#7

Astros25, At one time I felt the same way but my opinion has shifted over time. There are some who believe it’s not only unhelpful but harmful; I don’t agree there. I do tend to agree with Fearsome & Ted that it is a good way to condition the arm but I no longer believe it translates into increased velocity on the mound. My son topped out at about 77 at 14 years old & long tossed up to around 260 feet. He recently turned 17 and tops at around 86 but can long toss up to 350 feet. He enjoys the long toss and I believe it has benefits, just don’t believe one of them is increased velocity from a mound.


#8

Mechanics off a mound has profound effect on velocity. Those mechanics are much harder to (reasonably) master than what it takes to long toss. Most of the harder throwing pitchers are going to be able to throw the ball long, but not every OF that can throw from the warning track to the plate can throw 95 from the mound.