Long toss and weather

we begin our long toss and throwing program in 2 weeks. we can get in the gym after basketball practice at night. this is what we have always done in the past is come in about 7 everynight and do our throwing and workouts. the problem with that is the max distance we can get in the gym is 120’.
my question is when is it too cold to long toss outside. we play, scrimmage and practice in the 30s all the time, but for the sake of this winter and going outside to do our longtoss what would be a cutoff point temprature wise. id like to get on the football field after school as often as possible so we can get the distances our program is set for on a consistant basis.

I grew up in upstate New York where the first two or three weeks of every season, without fail, were with snow piled next to the dugout and 35-40 degree temperatures. But we still played.

In my second year in the Chicago Cubs organization, we opened in April in South Bend, Indiana and there were snow flurries all three games – and we still played.

My point is: if some of your games are played when the weather’s poor and cold, then it’s OK practice to those conditions beforehand. But, just like prepping for game in really cold weather, make your guys wear sleeves (preferably Under Armor Cold Gear because it’s not bulky) and make sure they’re properly warmed up (sweating) before any throwing takes place. Then, after the throwing session, don’t have them stand around outside. Either keep them moving, or bring them back in to shower down or change their sweaty shirts.

Another thing: at no point during the Chicago Cubs Spring Training were we as pitchers ever allowed to extend beyond 120 feet. The entire organization was stopped from any throwing beyond 120 feet. Of course, some of the big leaguers would do as they pleased, but… 120 feet for early throwing is actually a great distance. You may not need to extend your guys beyond that at this point.

thanks coach ellis.
like i said the program we are on goes back to 180’, but in the past 120 is as far as we’ve gotten consistantly because we’ve stayed inside. of course i hate to tinker with something we’ve been successful with - no hurt/sore arms, complete games from opening day. just have a young pitching staff this year and wanting to stretch them out a little and see if we can get more arm strength and velocity. plus its easier on our kids im sure to go right after school than come back everynight at 7 - which gives us no choice but to go outside regardless of temp. i do know when we start throwing bullpens in january that we’ll do that indoors.
ive talked to alot of people who are using the program that was in collegiate baseball from the high school coach in alabama. they go to the football field everyday and go back a full 100 yards during longtoss. ive always been real leary of extending past the 120’ - 180’ range. but ive talked to a couple of my expitchers in college who are using that program this year and they say their arm has never felt stronger or better. have you seen this program? whats your opinion?

I think a nice mix of both maximum distance long tossing – which would be similar to the 100 yard long toss on a football field – as well as some general long tossing (not extending beyond 120-or-so-feet) is beneficial.

The all out 100 yard long toss, mind you, is certainly more stressful on the arm, and I don’t recommend it the day before or after a game performance, for example. But once or twice a week integrated into a long toss throwing, bullpen, and game routine would be great – and it’s what most upper-level pitchers do.

thanks again. our plan is a couple of days stretched out longtoss a week and a couple days of drill work ending with 90-120’ long toss. when we start throwing bullpens we try to have one day of stretched out longtoss and stick to 90 - 120 the rest of the time. usually 3 minutes @ 60’, 3 minutes @ 90" then maybe an additional minute @ 120.
not much differnet then what we do - just always wanting to learn and find ways that can make our kids better. just wanting to learn and make sure we are always doing things the right way. thanks again.

if it is possible to hang a net to the rafters of the gym (i don’t know if you can leave it or rig it where you can take it down), you can throw extended long toss throwing into a net 25-40 feet above the floor. you can use a radar gun to get maximum long toss efforts on your players. cold weather stinks, but this might help.

Stupid question here from a guy that’s been doing this as long as I have…but I’m still not sold on what exactly the added benefit is of long toss vs. 60’6" …

Why are you calling 120’ long toss? I’d just call it playing catch.

Because 90 feet is about as far as you “toss”


Well my son certainly isn’t putting any effort at all into throwing 120’ and even with my old decrepit arm there isn’t much to throwing 120’ so I don’t see why one would call it long toss.

You’ve got to start somewhere - you don’t magically throw three hundred feet with out a little work to get you there.

Long Toss and Short Long Toss which was created by MLB teams

Long Toss Distance- 160+ has an arch more to it not straight on line.

Short Long Toss-120 on line

People think that Short Long toss is more effecive because it has same mechanics are pitching. meaning you can use you wind-up to do it and keep the mechanics the same.

On Long Toss it’s harder to keep the mechanics the same and you need to do a crow hop to do it and tilt shoulders/change mechanics.

I think if you go from 120-160 on a line that might be more safe and effective then 300 feet on an arch no matter which way you do it still has max effort into it.

What way do you think is better long toss or short long toss?

CaDad i would like to hear your thoughts on the above q’s since you know a good deal about Long toss.

Everyone that wants to talk about short long toss vs long toss I will be making a post so that we can all try to understand it better just post on that one this thread is about weather and long toss lol wouldn’t want to ruinin it

There are three key issues in long toss.

  1. Safety
    When one throws on an arc to reach a given distance they know they are throwing no harder than necessary to reach that distance. As a result intensity can be carefully controlled by gradually increasing distance while throwing on an arc. When one throws “on a line” there is no way to tell how hard you are throwing so it is easier to overdo it and cause an injury.

  2. Throwing with maximum effort.
    One builds the ability to throw faster by throwing at or near their maximum velocity. When one is throwing on an arc at full distance they know that they are throwing as hard as they can because they can measure the results based on how far they are throwing the ball. When one tries to throw as hard as they can “on a line” there’s no way to know if they are throwing with full effort unless they are using a radar gun. In general people do not put as much effort into throwing “on a line” as they do when throwing full distance long toss on an arc.

  3. Release point.
    When one throws long toss on an arc the release point is significantly different than when pitching. As a result it is important to re-establish the release point by working back down in distance after throwing long toss on an arc and while doing so throw “on a line” trying to hit a low target. Throwing at even 120’ also tends to throw off the release point since the ball will drop another 3’ or so over 120’ vs 60’, just not as much.

So with long toss on an arc one reaches maximum intensity throwing more safely, and is more likely to reach maximum intensity. The release point is impacted, but the effect is readily compensated for.

You bring up a great argument RiStar.

Personally I’ve been on both sides of the fence on this one.

Right now, I would prefer to air it out as long as possible. Nevermind the shoulder tilt and mechanics, this session is to work on arm strength.
When I get out to the end of my session, I will bring it in to 120’ and get my shoulders back on line and get my so called “mechanics” back to where they need to be. It’s really not a tough adjustment whatsoever. Some of you I’m sure disagree with me on this. But think about this, quarterbacks change shoulder angles and release points on every single pass! They don’t have a problem with it whatsoever.

IMO there are plenty of ways to improve “mechanics” and really not many to improve arm strength. Long toss is the best way, so when I’m long tossing, every ounce of my energy is going to go into throwing that ball as hard and as far as possible and getting the maximum out of my body. Throwing hard has to come with intent. There are plenty other areas to worry about mechanics: bullpen sessions, dry work drills, towel drills, flatground sessions, mirror work, video taping, mental visualization, throwing from 120’and in, the lost goes on and on.

Basically my point is, when your long tossing, LET IT RIP!