Long toss vs mound throwing

Over the past several years there has been a trend towards long toss. Some people say is improves pitching velocity others deny this. Is ayone aware of a good and valid study comparing long toss to throwing off the
mound, and if one method is better than the other of increasing pitching
velocity.

I can tell you there have been studies that support both. I believe that long toss will improve arm strength which can lead to increased velocity, long toss is a great exercise for any baseball player including pitchers but you can’t just do long toss. Pitchers need to do both, there’s a reason why the pros are doing it right? I would imagine what ever studies there are any MLB team knows about them and if it put their pitchers at risk they wouldn’t allow them to do it.

I would say pitching specific work like mound throwing is more important but you should long toss too.

I’ve used the long toss routines (plural) for exercising the entire body. During these routines I’ve had pitchers, initially, be very dynamic with the various moves of the body to impress and focus on the importance of momentum in deliberate sequences, shoulder and arm muscle movement and equally important is the release of the ball off the front (stride) leg - - - without the downward forces that normally accompany mound work.

I can tell you that the last part … releasing the ball off the front (stride) leg … is by no means an easy thing to do. Nor is it a natural progression of the human body when doing long toss.

When long toss is normally performed, without much coaching, it’s only natural for the body to want to release the ball (or anything else for that matter) off the back leg. In fact, the mental buildup just prior to getting to releasing the ball, is to “load up” on the back portion of the body so as to use all that “load” to throw forward and the mind’s intention of covering a lot of distance with all that effort.

When you can control yourself with reasonable balance, deliberate control of your upper body and resist the temptation to rocket the ball like an outfielder – BUT— keep a stable somewhat upright position at first, then gradually put more and more of your torso into it, maintain a consistent trajectory by using all your body, not just your pitching arm, you’ll appreciate a long toss session more and more. However, remember that your not pitching, nor are you trying to punch the ball into the stratosphere.

A pitching coach that understands the benefits and especially the limitations of the long toss can help you immensely, not to mention explain the details and particulars of the “old school” method of disciplined training and conditioning.

Coach B.