Long Toss?

I have a couple of questions about long toss.

  1. Are you a proponent?
  2. If yes, why? What specific benefit do you see in long toss?
  3. If the answer to #2 is “strength and/or conditioning”, what is it about long toss that causes benefits re: those items?
  4. Why could one not use the same effort put into long toss and apply it to pitching from regulation distance on a mound to targets? In other words, why not kill 2 birds with one stone? Conditioning PLUS location.

Conditioning + location = less than full effort. Less than full effort = less than optimum for increasing velocity. Also since the body can more readily provide momentum in long toss there’s less chance the arm will have to provide too much of the velocity for itself and injure the arm.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by this. Can you elaborate please?

When you’re trying to hit spots you don’t throw as hard so you don’t build up your arm strength very effectively.

Almost all pitchers throw 3 to 4 mph slower when trying to hit targets than when trying for maximum velocity. With long toss you can get yourself to throw maximum velocity while putting less stress on the arm than when throwing at maximum velocity off the mound.

Of course you still have to throw off the mound to develop command, but that is done at a lower, less stressful to the arm velocity. Pitchers also need to learn how to throw at a velocity between their “command” velocity and their max velocity where they can be accurate enough to be wild in the strike zone. This needs to be done off the mound as it is still working on accuracy to some degree but the number of pitches needs to be fairly limited to avoid injury.

I’ve found pitching from the windup and stretch from 90 feet away has significantly improved my confidence, movement, and control of my fastball. When throwing from more than 90 feet for awhile, you’ll feel like your at 60 feet. When beginning my pitching workouts, i’ll throw 20,25 medium velocity tosses, concentrating on leg pushoff and good follow throughs. Going down to 60 feet, it feels like a cinch to throw a good fastball down the middle. If you want to long toss to get a better arm and higher velocity, don’t do it.

i absolutely believe in long toss if its done the right way. for example some believe, leo mazzone and all his protege’s that long toss is a main component of building arm strength. tom house and others also agree. the only real problem i can see with it is when pitchers lose sight of their objective while long tossing. if a kid is longtossing beyond what he can throw his front shoulder will begin to point up towards the sky and eventually start opening up way to early which could make him more likely to suffer an injury. id say long toss is definitely helpful and probably the best method for building arm strength and even adding velocity but the pitchers need to take responsibility on their own to make sure theyre doing it the right way. just uncorking a “sky ball” for every long toss throw will not help as much as it may hurt the thrower.

My 13yr old son has long tossed for the past 2 years. His recovery has gotten faster and his endurance required from throwing 60feet has gotten much better. Some people are for it and some are against it. All I can say is long toss is a great way to take care of your arm.

Leo Mazzone, Tom House, Greg MAddux, Pedro Martinez, etc.

If it’s good for these guys then it must be good for youngsters.