Long Tossing= Decrease in velocity and consistency?


#1

Background of me:

6 ft 175lbs, RHP, senior in college

I have been experiencing a lack of consistent velo and command over the course of the past year and a half. My freshman year of college I was sitting in the 85-87mph range and was able to command 3 pitches for strikes. In the summer between my freshmen and sophomore year I hit 92mph and sat 88-90 for the summer with the same command. My sophomore year I started having problems. I began max distance long tossing a lot. My arm felt healthy (Ive never had an injury or sore arm to this day) and my body was healthy as well. I would just have major changes in velocity and command from one day to another. One day I would be throwing and sitting in the upper 80’s spotting everything up with movement and then a few days later I would be sitting in the low 80’s and everything would be flat and I would get hit hard. My Junior year in college was the same deal. Our coach had us long toss (200-250ft) every single day. My arm once again was injury free but I would still have days when I would be unhittable and then go out a few days later and get lit. My senior year has started off the same way. My velocity has been in the low to mid 80’s this whole year and my stuff has just been flat. I have been told over the years that I have great mechanics and a quick arm and there have been times where I have gone out there and been unhittable. Guys used to take awkward swings on my pitches and just look confused in the box. Now they are digging in and hitting everything hard because my ball is flat and slow. I even notice it in my flat grounds. Some days I spot everything up and the next day I struggle to throw it anywhere close to the spot.

The only consistent thing I see looking back over the past couple years is the amount of long toss I do. Even though it may (or may not) be the reason my arm has been injury free for so long, I believe now that it may be whats holding back my velo and command. I think my arm is getting tired as the week goes on causing my arm to drop. The reason I believe this is is because on my summer teams I throw much harder and have better command but dont long toss at all. I think in the summer my arm is less tired because I don’t take it to the max everyday so it is able to get to its natural arm slot on every pitch instead of me feeling like I am “forcing it” to get there.

Just wanted to get your guys input. My plan right now is to cut back on 80% of my long toss. Maybe just once a week and no more than 2 days before a game or bullpen.


#2

two things that I notice.

  1. long tossing every day seems pretty extreme. We don’t long toss more than 3 times a week at most. Don’t get me wrong, throwing 6 days a week is fine but if you’re going to max distance that often I’d expect your arm to be constantly in a state of fatigue and overuse.

  2. it’s possible that your long toss mechanics are significantly different from your mound mechanics and you’re letting those differences cross over from one to the other which is leading to consistency problems. Come up with a specific pre and post pitch routine you can go through every single time you throw from a mound. You should catch the ball the same way, walk to the rubber the same way, take a breath at the same point before your delivery, etc. Practicing this should help to give you consistency with your mechanics.


#3

Thanks for the response.

Yah I really believe its overused and tired. I did plan on throwing everyday still just reducing the effort and time. I do have a consitent routine already when I do pitch. I have been a huge fan and reader into the mental game of baseball and understand its importance, I feel like this is mostly a physical issue (tired arm) and next time I long toss Ill watch for anything that carries over into my mechanics


#4

I feel the same way, long toss every single day seems a bit extreme, you don’t go in the weight room and max all parts of your body every day, no, long toss I feel is like maxing out, maybe you can develop a program that works for you or just go back to what you did last year. Did you happen to have video from last year and this year that you can look at for differences?

Good Luck


#5

ya the maxing out logic is what i was thinking. I just never felt any pain or soreness so I never really figured that would be the cause of it. unfortunately i dont have any video


#6

No video, that sucks, even if you don’t use it you really should have some to remember your journey…get some video when you can, even if it’s just for yourself.

When you max out do you have pain? I really don’t, it hurts to try but no pain afterwards, maybe just fatigue that’s all.


#7

I agree with that this is in fact too often, but I have a completely different question for you. What does your workout regimen look like? How about weight differences each year in your body weight? What sort of running do you do?


#8

Well to tell you the truth there are some much better equiped guys on this forum to give you top quality advice such as Steven and his tuff cuff program and kyleb who has a facility in Seatle which is geared around those things and they are professionals at what they do, maybe PM them if they don’t respond to this soon.


#9

My freshman year i was about 175 then got up to about 185 in the summer between my sophomore and junior year. Since then ive been in the 175-180 range. My strength has gone up during that span but I just haven’t put on any weight. Nope I don’t have any pain at all when I throw. Im one of those guys who gets loose in about 5 throws also (which is one reason why ive been a relief pitcher). Nothing really special about my running. I do a solid 20 minutes the day after throwing and then run sprints in the days in between doing a little less everyday as my next outing approaches.


#10

3-4x week of long toss is fine, but always make sure you are 95-100% on game day (80-95% on penday)

dont really need to do max distance alot either, find a comfortable distance and just feel your arm out… i usually sit between the 295-310 area… learn to really control the body and its reactions

i noticed i did max distance 340 on a tuesday with pulldowns… that day if i had a gun i would swear i prob topped out at 90-91… on thursday my shoulder was a little behind and i was gunned at 86-88 same routine but my comfort zone was only 285-300… (yes long toss distance can be translated into your velo granted mechanics are consistent throws/pitching

time everything that involves working to a goal in baseball in constructive order… gl to ya


#11

And what does your diet look like? I see a couple things that I would like to point out. Read this
"http://ericcressey.com/the-1-cause-of-inconsistent-pitching-velocity"

I think the fact that you put on weight then lost it probably isn’t the best. You technically could be weighing 200 lbs within a 12-14% body fat and that is what would be optimal for a pitcher your size. This means eating a bunch, and not just a McDonalds diet but a lot of really good food for your body. Also, once again the amount of long tossing sounds pretty extreme and could be detrimental to your arm.

Also, I do not know what your range of motion currently looks like, but start foam rolling 1-2 times a day and focus on internal ROM in the shoulder. This could be a big factor.

Mechanics could have possibly diminished as well due to excessive long toss, so focus on your pitching mechanics and before a game day, don’t long toss, and if you do, only do it at 80% of max.


#12

Common sense tells me if you can hit 92 at 175 lbs, then you should be able to do it again. You didn’t lose strength or size since then. You put some weight on and you lost velocity; you got stronger and you lost velocity. I also don’t think that one can assume that you would do well with 200 lbs on your frame - it may just slow you down.

The smartest thing you can do is to get yourself videotaped and look for the flaws in your mechanics… look for the thing(s) that are slowing you down and not taking you directly to the plate. I would bet money that something (or things) have changed in your mechanics since you were hitting 90+.

Nothing wrong with some long-tossing but not at the expense of your mechanics - I wouldn’t go beyond the point where you have to arc the throws; stay on a line and keep your mechanics intact.


#13

Thanks for the advice. I have pretty good ROM in my shoulder region. I lost the weight because I felt slow and unathletic but I think it was because I did not put on quality weight. Ive slimmed down and am in much better condition now. When I was at 185 last year I still hit 91 at times but was consistently at 82-85. My diet varies a little bit but not much. Usually eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch, then after practice I have 2-3 chicken breasts with rice and some type of vegetables. Those meals are consistant everyday. I fit a lot of other meals in there as well. Whenever I’m hungry I eat, my metabolism is very quick and I do a lot of running so I kind of eat whatever I want. I like the idea of only go out to the point where my throws stay on a line. I am also going to throw longer flat grounds. So basically more shorter throws focusing on mechanics.


#14

[quote=“baseball2011”]Thanks for the advice. I have pretty good ROM in my shoulder region. I lost the weight because I felt slow and unathletic but I think it was because I did not put on quality weight. Ive slimmed down and am in much better condition now. When I was at 185 last year I still hit 91 at times but was consistently at 82-85. My diet varies a little bit but not much. Usually eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch, then after practice I have 2-3 chicken breasts with rice and some type of vegetables. Those meals are consistant everyday. I fit a lot of other meals in there as well. Whenever I’m hungry I eat, my metabolism is very quick and I do a lot of running so I kind of eat whatever I want. I like the idea of only go out to the point where my throws stay on a line. I am also going to throw longer flat grounds. So basically more shorter throws focusing on mechanics.[/quote]Try tracking everything you eat on myplate or somewhere and let us know what the meals look like for three consecutive days. It could be something there. And to Doc who says that it isn’t necessarily the weight, he could be right, but at the same point, I wouldn’t go ruling anything out necessarily. And you said that you eat whatever you want… If you want to perform well, you need to fuel your body well. As an athlete, whatever you want should be a decision between whether you want ranch or french dressing on your salad, not if you are going to have apple pie vs cookies.

Also, focus on mechanics and make sure you are doing those right. Remember to be explosive with your body using your legs!


#15

[quote=“LankyLefty”]two things that I notice.

  1. long tossing every day seems pretty extreme. We don’t long toss more than 3 times a week at most. Don’t get me wrong, throwing 6 days a week is fine but if you’re going to max distance that often I’d expect your arm to be constantly in a state of fatigue and overuse.
    [/quote]

Both Lanky’s suggestions are excellent, but this is truly key. Just like we don’t lift heavy 5 or 6 days in a row all the same muscle groups, our arm needs to be trained the same way - heavy and light, long and short, bullpen and drills, games and rest - throughout the course of the week to have ample time to recover, repair and grow stronger/faster without wearing down…