What’s you guys thoughts on long tossing from the knees, do we think it’s worth it, do you think it helps out that much to add to a long toss routine, If so witch is better on one knee or both? I’m sure there are different takes on this and not everyone will have the same opinion but would like to hear your thoughts on why or why not?
Here’s an article from Kyle Boddy. Some interesting stuff in there.
I would argue that Kimbrel learned more than just how to optimize arm action. I would suggest he also learned how to optimize glove side management, postural stabilization, hip and shoulder separation and, most imortantly, upper body timing.
The NPA uses a knee drill. It’s a 2-knee drill and the focus is on throwing from a position of maximum hip and shoulder separation.
Speaking of knee drills, I’ve asked multiple pitchers who said they’ve done a knee drill what the purpose of the drill was and they didn’t know. EVERY DRILL SHOULD HAVE A PURPOSE!!! I still haven’t figured out what the 1-knee drills are for.
Do you believe this is mostly attributable to long tossing from his knees?
I really don’t have enough insights to say. It sounds like it was at least partly due to long tossing from the knees. Eventually, what he learned on his knees had to be incorporated into his full delivery so there was no doubt some additional learning to be done.
When trying to determine cause-and-affect we cannot forget…
“Correlation does not imply causation.”
Perhaps long tossing from his knees had nothing to do with Kimbrel’s legendary velocity.
Or perhals Kimbrel throws as hard as does IN SPITE of long tossing from his knees.
That being said…
For me it comes down to the “Principal of Specificity” which states that adaptation is specific to the demands imposed by the training stimulus. If you want to get better at throwing a ball hard off a mound, then practice throwing a ball hard off a mound.
However, taking a page out of strength & conditioning philosophy, we can also facilitate pitching performance by getting better at things that are similar to throwing off a mound – without actually throwing off a mound.
Long toss certainly has a place in an intelligently-designed throwing program. Perhaps even throwing from the knees has a place in a throwing program.
What training modality, as well as how much and how far and how hard, depends on the individual – his preferences and goals matched to his needs and (current) abilities – and the time of year.
I have a friend who went from mid 80s junior year of HS to 93 senior year. Wasn’t a big kid (6’ 2", 160 lbs) didn’t lift. He worked on his mechanics and he played water polo for the first time between the junior and senior seasons. He got into fantastic shape, got stronger from being in the water for a couple of hours a day and he was throwing a weighted implement (comparative to a baseball) several hundred times a day.
Now, there is no way to “prove” this was of great assistance to him. He was already a hard thrower with a very fast arm. This is the one variable that changed however. But, this is the interesting thing with all of this stuff. If 100 pitchers went out and did water polo how many would be results like this? Who knows? Maybe 50. Maybe he is the 1 in 100 example where this worked for him.
The idea that long toss is a silver bullet to big velo gains is sort of comical (I know no one is saying that in this thread). There are way to many things that are individual to any particular player. This can lead to tremendous frustration. When a kid tried program 1,2 and 3 and hasn’t had results is the issue the program?, the kid? Or a mix of the two?
Nothing makes me battier than a program being sold to youth players with the pitch that “this is what the pros do…” with no consideration being given to how they became pros.
The problem with the issue of causation here is that there are many 18 year olds throwing in the 80s who develop and grow into 90s throwers by age 27, without ever long tossing from their knees.
Taking a page from the studies of pitcher injuries, which typically take samples of a multitude of pitchers and look for what is common among pitchers who get injured and pitchers who do not get injured, it would be nice to see a study of a multitude of pitchers comparing those whose velocity increased significantly after 18 years of age to those whose velocity did not increase significantly after 18 years of age, and see what role, if any, long-tossing-from-the-knees had in the disparate outcomes of the two groups.
Thats the tricky part.
So many possible things contribute to late development.
Late physical development…I know a kid who grew 2 inches at age 20.
Mechanical fixes. Body weight and strength. Proper training. Proper nutrition. Old injuries finally being addressed and fixed.
There can be a lot of reasons one guy may pick up velo after a certain age and others might not.
What works for one guy may not work for another.
Studies at best are just going to give you general sorts of information.
Studies based on statistically significant sample sizes can give useful information with a high degree of statistical confidence. Thus, a study of 500 pitchers, 250 who increased velocity after 18 years of age by 8 mph or more, and 250 pitchers who increased velocity after 18 years of age by 4 mph or less, will be able to draw conclusions with a high degree of statistical confidence as to whether long-toss-from-the-knees played a role in the pitchers’ velocity. Much like those studies of large populations that linked smoking and lung cancer - those studies did not “prove” that all that lung cancer was definitely caused by smoking and smoking alone, but they did prove with a high degree of statistical probability that smoking was in fact the cause of the lung cancer, and you’d be a fool for smoking.
Speaking in practical terms however you would have to find, using your example, 250 pitchers that are doing nothing else…weight training, plyo work, weighted balls, mechanics work etc., or would need to make sure all 500 pitchers would be doing the same things outside of the LT from the knees. Not likely.
Most of the studies I have seen (related to velocity not LT or LT from the knees) have had a wide age range…say, 14-20 and relatively low number of pitchers. The age difference can saw the results quite a bit as well. I do like the idea of doing a study of just pitcher that are 18 or older.
What it really comes down to is the study would have to be one that was there just to measure what happened and not to validate the testers existing opinion…which is what happens a lot with these sorts of things.