The 'V' word

A lot of my players are looking to add velocity, as I’m sure all players are these days. Being from northern Illinois, I am limited when it comes to space in the winter, thus making long toss impossible.

What are some other ways to create those gains in velocity without having tons of space to throw? Do you think plyometic/explosive lifting would do the same?

The best part about long toss is, even if your in a 12 byu 12 room, its POSSIBLE. Its usually easier with a partner, or out on a football or baseball field. But all you need is a net, baseballs, and time.

Essentially all you have to do is throw into the net. Warming up with a partner is my favorite because you can get feedback on location and things of that sort, but all you really need to do is grab a bucket and throw into the net, adjusting for distance with the power behind the throw and the angle at which you throw it. We were inside for 4 months (omaha) and played long toss everyday in a batting cage.

Hope this helps.

Here’s what I used to do when I was a little snip—and I continued to do it all through my playing days. I would get a catcher, and either he would mark off a home plate and a pitcher’s rubber at the requisite 60’6" (the only problem with this was that the chalk marks were all too easily scuffed into oblivion!), or if we could get to a playing field that wasn’t being used I would take the mound and he would get behind the plate. We would then play a little game we called “ball and strike”, the purpose of which was to sharpen my control—he would position his mitt in various places, high, low, inside, outside, every which way but standing on his head :lol: , and I would concentrate on getting the ball smack-dab into the pocket of the mitt. I did this with all my pitches, at different speeds, working with the crossfire (I was a natural sidearmer), and what a satisfying feeling it was to hear that “thwack” as the ball hit the pocket. You can do this, with particular emphasis on velocity, and believe me, there’s nothing like it. I was living in New York, and when the weather got cold in the winter we could use a gym or some other venue where we wouldn’t freeze. Throwing into a net or whatever is all right, but I prefer having a real live catcher who can give you the necessary feedback. :slight_smile: 8)

I’m originally from the Boston area and would prep for Spring Training in a pretty tight warehouse during the winter. Think more in % of max-effort. Long tossing automatically forces you to exert more effort to get the ball out to distance. If you only have 90-feet of space, then build up to 90-98% of your max effort at that distance. So a modified long toss program might look like:

Warm-up: x 10 throws @ 50%


Work Sets: build up from 80 to 95% (counting throws)

BTW, plyo’s & explosive lifting are just tools for developing general athleticism. They’re great and should be incorporated, but throwing is like sprinting; there’s nothing you can do in the weight room that replicates the “training effect” of throwing.