How to Greatly Benefit From the Long Toss

By Larry Cicchiello 

The “long toss” is simply a throwing session where you start out fairly close to your throwing partner, then gradually increase the distance between the two of you. You finish the drill by then gradually decreasing the distance until you are back to the distance you originally started from.

Many very good authorities believe that the best way for a pitcher to build arm strength and increase the speed on the fastball is by making very good use of this fabulous drill. It is totally acceptable to take a couple of steps when long tossing.

You can approach it basically the same way as if you are trying to throw a runner out from the outfield. You don’t want to be throwing fly balls when long tossing. A trajectory that goes a little bit up and down is okay but try to keep it as low as possible.

How To Long Toss:

First, be advised that you may have to work yourself up to the distances listed below and BE PATIENT until you can comfortably work up to these distances. Adjust distances downward for younger pitchers. Be extremely cautious with both the distances and the number of throws. This is NOT a competition of any type between you and your throwing partner and DO NOT overexert yourself!

You and your throwing partner should be sure to loosen up your arms before doing the drill.

Possible Distances When Doing The Drill:

60 feet apart–6 throws

90 feet apart–8 throws

120 feet apart-10 throws

90 feet apart–8 throws

60 feet apart–6 throws

Remember not to overexert yourself and find distances and number of throws that are comfortable for you! I would NOT recommend long tossing on two consecutive days. If you have a somewhat serious session, I would take two days off before long tossing again.

During the season, I would recommend long tossing only occasionally. Some pitchers don’t like to long toss at all during the season and love it in the off season.

It’s going to come down to your personal preference as to how often you “long toss” and don’t overdo it.

Long Toss In “OFF” Season:

In the off season, many pitchers use this drill every other day and gradually increase the repetitions to develop arm strength. Several outstanding professional pitchers have changed their off season throwing strategy and incorporated more “long toss” and less throwing from the mound. One M.L.B. pitcher actually gained 5 m.p.h. on his fast ball after increasing the amount of time spent on the drill and decreasing his throwing sessions from the mound. The drill has definitely grown in popularity the last several years.

Please Remember:

  1. This is NOT a competition between you and your throwing partner.
  2. Be VERY CAREFUL with the distances and the number of throws!
  3. We do the long toss to improve arm strength and NOT to get injured. Please…proceed with caution!

Larry is the successful author of several very user friendly eBooks and CD’s covering 320 topics on playing or coaching excellent baseball. ANY player, coach or parent who wants to help their child will be fully equipped! Check out some FREE baseball tips on hitting and FREE baseball pitching tips at LarryBaseball.com.

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