Long-toss, to me, has many benefits that translate to pitching. And pitching with success. In this blog, I will go over a several key points. But first, let us talk about how I approached long-toss in my playing days and how it helped me with my pitching. Long-toss is a term for throwing the ball at a longer distance for an extended period of time. You can do this with a partner, or in some cases, as I did many a time, you can get a bucket of a couple dozen baseballs, find a chain-link fence, pick a target, and throw until you can get a long enough distance to really long-toss. So really, you do not even need a partner. I was throwing long-toss before I even knew what it was called. When we were kids, we would throw, and throw, and throw until we could not throw anymore. It was not so much of art then, but it was what we enjoyed. As I got older and started pitching more, I made sure I was aware of the intensity in the long-toss on certain days. For instance, the day before I was slated to pitch in a game, I probably wouldn’t “air” it out as much. I would still long-toss, but not with the intensity as I would, say, 2 days before I pitched in a game. In college, I threw long-toss as much as I could. I looked forward to throwing long-toss even days AFTER I pitched in a game. For me, that was my way of getting cardio in. When you consider throwing for 40 minutes total, it was a taxing effort. I, personally, feel that a big reason why we see a lot of arm injuries or lack of arm strength, is because kids are not throwing enough. Now I do not mean not throwing everyday. There can be a difference in throwing enough and throwing every day.
Go back to when I mentioned that I needed to throw for at least 40 minutes to get a good workout. That is what I mean.
Youth players need to dedicate at least once a week a long-toss session of at least a half an hour. Of course, they will need to warm-up and get a good lather, or break a sweat, before they pick up a ball. Then starting at a short distance, working their way back, until there at a near maximum distance, then staying there for some time. All in all, it should total at least 30 minutes from when they first pick the ball up to when they finish throwing. There does need to be a cool-down, meaning as they work there way back in, they can throw the ball more on a line, until they’re about 50 or 60 feet away. Then they are done throwing and they can do some elastic band work for their shoulder and all the little muscles around the arm. But that is another post we will talk about another time! Thanks for tuning in and as always, let me know any questions. You may email me at solomon at houstonbaseballcoach dot come or @htownbaseballco on Twitter.

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