How does long tossing distance correspond to actual pitching velocity? Its much easiler to measure distance than to have a radar gun. I know there is a program from Florida State that equates distance to velocity but I have no idea how accurate it is. Any input?
Original Post

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Originally posted by wz8fvm:
How does long tossing distance correspond to actual pitching velocity? Its much easiler to measure distance than to have a radar gun. I know there is a program from Florida State that equates distance to velocity but I have no idea how accurate it is. Any input?

There are way too many factors involved to be real accurate with velocity and long toss. Arm slot, height of player and arm, spin, angle, wind, etc. all effect how far a ball is thrown. Here the site you mention that measures balls thrown at different angles and velocities. I have found it to be fairly accurate (within a few mph)

simulator
quote:
Originally posted by wz8fvm:
How does long tossing distance correspond to actual pitching velocity? Its much easiler to measure distance than to have a radar gun. I know there is a program from Florida State that equates distance to velocity but I have no idea how accurate it is. Any input?

You can be the greatest long tosser in the world, but the worst pitcher. I don't hate long toss, but I feel that there are better uses of time. It doesn't replicate the act of pitching particularly well. I would say that long toss beyond about 200 feet is useless.
There is a correlation to distance thrown to pitching velocity, but it varies due to wind, temperature, altitude, humidity and individual. One of the benefits to long tossing is that it gives you a way to measure your performance each time you go out. All you need is a field and a bucket of balls or a partner. I can’t actually think of a more effective way to get better at throwing a baseball than…D’Oh…throwing a baseball. Low finish is correct in that you can be the best long tosser in the world and the worst pitcher, but my experience is that the best long tossers typically are the best pitchers.
Last edited by BOF
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Originally posted by BOF:
but my experience is that the best long tossers typically are the best pitchers.

Or... the best outfielders
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Originally posted by SultanofSwat:
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Originally posted by BOF:
but my experience is that the best long tossers typically are the best pitchers.

Or... the best outfielders

Agreed, some seem to think this is just for pitchers.
Long toss is for baseball players. The fact is the kids who are the best at long toss have the best arms. When your guys are on the field long tossing your best players will be long tossing together. They will be the ones with the best arms. And the guys that can throw to each other. The players that take the time to work on a consistent long toss program are the same guys that take the time to work harder in the cage. Take the time to work harder at the game. I don't know what others experience is with long toss outside of their own kids experience. But from my experience the players that long toss on a consistent basis simply have stronger arms than those that do not and have not. In fact its not even close. But that is just my experience with players over many years. If your experience leads you to see something different fine.
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Originally posted by Coach_May:
Long toss is for baseball players. The fact is the kids who are the best at long toss have the best arms. When your guys are on the field long tossing your best players will be long tossing together. They will be the ones with the best arms. And the guys that can throw to each other. The players that take the time to work on a consistent long toss program are the same guys that take the time to work harder in the cage. Take the time to work harder at the game. I don't know what others experience is with long toss outside of their own kids experience. But from my experience the players that long toss on a consistent basis simply have stronger arms than those that do not and have not. In fact its not even close. But that is just my experience with players over many years. If your experience leads you to see something different fine.

It's so true. I too have noticed that the kids who wotk diligently on throwing and long-tossing have the best arms on the team. I was once quite skepticle of long toss until last year when my son really started taking it seriously. Almost immediately he added 5 mph to his fastball from the mound. Now it could be just coincidental....or it could be that long toss has merit. I know that it certainly hasn't hurt son's velocity or control one bit. My son doesn't do the whole crow hop very much in his long toss. He pretty much just winds up as if he was on the mound with leg kick and let's her fly.

Son also throws a lot of bullpens to work on velocity also. As to which is better- who knows, or who really cares. Personally I think doing both strengthens different parts of the body and improves different motions to a quicker more efficient form.
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Almost immediately he added 5 mph to his fastball from the mound. Now it could be just coincidental....

I forgot how old your son is, but... mine added 10mph each year from 11-12, 12-13, and 13-14, and then has added 3 each year so far to 16 - without long-toss.

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Son also throws a lot of bullpens to work on velocity also.

Mine too
Last edited by SultanofSwat
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Originally posted by SultanofSwat:
I forgot how old your son is, but... mine added 10mph each year from 11-12, 12-13, and 13-14, and then has added 3 each year so far to 16 - without long-toss.

My son is 15 and will be a sophmore this fall. He has basically added right about 5 mph each year since he was 9 years old. He is now throwing in the low 80's. Last fall he jumped from the mid 70's to touching 80 after a few weeks of long toss. I don't know if it was just coincidental or what but you could see a noticable change almost overnight.
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Originally posted by Coach_May:
Long toss is for baseball players. The fact is the kids who are the best at long toss have the best arms. When your guys are on the field long tossing your best players will be long tossing together. They will be the ones with the best arms. And the guys that can throw to each other. The players that take the time to work on a consistent long toss program are the same guys that take the time to work harder in the cage. Take the time to work harder at the game. I don't know what others experience is with long toss outside of their own kids experience. But from my experience the players that long toss on a consistent basis simply have stronger arms than those that do not and have not. In fact its not even close. But that is just my experience with players over many years. If your experience leads you to see something different fine.

Agree with this 100% and it's been my observation as well at every school I've coached at.

You have to understand that there is throwing and there is pitching. Long toss is throwing and pitching is pitching. With every athletic event or movement you want to do it with power. You want to throw the ball hard, you want to pitch the ball hard, you want to hit the ball hard, you want to have a running back hit the hole hard, you want a D-Lineman to fire off the ball hard, you want a basketball player to go for a rebound hard.....I think you get my message. In order to be able to do things hard you have to push yourself hard. It might be in the weightroom or it might be long tossing. Lifting weights correctly will help your arm strength but the overall best way to develop arm strength is to throw and throw far.

I'm not saying you get out there and you take the humongous crow hop, head jerks to the side and all that. Take a good fundamental throw but throw it as far as you can. Don't worry if it's so high you hit a low flying plane - just throw it hard.

For those of you who don't long toss and you want to use the increase in velocity that your son makes I think miss the point. Every person will get stronger as they grow up and there will be a gain in MPH on the mound. But the increase will be much more if they would long toss properly.

I've seen it work too many times for me not to believe in it. But remember you can't long toss for a week or even a month and expect to see real gains. It's got to be done regularly over a significant period of time.
How often should a pitcher long toss, and should he do it year round? I'm trying to educate myself, and my son, but see conflicting information. Some of the more medical forums suggest he shut his arm down completely for at least 3 to 4 months a year, does that include long toss as well? Any thoughts?
The number of LT days is very dependent on how often a player is pitching. If he is not pitching then he can LT every day. Most HS’ers have time issues so they can’t do this every day and the most serious throwers get in 5 days a week +/- a day or so. As far as rest goes AMSI suggests 90 days of “active rest” particularly if the player has had a full pitching load. Once you reach biological adulthood there is some discussion whether this is needed or not. FWIW, MLB pitchers are encouraged to rest and workout in the off-season.
Once the player decides that he likes LT and LT has become part of his workout routine, then his arm will dictate how often to do it. Sometimes he will want to do it every day; other times less often. That is in season as well as out of season. When done by a motivated player (for this purpose defined as one who has incorporated LT into his routine), he will often tell you how good "stretching out the arm" feels. My S often does LT the day after he throws in a game and the day before throwing in a game -- that routine isnt for every player; but a player should listen to his arm.
What are the rules on longtoss...What is the max distance? do you only go are far as you can keep your pitching mechanics? It has been a big debate for some coaches in my area...
There is debate because many coaches try to equate long toss to pitching. Pitching is pitching. Long toss is long toss. If u do yeager type long toss - which my S does, you can't keep up pitching mechanics at 300+ feet. Long toss is for stretching out the arm and building up muscles which are supportive of pitching.

If you treat LT as part of the workout - training - routine, no confusion arises. (Like using bands - does the coach get confused that bands will effect pitching mechanics? The bands are simply part of a workout routine. Similarly, the player should recognize the differences and not bring his LT mechanics to the mound.)
From our experience: If you are going to long toss I highly recommend you pull the bands both before and after.
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Originally posted by NDD:
From our experience: If you are going to long toss I highly recommend you pull the bands both before and after.

I am for this. I'm certainly not against it. Doing band work is an important part of training but I don't think it necessarily has to be done proximate to long-toss.
Interesting concept:

Well-respected D-I pitching coach told my son during a campus visit that his long toss philosphy was that when the player is coming in from the longest distance that the effort expended should be duplicated as closely as possible with each throw, as the distance decreases.

This make sense to me as I see a lot of players kinda half-a**ing it as they're getting closer, after they've reached their maximum distance.
slotty,
That is what Jaeger advocates during the pull down phase. Personally, I believe the pull down phase is more for re-establishing the release point. Jaeger believes that the velocity gains occur when continuing to attempt to exercise max effort during the pull down. Personally, I believe the gains come from the throws at max distance and there may or may not be some transfer to the "normal" throwing motion made by continuing to throw hard while pulling down.

The ASMI long toss study, although flawed in it's conclusions due to improper measuring of the velocities during max distance long toss, pretty clearly showed that the max loads and therefore the max training occurred during max distance throwing.

I don't have any problem with max effort coming in as that probably helps with re-establishing the release point but I don't think it makes much if any difference with the velocity and that's the part I'd be most likely to cut short if the arm was starting to get fatigued.
Stands to reason the more arm speed you have the farther the ball will go. The more arm speed you have the harder you will pitch. The guy that can throw 300' will most likely have a faster fastball than a guy that can only throw 250'. But if he can't throw strikes it doesn't matter. That said, if you can make your arm stronger and faster by increasing your distance you can throw in long toss then you can pitch faster.
Last edited by Ninthmanout
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Originally posted by Bum:

I am for this. I'm certainly not against it. Doing band work is an important part of training but I don't think it necessarily has to be done proximate to long-toss.

We can agree to have different opinions.

IMO, anytime is a good time to pull the bands, but he doesn't pick up a ball until he does, especially for long toss. Zero arm issues in two years and running now.
Ditto for son. And to be clear, he does tons of band work, just not necessarily immediately before and after. But I say this with humility because there but for the Grace of God go he.
Last edited by Bum
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Originally posted by Ninthmanout:
Stands to reason the more arm speed you have the farther the ball will go.

The better LT technique you have, the further it will go.

The better pitching technique you have, the faster you can pitch.

Sometimes you can do both.
I have yet to see a good pitcher who can't throw around 300 feet..
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I have yet to see a good pitcher who can't throw around 300 feet..

You haven't seen my son. It's sad.
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I have yet to see a good pitcher who can't throw around 300 feet..

I've seen collegiate All-Americans and kids that are drafted that can't throw the ball 300 feet...
Last edited by J H
Unless one has watched a pitcher in practice up close and personal how would one know who can throw 300 feet and who can't?
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Originally posted by TPM:
Unless one has watched a pitcher in practice up close and personal how would one know who can throw 300 feet and who can't?

That's why I have eyes to see.
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I have yet to see a good pitcher who can't throw around 300 feet..

My son is a pretty good pitcher and he doesn't throw around 300 feet, and he told me that most of the pitchers don't throw that far as well. In the past year, I have seen ONE ML player (not pitcher) that threw consistantly well over 300 feet in a game, and I watch a lot of bb. So I was wondering if you could support your above statment with examples you have seen with your eyes or video of pitchers throwing 300 feet.

Are you confusing "tossing" with "throwing"?
Last edited by TPM
Not really sure I want to get caught in a TPM v. GBM peeing contest, but here goes. :-) According to Prof. Adair in The Physics of Baseball a baseball released at 90 mph, at an optimum angle of 35-40 degrees, will travel a little over 300 feet. Logically, most people who throw mid 90's should be able to throw well over 300 feet, though an adjustment to release paint will be necessary.

Just because a pitcher with a 95 mph arm doesn't throw 300 feet doesn't mean he can't. Many college and MLB programs still believe that pitchers should "long toss" at 150-200 feet. However, from what I have read a good number of MLB teams have changed their philosophies in recent years. The Rangers, under Ryan's direction, have even hired Alan Jaeger as a consultant. Their pitchers are encouraged to max out distance wise. Don't know if it's true or not, but supposedly Bauer told teams that didn't believe in max out long toss not to draft him.

And FWIW, the current pitching coach at DK's former school encourages kids to max out. Most of them are in the 300 ft range, with some throwing considerably further.

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Originally posted by TPM:
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I have yet to see a good pitcher who can't throw around 300 feet..

My son is a pretty good pitcher and he doesn't throw around 300 feet, and he told me that most of the pitchers don't throw that far as well. In the past year, I have seen ONE ML player (not pitcher) that threw consistantly well over 300 feet in a game, and I watch a lot of bb. So I was wondering if you could support your above statment with examples you have seen with your eyes or video of pitchers throwing 300 feet.

Are you confusing "tossing" with "throwing"?
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Originally posted by TPM:
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I have yet to see a good pitcher who can't throw around 300 feet..

My son is a pretty good pitcher and he doesn't throw around 300 feet, and he told me that most of the pitchers don't throw that far as well. In the past year, I have seen ONE ML player (not pitcher) that threw consistantly well over 300 feet in a game, and I watch a lot of bb. So I was wondering if you could support your above statment with examples you have seen with your eyes or video of pitchers throwing 300 feet.

Are you confusing "tossing" with "throwing"?

Tossing with throwing? Are they not the same thing? Isn't the very definition of a "throw" also defined as a "toss"? Confusing for sure!

By throwing 300 feet I am not saying throwing on a line or doing something you would do in a game, I am saying like throwing a ball on the right angle as far as you can- you know- "long toss". A player who throws at about 34 degrees at a velocity in the 80's thus will be able to throw about 300 feet. Can your son nor his team mates not do that? I am sure they can! Perhaps you are confused. My son can throw a ball in the air right around 300 feet. The three kids who graduated last year from our team who all now play small college ball also can throw a ball in the air around 300 feet. The three other current pitchers who are decent on our team now also can throw a ball in the air around 300 feet.

(BTW, I live at an elevation over 4000 feet and that would have a slight difference on the flight of a ball- thinner air equalling about a +20' over sea level thrown balls.)

I think you may have misunderstood me.
I've been playing long toss with my son for the past three weeks. The majority of his baseball pals have already begun school, so he's stuck with his old man that can barely toss beyond 150FT (50 yard line) now before the bucket of balls comes into play. The wind, elevation, humidity, etc...has been mentioned regarding the effect on distances, but the type of baseballs thrown come into play too. I've noticed that he can grab one ball out of the bucket and chuck it 315+ feet, and grab the next one and toss it 285. When you're playing long toss with balls that are also used for batting practice, you never know what you'll get? FWIW, his college pitching coach emailed the incoming/returning pitchers, and his suggested program was to throw four days a week (3 days long tossing, incl. hat drill, some flat ground work, and 1 day per week in the pen). I'll be going out to the football field with him later this afternoon for our last LT session. He'll rest on Thursday, and have one more 40 pitch bully on Friday before the bored kid finally leaves for school this weekend.
My son's pitching instructor wasn't able to long toss 300'. I believe he's capable of doing so during the season but at that point in time he wasn't able to. He's got a low 3/4 arm slot which tends to reduce long toss distance. I understand that he tops out at about 93 mph off the mound and that he had an ERA around 2.5 this season in AAA.

There are some pitchers who just don't long toss far relative to their pitching velocity for whatever reason.

TPM,
I've seen plenty of pitchers who threw 300'+ and I wouldn't be surprised if your son could throw 300'+ if he wanted to. Plenty of you-tube video of Bauer, et al throwing well over 300' and I've seen him and many others do it personally. Some of the ones I've seen are not yet what I'd call a good pitcher relative to someone in the higher levels of pro ball.
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I have yet to see a good pitcher who can't throw around 300 feet..

So if throw and toss are the same, then you are saying that you have yet to see a good pitcher who can't toss around 300 feet. I am sure there are plenty of good pitchers out there that cannot or don't toss (throw) 300 feet or even hit 90.

There is an assumption that the harder one throws than the farther one can, but I question the validity of that (except in theory). DK does not throw or toss 300 feet, never has and probably never will. I don't question that you have seen pitchers throw or toss 300feet, I know you know what you are talking about.

MTH,
Son didn't work with the pitching coach who is now at Clemson, but rather someone else who advocates that toss is and should be pitcher specific, he trains 90,120,150 and if a pitcher wants may go longer. I am going to make an assumption that is because many pitcher lose their mechanics after a specific distance and more load is placed upon the shoulder and elbow. I know sons orgainzation allows pitchers to do what makes them feel most comfortable with as probably most do.

Vector,
Not sure of why you posted that site, no one is denying that long toss should not be part of their training program. According to my understanding some question maxing out, that's ok, as explained to me all pitchers are different and all approach their training differently.

Correct me if wrong but doesn't ASMI question whether the safe loads placed upon the arm, elbow and shoulder decreases as the feet increases?

Now I am not talking about chucking it (which is not necessarily a safe thing to always is it) but more for serious training.
Last edited by TPM
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Originally posted by TPM:
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I have yet to see a good pitcher who can't throw around 300 feet..

So if throw and toss are the same, then you are saying that you have yet to see a good pitcher who can't toss around 300 feet. I am sure there are plenty of good pitchers out there that cannot or don't toss (throw) 300 feet or even hit 90.

Sure, there are plenty of pitcher's who "don't" try to throw 300 feet but I am certain they can. All that changes is the release angle of the ball. In general, the mechanics are pretty much the same. It all comes down to arm speed. I am sure that if your son tried, with a little practice, he could throw the ball probably about 320 feet just based off of his velocity from the mound.

When my son long tosses he very seldom throws it at the angle to throw it 300 feet. He will usually only make 2-3 throws at that angle and distance. Generally he works up to about 250-275 feet throwing between 20-30 degrees. When he pitches- the day he pitches he works up to only about 150 feet throwing on a line at only a 5-10 degree angle.