Posts Tagged ‘professional ppitching’

Years ago some major league teams limited the long toss distance for their pitchers to 150 feet. Needless to say the organization’s injuries increased by some astronomical percentage that is escaping my mind at this time. Other organizations that allowed their pitchers to throw long distances saw their injuries decrease. I personally think 150 feet distance is short for a pro level pitcher. I personally feel much looser after a nice extreme long toss. Alan Jaeger is the master of long toss and I love his concepts on Extreme Long Toss and Therapeutic Long toss.

Arguments against Long Toss at greater distances

  • messes up release point
  • the angle at greater distances creates different angles than you would pitch at
  • not proven to increase speed
  • a pitcher throws 60 feet and should train at 60 feet

Why the above is not true

  1. Your body makes adjustments based on how far you need to throw the ball therefore within 3 to 5 throws on various surfaces or at various distances your body will adjust.
  2. Yes true but who cares about the angles….see Number 1
  3. Maybe not proven but it does stretch the muscles out and elongates the muscle therefore prepping the body for the explosive throwing process
  4. As mentioned above a pitcher needs to stretch out the muscles. This theory of training at 60 feet only is something a “guru” said a few years back to be contrary to other “gurus” Simply ridiculous.

How to implement long toss

  • use as a warmup
  • only use the amount of energy needed to propel the ball the distance you are at
  • continue to “lob” the ball at greater distances until you need to gradually add more effort. This will ensure that you are not throwing too hard too quick. Lob the ball while moving back (every 5 to 10 throws)¬†until you reach a distance where you cannot lob it anymore. This will get you to a point where you are “starting” to stretch
  • From this point you can continue to move back until you are completely loose

Those are the basics please email me with questions

As mentioned in a previous post, I said I would talk a little about sprinting for pitchers. When I was in college I was told as many others were as well, to run distances for leg strength. Now many pitching coaches will say that running distances is a “waste of time” because pitchers are expected to use short bursts of energy in order to pitch a¬†baseball. This article is not about distance running but I will at least say that distance running does have its place in a pitchers routine.

Benefits of distance running

  1. Flushing the system of lactic acid the day after a start
  2. Endurance
  3. Mental Toughness
  4. Strengthening of stabilizing muscles in the hips and legs.

Now Distance running is not an end all be all, and shouldn’t be but as I have said many times: Many things have their place and time when training for Pitching. Just like the HOLDS I blogged about. Are they and end all be all? No, but should they be part of an arm strength program? Yes.

Now back to the sprint training. Back when I was on my journey to play professional baseball a good friends of mine who played professionally, told me to run 10 yard sprints. This was back before anyone started talking about the short bursts that pitchers need to train in order to throw hard. The idea was to try and get to top speed by your 3rd step. This ensures that the focus is on short intense bursts. I liked the idea and utilized this as part of my conditioning program. Did it help? I believe it did. It is one of the many components to Velocity Training.

10 yard sprints – 10 to 15 reps at 3 times per week (alternating days) Make sure you recover fully in between sprints in order to focus on the quality of the work you are doing. Add this into your training. Next blog will be about my 7 different workouts that any aspiring pro pitcher needs to have!

– Bill Bethea