There are many debates about whether or not a long toss program is an effective tool in a throwing program for building velocity. My opinion, if your not throwing long toss you really don’t want to throw that hard. Long toss is the most effective example of throwing at maximum intensity. Whether your an outfielder or pitcher an athlete must realize that the arm is a rubber band and made up of tendons that need to be stretched to be maximized. This doesn’t mean throw until your arm falls off, but it does mean your training your arm to throw long distances with the proper throwing motion, creating arm extension, good release after front foot strike, and proper follow through after ball release. Long toss should not be thrown on consecutive day and at max should be thrown 3 times a week and in a throwing program designed with enough rest as possible. Ideally a Monday-Thursday or Monday-Friday schedule would be good with perhaps a bullpen or normal catch session in between mixed in.
- Make sure that you warm up your arm and body before beginning even one throw. This includes proper Jobe exercises, arm circles, arm and leg stretches, hip rotations, and a light job to get body temperature up.
- Proper distance and the amount of throws should be decided on before hand when beginning the throwing part of the long toss. ie Start at throwing at 20 ft. and extend back 10 feet per 10 throws or so not to surpass 180 feet. Foul pole to foul pole is usually about 180 feet depending on the size of field being used.
- At maximum distance digression should be taken into the number of throws. I would say no more than 10 throws be thrown at the maximum distance to ensure arm safety.
- Upon reaching the furthest distance the long toss is then done. The choice to either throw another 10 throws at 60 feet at maximum velocity on flat ground is an option or all throwing can be done and the rest can begin till the next session.
- If the arm is fatigued after the long toss session it is o.k. If the arm however is sore and in pain this is not good and the thrower may have over exerted his efforts. Proper RICE/Ice procedure along with rest should be taken into effect.