Long Toss is a term we hear a lot these days in Baseball and Softball. It has become more and more popular over the years and has been adopted by many of the top collegiate and professional programs. While it has become more popular, there hasn’t been a universal belief system on what constitutes Long Toss and whether or not someone is Long Tossing the “right way”. With that said, we wanted to share our philosophy behind our Jaeger Sports Long Toss Throwing Program.
To us, Long Toss is simple and is broke down into two phases:
1) Stretching Out Phase
2) Pull Down Phase
The Stretching Out phase is best described in the title of the phase itself; you should be using this phase to stretch the arm out as much as possible to prepare your arm for the workload on any given day.
The Pull Down phase occurs on your way back in towards your partner. Once you have stretched your arm to the farthest distance on that day, you will begin the Pull Down phase and start slowly moving back in towards your partner after every throw. The key to the Pull Down phase is to not decelerate on the way back in. If you went to 300 feet in the Stretching Out phase, every throw on the way back in should be 300 feet effort. The difference is the release point and focal point on every throw as you move in towards your partner.
We break down both of these phases in our Thrive on Throwing 2 Video and also our YouTube Video of our Long Toss Throwing Program. Both of these videos show the simplicity of what often gets over complicated. As an athlete you know what feels good for your arm. You know how far you should go out, or what duration of time you should throw for to put your arm in the best position to succeed on any given day.
The key is enjoying the trial and error process of figuring out what’s best for you and for your arm. As a coach, the key is knowing that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for a throwing program. That is a consistent way to put athletes at risk for injury.
Enjoy the process of getting to know your arm and what program optimizes it’s performance. Coaches, guide your players and also allow them a bit of freedom to find the nuances that work best within your framework. Let the arm EAT!