Long Toss Program
By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Long toss, when done properly, can be one of the best baseball drills a player can do. However, there are certain ways that a player can play long toss, some of which are more beneficial than regular long toss.
My favorite long toss drill is the hat game. Two players get about 150-200 feet apart and set their hats down in front of them. The players take turn throwing the ball with the goal of hitting the hat. They get 3 points if they hit it on a fly, and 1 point if they hit the hat on a bounce. The first player to 11 points wins.
This drill is a great way to improve the accuracy of long distance throwing. It is also a fun way for younger players to be motivated to play long toss. It is important, however, to use good long toss form when playing the hat game to avoid developing bad mechanics or arm problems.
Pitchers can benefit from playing long toss as well as position players. Before a start, pitchers can benefit from playing a small amount of long toss to get the arm warmed up. The pitcher should start close with his partner, and gradually back up to his long toss limit. Doing this drill with good mechanics can get a pitcher very loose before his pitching outing.
Doing long toss drills such as these are important for any baseball player. The key to a successful long toss drill is using good form. Bad form leads to bad mechanics which ultimately leads to arm problems. A good long toss session is a great way for a pitcher to really loosen up his arm.
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