Benefits of the Long Toss for Softball Pitching
If you are a softball pitcher and you’re not long tossing, you may be stunting your pitching development. When done properly, the long toss does 3 things:
1) It allows for maximum speed of movement
When trying to build power in any sports movement, you need to perform those movements at maximum speed to make improvements. Softball throwing is no different. By consciously making an effort to throw the ball as far as possible, you’re forcing yourself to work at or near 100% of your body’s maximum level of force production.
2) It forces you to use your legs and torso to throw the ball
Not all players are pitchers, and throwing velocity is not situation-specific. The long toss teaches players to use their legs and core more effectively to put the ball as far away from them as they can. Maximum distance throwing forces you to use your legs and core more than you would on short throws.
3) It provides instant feedback on mechanical adjustments
The long toss is probably the best method for evaluating the effect of mechanical adjustments and cleaning up your throwing mechanics. Throwing the ball as far as you can is going to require you to find a throwing motion that is both powerful and efficient. The long toss teaches players to get on top of the ball better and use the entire body in the throwing motion. The mechanics that allow for maximum distance are the same mechanics that allow for maximum velocity.
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