View Full Version : Long toss for pitchers?
10-19-2012, 05:03 PM
I have mentioned my son Will on here a couple of times. He's a left and has a fastball from 60ft that hits high 50's and his change up mid 40's. He hasn't hit his growth spurt yet. He's about 5'6" and 140 lbs. I think that for his size he should be high 60's. He tells me that he throws the ball at 80-85% because he wants to throw strikes. His era is around 2. I have the 90mph dvd's that have a lot of leg exercises but he hasn't done them. They are heading into the off season after this weekend. His middle school coach already told him this week that he will be one of the two starting pitchers. Any tips would be great.
10-19-2012, 07:21 PM
Size doesn't matter when comes to speed. It is all in the mechanics and the ability to use his legs. I'm assuming your son is 11 - 12 yrs old and his body is still maturing. If he has good mechanics as a foundation (most important) then speed will come as he continues to develop. If your son is consistent in the strike zone then he needs to open up and throw the ball. Most kids at this age may tell you that he is throwing 80-85% (not sure that can be judged unless you have a gun on him) because they may be afraid of hitting the batter. Long toss as well as leg exercises and stretching are very important for pitchers. Tip: mechanics... Keep his delivery from windup to delivery smooth and at a consistent speed. Do not rush during his delivery to throw harder as you will more than likely open up and throw the ball across his body.
10-19-2012, 10:46 PM
A few tips...First, stop keeping stats such as ERA, Ks, etc. The last thing you want to do is get him focusing on that. He and you need to be focused on mechanics, pitch location, and starting to understand the mental aspect of the game. The velocity will come with age/size, but you must have sound mechanics to handle the increased torque on the arm and body. Most kids I have worked with can throw just fine, but they have no idea how to actually pitch. If he can get even a small grasp on the mental aspect of pitching and understanding the concept of moving the ball around in the zone, changing eye-level, etc. he will have a HUGE head start on most kids his age. I'm not sure how knowledgeable you are on mechanics and pitching in general, but I have a couple book recommendations for you that would be beneficial for anyone. Leo Mazzone's old book Pitch Like a Pro is excellent. It will give usable throwing programs starting at Little League age. It also explains the why behind the what and has testimonials/tips from Maddux, Smoltz, etc. Tom House also has a few really good books. I've read a couple and his stuff is much more detailed, with great drills, things to look for mechanics-wise, etc. I would also advise you not to trust just anyone with your son's arm. Make sure the coaches are taking care of him and not having him throw 100 pitches one day and then playing SS the next. If you are using a pitching coach make sure it's someone legit, not just some former player who is looking to make a quick buck. Do your research on the people he is working with and observe a few bullpens to see what they are teaching. My final tip is to make sure this is something he enjoys. He may just want to go play baseball. Reading books, watching games to see how pitchers approach batters, and doing tedious drills may not be what he wants to do at this point. That's fine - don't push him. If he wants it bad enough he will do it, just make sure he knows it's all there available for him.
10-20-2012, 08:07 AM
Besides all the great suggestions listed above, my suggestion let him take a break. Baseball in Florida has gotten to be year round and kids should be given a break from the sport.
I had all of my kids play multiple sports throughout the year. You never know, my son played everything from golf to football to baseball (loved playing them all) and my daughter went from playing in the softball world series at 13 to giving the sport up on the last out of the last game to now playing college tennis. Through her tennis years in high school she would train daily for months along with traveling the country for tournaments, but I would always force her to take breaks throughout the year so she would not burn out even though at times she did not want to take any time off.
The reality is that very few kids play beyond high school in sports and opening up there eyes to long-term sports like golf and tennis has lifetime benefits.
10-20-2012, 08:11 AM
Wow, some great advice here. Obviously we have some great coaches or pitchers on this board! Thanks for sharing!
10-20-2012, 11:53 AM
Amazing advice guys! I reaaly appreciate it. His mechanics are pretty solid except tucking his glove. He does work with a former UF pitcher.Shane loves Will's mental approach on the mound. Nothing rattles him. I don't tell him his statz. I do that for myself. They are playing in a tournament in St Augustine right now. They won the first game 5-1. He pitched 3 innings and they didn't score on him. That makes it of the last 15 innings he's pitched and I think he's only given upon one run. He loves baseball. He gets about a 4 month break. He is real smooth on the mound
10-20-2012, 11:57 AM
Sorry I have fat fingers. His motion is the same no matter what pitch he's throwing.
10-20-2012, 11:59 AM
Sorry I have fat fingers. His motion is the same no matter what pitch he's throwing. He turned 13 at the end of May.
10-22-2012, 05:25 PM
Gatorcal as usual is money....and these other guys are right on also. Make sure he has a total break at his age away and when it's time, ease back into his throwing program. Going to the thread title of long toss I would tell you absolutely have him involved in a long toss program prior to getting back on the mound. A few crucial points here need to be addressed though. As he warms up never ever let him get into the habit or posture of "crow-hopping" to throw long toss. If he does that his elbow will drop in it's cycle and he defeats the whole purpose of strengthening his arm with a long toss program. You do not want to see the big "rainbow" throw for distance and think you or he is accomplishing anything good.. Make sure he blades his back foot as on the rubber and drives through his throw just as on the mound. You want to structure his long toss workout to be "on-line" with his throws working back in distance rather than dropping the elbow and making rainbow throws. The first develops real arm strength the second develops bad mechanics and arm problems.
10-23-2012, 09:20 AM
10-25-2012, 05:26 PM
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