Strengthen Young Arms with Long Toss

One of my favorite things to watch at a big league game is the players playing long toss.  Does that make me strange?  Whether it is the starting pitcher beginning his warm-ups in the outfield or the position players in front of the dug out.  I enjoy watching this part of their pregame ritual.

Besides being a pregame warm-up fan, I believe long toss is the best way to develop arm strength especially in young ball players.  When I play catch with Lefty, I incorporate long toss at least a couple of times a week.  We begin at a close distance and play normal catch.  Once we are warmed up, I continue to take a few steps back to increase the distance between us.  We use a relaxed motion and crow-hop to get the ball back and forth.  We focus on stretching out our arms instead of firing missiles back to each other.  A little air underneath the ball is fine.  Once we get to a distance to where Lefty’s is throwing comfortably and the ball may bounce once or twice before getting to me, I know we are at a good distance.  We do about a dozen throws at that distance and then slowly close the distance back to each other.

I am not sure if Lefty knows how much I enjoy doing this drill with him.  It is kind of calming and therapeutic for me.  Now that must definitely make me strange, right?  Long toss anyone?



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