The argument behind extreme long toss is that the pitcher will learn how to take the throwing velocity of a 300 foot flat ground throw and transfer it into a 60 foot pitch off of a mound. This is what I learned from watching an interview with Alan Jaeger, who uses extreme long toss with yoga to develop pitchers.
If you have been following this site then you know that I am totally against this approach to developing the pitcher. Here is a quick summary of why I am against this type of training. The American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) proves in their latest case study here that this type of long toss creates elbow varus torque in the arm and uses different mechanics than those used on the mound. In defense, Alan Jaeger says that the athletics of the 300 foot flat ground throw when restricted to 60 feet, through his “Pull Down” phase, forces the pitcher to be more open and explosive.
The Reasons Why 3X Pitching is Superior
The reason that the revolutionary approach to pitching velocity, 3X Pitching, is far superior to this extreme long toss approach is because the 3X approach defines each component of its 3X Pitching Mechanics and uses drills and a complete training program to train the pitcher to implement these mechanics into their delivery, without abusing the arm. Alan Jaeger’s program never seems to mention anything about good mechanics. This is a major reason why I am against his extreme long toss and speak out against it, because if you do not have good mechanics when building your throws to 300 feet, you are extremely vulnerable to injury as proven in the ASMI case study and the reason why ASMI advises against this type of training. Another big reason is the fact that what he is trying to teach athletically, through his extreme long toss program, can be done without putting the pitcher through this type of rotator cuff and elbow abuse.
If Alan Jaeger understood the mechanics of this own training then he would learn that throwing long toss at extreme distances trains the pitcher to build elastic energy early in the delivery. This means it forces the pitcher to get good external rotation in the arm, along with building elastic energy through the chest cavity and hip flexors early. This occurs because the trajectory of release is a lot higher than throwing off of the mound, which forces the pitcher to throw the ball behind the front leg. Alan Jaeger then attempts to correct this mechanical flaw by taking these mechanics through his “Pull Down” phase, down to 60 feet, which forces the pitcher to finish over the front leg. This would be a good approach if he used good mechanics to keep pitchers safe from this extreme training. Just like it is critical to have good lifting mechanics when training to get bigger, stronger and faster but the main reason that 3X Pitching is a far superior approach to pitching velocity is because it trains the pitcher to do the same as an extreme long toss program without putting the abuse on the arm. This is why 3X Pitching wins hands down!
3X Pitching is the Better Alternative to Extreme Long Toss
In the 3X Pitching Velocity Program the medicine ball drills are training the pitcher to develop elastic energy early in the delivery as effectively as extreme long toss but you are doing this with a full stride using the power of triple extension. This will coil the body more at front foot strike forcing the pitcher to finish forward over the front leg. With Extreme Long Toss you are forced through a short stride to release the ball early which is why you are not finishing forward and putting exccesive amounts of torque on your arm instead of distributing the stress through the entire body, with a full stride. You are also only throwing a 2 lb med ball 40 feet while focusing to hit all of the 3X Mechanics within the 3X Pitching Velocity Program which puts less stress on your arm than using a baseball. You then take this new motor coordination around the 3X mechanics into the target throws with the 5 ounce baseball. This is why 3X Pitching is so effective in increasing pitching velocity, preventing injury and why it is far superior to a extreme long toss program.