There is only one way to do “LONG-TOSS”! And that is, to practice the “throw” from the angle and with the trajectory that is most accommodating to the angle and trajectory from and with which the player normally throws. IF a player’s purpose is to throw an object as far as he can while strengthening the muscles of his body to replicate that specific action whenever he throws the object, then that form of “long-toss” may be useful, particularly for a “Javelin-thrower.”
But if the player is a pitcher or fielder on a baseball team, he does not want to train his body and the muscles that coordinate the precise actions of his particular function in a manner totally alien to the highest performance level of that function. A pitcher (like Clayton Kershaw) does not want to spend 20, or so, minutes prior to a game (very important game) replicating actions in his pitching motion that have very little to do with what he intends to do under Game-Conditions.
The “Law” of Specificity of Movement will render to any individual that which he intensely practices. Even the “Law of Attraction” would state, “that, which is like unto it, is drawn.” Why would a pitcher warm his body and throw with increased intensity for an inordinate amount of time at an angle and with a trajectory contrary to that with which he expects to use in the game?
With all the accolades foisted onto Kershaw (this year: possible Cy-Young, and perhaps MVP awards), if his pre-game preparation always entails his particular version of “long-toss,” I am stunned at his outright success. His control problems during the Cardinal game, fastball up-high, and ineffective breaking pitches early in the game (home-run), (and intermittently afterward) were pre-determined by his pre-game preparation.
Since I don’t see much of the Dodgers on TV (I can’t get the Dodger Station), I wasn’t aware of Kershaw’s pregame regimen. I’m hoping this was his first time. I certainly hope it was his last!
For a better understanding of “Specificity of Movement” check my articles on this blog for June 12th, and May 20 of this year (2014).
Coming Soon: Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton