Pull Down Throws: The Purpose Behind Run and Guns

Written By: Kyle Wormington

Run and Gun Throws

Many have criticized the videos that are posted all over social media with guys running/jogging into a shuffle/etc. and throwing a ball into a net with the radar gun flashing big numbers. If you believe in a long toss program, such as Jaegers well known long toss routine, then you love what all those crazy kids are doing on social media. Pull down throws are super important when it comes to the arm strength development of players. 

There are really great things being accomplished when a player performs a pull down run and gun throw. The main purpose of them is for us as trainers/coaches/teachers are to see how the body goes through its progression of the kinematic sequence and how to properly translate it to everyday use.

So for instance, if you do a long toss program that incorporates pulldowns which any good program should, this will help you better understand how properly execute a run and gun throw. 

Run and Gun's and Pull Downs Are All Over The Diamond

But I don't pitch, why should I do a pull-down? Well, let's take you through all the different types of run and gun throws that happen during a baseball game or practice:

1. Infielders Throwing Across the Diamond

Sano Pull Down

2. Outfielders Throwing to a Base

Rosario

3. Catcher Throwing to a Base

Sanchez

4. Pitcher Delivering a Pitch

Scherzer

5. Pre-Game Long Toss? OH YEAH!

Trevor

How to Execute a Run & Gun Pull Down

Here are three things you'll want to look for when executing a successful run and gun throw:

  1. Proper "On-Ramping" Program: You want to make sure that your players are ready and prepared to throw with this velocity and effort. Simply taking a player and having them throw a baseball as hard as they can when they're not prepared could be devastating. You would never have a player put 315 pounds on a squat bar if they have not built themselves up to that first
  2. Throw With Intent: This isn't a 'feel-good' get loose kind of throwing attempt. You want to make sure your players understand that this throw must be delivered with high intensity and effort. You are trying to train and push the arm and body to get the most out of it.
  3. Track Progress: You MUST be able to show that the pull-down throwing progression is bringing progress to your players. Using a radar gun when it comes to tracking throws is vital for the continuing development of your players.

What Are You Doing to Increase Your Arm Strength?

As you can see, every single one of those throws was max effort and max intent. Baseball players must put themselves in the best position to be successful in all aspects of the game. If you disagree with the 'pull-down' and 'run and gun' method of throwing then think about what the first question a scout should ask when evaluating someone's arm:

"How hard does he throw?"

Now velocity is not the end all be all by any means but it definitely is a factor that most look at. So I challenge you as coaches, parents, etc. to film your athlete performing Run & Guns/Pulldowns or whatever it is you feel comfortable calling it and record it if possible with a radar gun to get a baseline so you know where they are at and where they need to go.

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