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Earlier this week I got a chance to sit down with Zack Littell, of the Minnesota Twins. Being able to open the mind and hear directly from a Major League pitcher about their craft is awesome. Here is someone who is amongst the best of the best in what he does in the entire world and being able to pick his brain and have him give our readers some advice is something we are very thankful for.
Here are some things that Zack will talk about throughout our conversation, don't miss it:
Check out the video below.
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.
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:
Here are three things you'll want to look for when executing a successful run and gun throw:
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.