Pulldowns to Increase Velocity: Why it Works

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High-intent throws are a popular topic in baseball training to increase throwing velocity. These throws, sometimes referred to as “pulldowns” or “run ‘n guns,” are made to improve movement patterns while teaching the body to move swiftly and violently. Others are pretty critical of them, despite numerous training facilities employing them.

A training environment must push the stimulus to or just slightly past limitations for the body to adapt to higher levels. According to Paul Nyman’s Bernstein Principle, as Ron Worforth noted in an article, “The body will organize itself based upon the ultimate objective of the action” (Texas Baseball Ranch). 

Movement patterns and intent are typically improved when the body is compelled to arrange itself in a manner that demands peak performance. Exercises, including a medicine ball, weightlifting, and intentional throws, are examples of this. This idea goes well beyond pulldowns when teaching athletes the value of intent and how the body moves with tremendous effort.

Long toss has become a well-liked training tool over the last 20 years. Although it is not an entirely new training technique, it is now much more popular and has been instrumental in educating players across the country. High-arc distance throws and pulldowns are integral to long toss. Even though they only make up a small part of the puzzle, pulldowns help increase arm training levels for both arm health and velocity.

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How Do Pulldowns Take Place? 

A throw that is made with full intent after acquiring momentum from some sort of running start is called a pulldown. Athletes utilize a variety of footwork to get to a release point. Some people alternate between shuffling strides and full crow hops. Regardless the main objective is to throw the ball as hard as you can on a line.

Over the past few years, pulldowns have come under fire from the baseball community:

So Why Do Pulldowns 

The purpose of pulldowns Throwers will program themselves to move as efficiently as possible when we throw with the greatest possible intention. They won’t move flawlessly, but they will frequently move more naturally than they would in a coaching setting. Most athletes overcoach when attempting to prepare their bodies to throw forcefully.

Utilizing pulldowns is one way to enable an athlete to work loosely and freely. Adopting the mindset of just trying to throw as hard as you can in a low-volume situation is incredibly beneficial for developing players. Athletes can eliminate all the physical and emotional cues that coaches commonly impose on athletes during pulldowns.

Now, a crucial part of completing pulldowns is understanding the actions that make up each one. Some kids can maneuver much more efficiently in a pulldown. Some don’t. Videotaping, analyzing, and communicating an athlete’s pulldown movement patterns is one of the best ways to train them to move more freely.

Pulldowns are just one more teaching and training tool you can use in a situation where the athlete can train freely and with an intensity consistent with the conditions of play.

How to Perform a Run and Gun Pull Down

You’ll be able to effectively execute a run and gun throw if you meet the three criteria listed below:

Ramping up Program: Asking players to throw a baseball as hard as they can when warming up could be disastrous. You won’t permit a player to squat with more than 315 pounds on the bar if they haven’t worked up to it. To prepare your athletes to throw with force and velocity, you should employ the appropriate “Ramping Up” program.

Toss With Intention: This throwing attempt is not a careless, “feel-good” throw. You exercise and push your arm and body to get the most out of it. Make sure your players know that making this throw demands a lot of intensity and effort.

Track Progress: You must be able to show how your players are progressing due to the pulldown throwing technique. Tracking throws with a radar gun is crucial to ensuring the athletes in your care continue to advance.

While not the only factor to consider, velocity is unquestionably one of the most crucial. As coaches or parents, I challenge you to film your athlete performing Run & Guns/Pulldowns and, if practical, record velocities with a radar gun so you have a baseline and know where they need to go.

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