Analysis Paralysis
Hello fellow beginners!

Time to post a few thoughts again.

For those that have seen my prior threads, you know I am very analytical by nature.  I have posted about throw speed, focusing on utilizing the tricep, the importance of keeping my forearm vertical, how I grip the dart, how far I pull back my wrist, etc., etc..

At this point, while I still believe you have to look critically at the way you throw, there is a point where you just "let it happen".  It is much like learning to drive a car.  When we first start out, we hyper-focus on where we grip the steering wheel, staying in our lane, how much pressure to apply to the gas and brake pedals, and parking absolutely perfectly.  At this point, after driving for many years, I suspect most of us cannot even remember the ride home from work!  It just comes naturally.  And, we are far better drivers given that controlling a vehicle is now second nature and we have a bedrock of experience.

Darts, to me, is much the same.  Fortunately, I have reached a point where I am just beginning to be on "auto pilot".  After struggling for weeks (if not months) with various nuances of my set up and throw, I am now just doing it.  Sounds simple to most, but if you are analytical like me (by training, at work, and by nature), it can be an incredibly difficult habit to get out of.

The repetition has allowed me to grip the darts pretty much the same every time and worrying less about a perfect Taylor-ish finish has allowed me to focus more on the target.  About a week ago, I found my favorite score (26) was no longer so common.  More and more 60+, a few 180's, and the bullseye is no longer an elusive dream.  I am finally able to focus on the treble and not the number.  I certainly don't hit it very often and, of course, there is always the stray dart.  But I am now focused on scoring as an end state instead of "perfect" form to score.  My recommendation is to start with the basics, get a solid, repeatable form down (position at the oche, grip, starting point, draw point, release point, style of release) and then practice to make is repeatable (and flight school is immensely helpful here!).

I still review the basics and make minor adjustments.  But 95% of the time it's just grip it and throw.  And, if you continually change anything about your throw, it will never become second nature and consistency will forever elude you.  You will find yourself where I have been for the last couple of months.....analysis paralysis.

Throw on Darts Nutz!  It's a heck of a journey.
Target Taylor 9 zero soft and steel tip 

Boards: Gladiator 2 with Target Vision lighting system and Gran Board 2 soft tip with Target Corona lighting system. 


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If only it was simple for us all but then we would all be playing as pros, its always simple in principal but achieving that simplicity in practical terms is the never ending journey for some of us Smile
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Nice post. I am very much like you. I suffer from analysis paralysis and my averages start dropping. Gotta keep the mechanics simple. There is no way you can consciously think about each aspect of your motion. You will miss. And miss a lot.

I find that focusing on the forward motion and the target -- throwing directly at the target -- works for me. Nothing else. No back stroke, elbow position, knees, starting position, grip, etc. Just focus on making a straight motion to the target.
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It is similar to driving a nail.  There is a right way to hold the hammer, a correct spatial relationship between the hand and the nail head.  The hold on the nail must be firm but not restrictive.  Once you want to hit the nail, there is no turning back. If you try to hyper manage this, you'll probably hit your fingers.

At some point, you just have to trust that the stroke you have developed is going to work.  So how do you develop that stroke?

Flight School.

I did A1 as the only practiced drill for about 6 weeks, after returning to darts from a 20 year absence.  Then added A3.  6 weeks was really not enough.  

That being said, as you improve, smaller faults become magnified.  How to fix?  Lengthy A1 sessions. It sounds boring, but it *will* correct those faults.  It takes time.... lots of time..... of course, your mileage may vary.

Then I recommend adding A2 while throwing A1.... follow each successful dart with an A2 mindset.

Once you realize which senses you are actually using to play darts, it does not really matter what you are shooting at.  A1 is as good or better than other drills to create your stroke as it provides a low stress environment.  

Afterall, if you have trouble putting 2 or 3 in a fat single, why do you think you will learn more by throwing at triples?  If you have problems with vision, and need the triple because you can see that target better, stick a round headed pin into the middle of the fat as a reference instead, or use dart rings.

The end goal is accuracy with grouping... I recommend starting with grouping to help avoid analysis paralysis.
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I am as guilty as anyone on this.  Sometimes when things aren't going good just step up to the oche, let it rip, and be surprised by what happens.  Regroup and move on.  Therapy at its basic level.  Glad I'm not alone
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it didn't take me long after I started playing that I played so much better when I wasn't concentrating so hard. that's why even today after about 3 beers I usually hit a stage where im on fire. unfortunately it only lasts for another 2 beers or so ahahah. seriously though, when I first started playing league I was concentrating so hard that it ended up causing me to do something wrong, which started wreaking havoc on my confidence and after just a few games I was worthless. whoever mentioned A1 is dead on in my opinion. what its designed to do is to get those small things you think about all time to second nature so you don't have to think about them. there are certain things that I have to focus on still, but gripping the dart, my stance, etc are things that never even cross my mind anymore.

I try to tell my wife these things but its very hard for me to explain. she has some defects in her throw and she always asks me to watch her so I can tell her if shes doing stuff like dropping elbow, rocking, etc. so when I tell her she concentrates on trying to get everything perfect and shes concentrating so hard that shes just really tight and ends up slinging the dart. or when I say that she should just loosen up and let her arm do all the work then she will start focusing on that and will have a few throws that don't even make it to the board.

I try to tell her that its like tossing a softball. if we were standing about 6-8 feet apart how would you throw the ball to me. you certain wouldn't hurl it like a pitcher, but you would have to toss it hard enough to get to me. normally you would let go of the ball around my eye level and the gravity carry the ball until it dropped into my hands that are at chest level. but if you concentrated really hard on the mechanics or how you are gripping or how hard you are gripping or how far to back stroke or how fast or where to stand then chances are the ball wont lob or arc. the biggest mistake I see when people are throwing is that they are throwing way too tight. like their arm is a catapult. yes, there are lots of things that make a great throw just like throwing a curveball. but you cant work on all of those things at the same time.

this is coming from someone who is also very analytical and precise about everything. but at the end of the day all you are doing is lobbing an object to a target 8 feet away. and its not even moving! so ive learned to think about it just like that.
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I am sure that you have the best of intentions,  but to me it sounds best to leave your wife be, and let her find her own comfort  zone.  This is most important.

If I were to tell her anything I would say the same three things that I tell everyone : 
1) follow through...watch the pros in slow motion on youtube as to what that means. 
2) mind your elbow..kept it still until release. 

3) stand still on the oche.  I mean well balanced on one leg. 

Nothing more. Let her sort all that out.

If she can miss the board, minutiae will not help.
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