Progress, plateau and player limits
Hey folks,

Feeling a bit down with my game and hoping that this won't turn into a rant. 

First off the background and what I do. I've played darts for many years and over that time I have played at home generally either 501, challenges or practice routines. I've used darts in weights from 18g to 32g and pretty much any flight and shaft combo you could imagine. 

I most definitely got sucked into the trap, when darts became more popular, of buying different sets to try out rather than sticking to one set which I'm aware is a cardinal sin. 

At this point I would say I could throw most sets with an equal ability, I would get the odd 180, maybe a decent checkout and at the peak with some 25g Barney's I was probably around a low 50 average. 

Moving up to more recent times and the last several months I have been selling off all my old sets of darts. I gave been using heavier darts to try and gain some better consistency and sticking to the one setup inc flights and shafts.

The outcome, I'm still at best a low 50 ave. I am still wholly inconsistent and could most likely pick up any set of darts and play the same.

People often talk about not just hammering the 20's as you won't improve, but surely you would improve at hitting 20's, you may not win games but your scoring should improve, mine does not. 

I don't feel that this is a plateau but simply a cap, a point I have reached which cannot be passed and simply other people are naturally able to play to a higher level for whatever reason. There appears to be little point to aspire to anything more because it is not physically achievable.  I see players just starting out 3 months in and throwing 70 averages, it's demoralising. 

In golf I have a similar problem, I improve to a point but then it cannot be passed, the difference us that handicapping levels the field. Also if I don't play even for a week or so, golf or darts, I am more or less back to square one, like I have no muscle memory at all. 

There are probably no answers to this, it was more of a release. I feel if I can't move on I may as well use just a set of nice looking darts as I'm limiting myself with dart width in a heavy set. 

Reading back this sounds quite defeatist, but I think it's a bit of an acceptance that there are something's I cannot change. 

I might add to this if I think of anything else.
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(05-09-2020, 01:46 PM)garyvangerwen Wrote: Stop moaning and practice more, darts isn't like other sports that need genuine talent and have physical aspects that cap you, anyone can get good at darts, its more mental than anything and your mental attitude towards improving is restricting your progress...

keep at it and believe in yourself, you said it yourself you talk defeatist.

I stick to one set of darts and have accepted that fact that darts takes thousands of hours to master, I get enjoyment from this as I know I'm in it for the long run so I never get demotivated!

Fair call, obviously having played for 30 years isn't sufficient. Flip side it would appear therefore that how good you can be is capped by how many hours you can practice. I do about 2 hours on average, unfortunately I've got a job and family so that's not going to increase.

I talk defeatist in this post bit that's not my normal attitude on a day to day.
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You are frustrated because you reduced darts to the scoring in your mind.
I treat playing darts much more like martial arts: The journey is the reward.
Enjoy a good throw, learn from the botched ones and simply continue.

Since you mentioned that you hit 180's but you are inconsistent now it would be a good time to try something radical.
Change your throw, change your stance, change your grip, change your tension, change your flow.
The way you do it at the moment (for 30 years) seems to be a dead end.
So simply change the way and enjoy a new journey.
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I feel that some people can only achieve a certain level of proficiency at some things, be it pool, tennis, golf, darts, etc. and no amount of practice or league game situations is going to change that.

This is why the World's top 100 players stays fairly constant, especially near the top. Some folks are born with the talent to achieve great success when coupled with determination and practice to get to the top professional level. I've been involved in darts for over 30 years and have seen players in the local leagues come and go. Some of them, even after 20 years of fairly constant league play are at best mediocre and knowing that, they play in the appropriate level league team to be competitive.

My own game has suffered some since I've gotten older and things have changed as far as eyesight, weight, several operations on joints useful in the game of darts, etc. But I've found my happy medium and still enjoy the game very much and have no delusions of being the #1 player even on the local level.

You just need to find your happy place and enjoy the game you can throw on a consistent level and like GvG above said, quit talking defeatist. Not everyone can be a Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor or Michael van Gerwen, so be happy with the best version of Hazza you can muster.
gumbo2176
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(05-09-2020, 02:19 PM)gumbo2176 Wrote: I feel that some people can only achieve a certain level of proficiency at some things, be it pool, tennis, golf, darts, etc. and no amount of practice or league game situations is going to change that.

This is why the World's top 100 players stays fairly constant, especially near the top.    Some folks are born with the talent to achieve great success when coupled with determination and practice to get to the top professional level.  I've been involved in darts for over 30 years and have seen players in the local leagues come and go.    Some of them, even after 20 years of fairly constant league play are at best mediocre and knowing that, they play in the appropriate level league team to be competitive.

My own game has suffered some since I've gotten older and things have changed as far as eyesight, weight, several operations on joints useful in the game of darts, etc.    But I've found my happy medium and still enjoy the game very much and have no delusions of being the #1 player even on the local level.

You just need to find your happy place and enjoy the game you can throw on a consistent level and like GvG above said, quit talking defeatist.    Not everyone can be a Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor or Michael van Gerwen, so be happy with the best version of Hazza you can muster.

Cheers gumbo
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(05-09-2020, 02:19 PM)gumbo2176 Wrote: I feel that some people can only achieve a certain level of proficiency at some things, be it pool, tennis, golf, darts, etc. and no amount of practice or league game situations is going to change that.

This is why the World's top 100 players stays fairly constant, especially near the top.    Some folks are born with the talent to achieve great success when coupled with determination and practice to get to the top professional level.  I've been involved in darts for over 30 years and have seen players in the local leagues come and go.    Some of them, even after 20 years of fairly constant league play are at best mediocre and knowing that, they play in the appropriate level league team to be competitive.

My own game has suffered some since I've gotten older and things have changed as far as eyesight, weight, several operations on joints useful in the game of darts, etc.    But I've found my happy medium and still enjoy the game very much and have no delusions of being the #1 player even on the local level.

You just need to find your happy place and enjoy the game you can throw on a consistent level and like GvG above said, quit talking defeatist.    Not everyone can be a Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor or Michael van Gerwen, so be happy with the best version of Hazza you can muster.

I agree with everything you've got here Gumbo! The highlighted part is the best and spot on for all of us!

Hazaa - hang in there...keep your chin up! Tomorrow's a new day! Wink Smile
Jason S - Middle of USA - South Dakota
Darts: Over 46 sets - Currently Using Whichever One Feels Right
Board: Target Nexus / One80 Gladiator III
Highest Out: 170
Best Leg: 12 Darts (Many shots at a 10 darter - Arghhh)
2020 Maximums: Goal set at 200 - Goal of 200 reached on 3/29/20 - Should've set higher goal.  Blush
Favorite Quotes:
"It always seems impossible until it is done." - Nelson Mandela
"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got." - Robert Brault (Told to me by someone who never knew how much I needed to hear it.)
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You're maybe focused more on achieving numerical results(eg averages. You shouldn't be judging your improvement or ability by averages anyway) than enjoying playing darts as an activity. You don't have to be world class or constantly improving for an activity to still be highly enjoyable.

You should look at darts as more of  a process - buying new darts, selling ones that you don't think suit you any more, playing against different people in the league (online for the time being), trying different techniques, customising your darts, researching different ways to improve and then trying them out, .....
As the above says, becoming the best Hazza you can. The only person you should be competing against is yourself.
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(05-09-2020, 02:14 PM)garyvangerwen Wrote: If you have been practicing 2 hours a day for 30 years and still average around 50 I would say you’ve been practicing wrong.

Good shout although I didn't actually say that but I get your point
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I was watching a recent YouTube video by PDC Pro Matthew Edgar where he was talking about stance, and I found it very interesting to hear him say about the often given advice of doing what comes naturally. He says that there are actually the right ways to do things, not everything, but a lot of things where "just do what's natural" is the wrong advice.

So I would echo the advice of Cateye and say break down your throw, look at the fundamentals and figure out whether you are doing them naturally or correctly.

Can't hurt.
[Image: 5GPKrWp.png]

B: 22g   S: Medium   F: No.6   180s: 1/25
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Thanks all,

I think one of the repeating factors here is probably to change my mentality towards the game. Play for playing and make the most of what I'm doing. No need to feel defeated just accept what is and plsy
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It’s definitely a funny game, I’ve thrown darts for 40 years, some days they go in, some days they don’t, this is the saying that I live to.
I don’t beat myself up when they don’t, but I enjoy the moments when they do, I’ve changed my darts after playing with the same set for over 30 years, consistency is what we all crave, but to be honest, if I played like Adrian Lewis, or Peter Wright I think I’d be even more annoyed, playing at their standard and getting beat a lot, which inevitably happens as there’s only one winner, they must feel the same as we do, always striving for consistency when there is someone having a ‘they’re going in day’ when you aren’t.
Keep your chin up and play the board, all you can do is play the best you can on the day, believe in yourself, if things aren’t getting any better, I’d always go back to basics, throw for putting all three darts in the same segment, get the mechanics of your throw right first, build your own belief up and go from there, when you can do this, then you can play around with fine tuning your setup, hope some of this makes some sort of sense, only my opinion but I’m always open to suggestions.
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(05-09-2020, 02:40 PM)jt4527 Wrote: I was watching a recent YouTube video by PDC Pro Matthew Edgar where he was talking about stance, and I found it very interesting to hear him say about the often given advice of doing what comes naturally. He says that there are actually the right ways to do things, not everything, but a lot of things where "just do what's natural" is the wrong advice.

So I would echo the advice of Cateye and say break down your throw, look at the fundamentals and figure out whether you are doing them naturally or correctly.

Can't hurt.

Yeah I do try but as an individual I think you can make errors without knowing it if that makes sense. I think I've seen that video, he's very good and I've done some of his challenges which are good practice. 

Quite a lot of elements to a throw really, I watched the Paul Nicholson series which covered stance etc but I'm not really sure what parts and what would be considered correct since most people seem to be different. 

For example a solid stance, but how you achieve that is really quite flexible. Keep your elbow up but that can feel so awkward it's detrimental.  There are a lot of variables, I'm not sure how many factors are actually fixed.
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(05-09-2020, 02:48 PM)Easyrider Wrote: It’s definitely a funny game, I’ve thrown darts for 40 years, some days they go in, some days they don’t, this is the saying that I live to.
I don’t beat myself up when they don’t, but I enjoy the moments when they do, I’ve changed my darts after playing with the same set for over 30 years, consistency is what we all crave, but to be honest, if I played like Adrian Lewis, or Peter Wright I think I’d be even more annoyed, playing at their standard and getting beat a lot, which inevitably happens as there’s only one winner, they must feel the same as we do, always striving for consistency when there is someone having a ‘they’re going in day’ when you aren’t.
Keep your chin up and play the board, all you can do is play the best you can on the day, believe in yourself, if things aren’t getting any better, I’d always go back to basics, throw for putting all three darts in the same segment, get the mechanics of your throw right first, build your own belief up and go from there, when you can do this, then you can play around with fine tuning your setup, hope some of this makes some sort of sense, only my opinion but I’m always open to suggestions.

Thanks and well put. One of the reasons I put a post like this up is I can come back to it, when I have another off day, and remind myself of what people told me to help get out of the funk.
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I think / suspect lots of people have good and bad days, I know i do, I guess the main thing is that you enjoy playing.
Yes its me, I checked in the mirror. 

Current throwing weights of 18 to 24 grams.

Current darts set up :- 23 gram, darts clearance (no name scalloped darts) with a 50 mm barrel, 41 mm nylon shafts + standard flights.
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(05-10-2020, 09:04 AM)Phil D Wrote: I think / suspect lots of people have good and bad days, I know i do, I guess the main thing is that you enjoy playing.

Thanks Phil, today's a new day
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