Unicorn

Trajectory and return point
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I've been playing for around about a week, and there are a couple of things that really bug me. They are kind of interrelated, I think. There is probably a mental aspect to it, but I think there is also a technical issue that at some point I'll have to overcome.

Firstly, I feel pretty comfortable being very side on and leaning forward in my stance, the balance feels good and aligned with the centre of the board and reasonably okay with my grip. Thankfully they seem to have come fairly naturally to me and I haven't played around with them much, everything else just feels wrong so that is a sign to me that I'm where I'm supposed to be in these respects. But...

1) Trajectory - I don't feel like I can be quite as decisive on how I'm throwing the dart. Sometimes I'll throw them fairly loopy (although I've no reference point on exactly how loopy) and sometimes I feel more like I'm firing them straight at the target with a little more force. The trouble is, I'll have a few good throws with both methods and then maybe my brain becomes scrambled. I feel in my own mind that the grouping becomes easier with the straighter harder throw once I throw a good first dart, but it also leads to more snatching and less smoothness.

2) Return point - I think this probably relates to issue 1 to be honest. I always start by setting the dart in the exact same way, but sometimes I'll pull it back to just below my eye and on other occasions I'll bring it just above the collar bone. I do find I tend to push the dart from the eye along a straighter path, and I'll tend to loop them more from the collar bone.

Now I've explained my issue I have a few questions.

- How do you know when a way is right for you? I feel like I should know the answer to this question because I set on a grip and stance immediately, but in terms of release point and trajectory it has been elusive to me, and that is a quandary!

- How would you counsel me to proceed? Do I continue with both return points until I can make a decisive decision or should there be key factors that I can use to determine which is right for me? I kind of want to get to a position where I'm throwing the same way 90% of the time ASAP, because that can only help me improve the consistency of my mechanics and therefore my throw. But I don't want to make a hasty and uninformed decision either, so hopefully you guys can unscramble my brain!

Thank you Darts Nutz!
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Your nick reminds me of one of my favorite boxers - Hagler!

Welcome to the Nutz world.
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(01-20-2015, 02:30 AM)majeek Wrote: Your nick reminds me of one of my favorite boxers - Hagler!

Welcome to the Nutz world.
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Thank you very much!
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Ayup Marv

The key is to get the arm fully extended on release, if you can master this art.
Then you will start to see more consistency in your game, its a learning curve tho fella.
To some it comes quickly, others have to practice at it.
Good darting.

Shed
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1) I think overall smoothness is more important than your trajectory.

Try to find a happy medium that gives you the most consistency but feels the most natural to you. Some players throw hard, some softer....it's just one of the hundred variations in a throw. From the sounds of things, you may want to go with a more of a rainbow "loopy" trajectory since it makes you snatch less with your arm.

Also, your stem length can also have an effect on the trajectory too because it changes the center of gravity on the dart. Even though it's in Japanese, you can kind of figure out what they're saying by the diagrams/video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ0k-FgQzOk

I would just work on smoothness first even if it means less accuracy in the beginning. After more time you'll develop accuracy with the smooth/comfortable throw. The problem with a "forced" throw that gives you great accuracy (but inconsistent) is it's one of the first things to let you down when you're under pressure in a league/tournament match. If you develop a very smooth/effortless throw, it will be easier to replicate under pressure.



2. The return point is a tough one. I'm still struggling with finding a spot that's truly comfortable/accurate. The trick is to try your best to keep your whole arm inline to the target....having your shoulder in line is crucial. There is no right answer with the return point....I've seen successful players go back to their shoulder while others (like Stephen Bunting) have almost no draw back. Again, experience with different spots but see what FEELS best, not exactly what's the most accurate. I find that an inch to the left of my mouth keeps my arm more inline to the dartboard and I have an easier time with a full follow through. If I pull back too to near the center of my face, it almost feels like I have an extra kink during my release that's not natural. Again, everyone has different body mechanics.
Maybe try going around the world 1-20 (only hitting fat numbers) with one return point at a time (do the whole game with one consistent return point). Count your score and try a different return point but make subtle changes. See which return point feels the most natural with all areas of the board.

One last thing, be aware that your return point can change the height of your elbow. Just a simple 1" move upwards on your cheek can change the whole angle/height of your elbow. Pay attention to that while throwing. Maybe try to keep your elbow in a fixed position and then slightly change your return point but still keeping the elbow in the same position. That way you can find the best elbow height first for a comfortable/natural throw and then tweak your return point...by figuring out that first, you limit the return point spots because there is only so many places you can draw back before upsetting that elbow position.

If you watch the pros, every one of them has a different elbow position height and that corresponds with their return point.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imy5b0cdG-o
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(01-20-2015, 08:44 AM)Regulatori Wrote: 1) I think overall smoothness is more important than your trajectory.

Try to find a happy medium that gives you the most consistency but feels the most natural to you. Some players throw hard, some softer....it's just one of the hundred variations in a throw. From the sounds of things, you may want to go with a more of a rainbow "loopy" trajectory since it makes you snatch less with your arm.

Also, your stem length can also have an effect on the trajectory too because it changes the center of gravity on the dart. Even though it's in Japanese, you can kind of figure out what they're saying by the diagrams/video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ0k-FgQzOk

I would just work on smoothness first even if it means less accuracy in the beginning. After more time you'll develop accuracy with the smooth/comfortable throw. The problem with a "forced" throw that gives you great accuracy (but inconsistent) is it's one of the first things to let you down when you're under pressure in a league/tournament match. If you develop a very smooth/effortless throw, it will be easier to replicate under pressure.



2. The return point is a tough one. I'm still struggling with finding a spot that's truly comfortable/accurate. The trick is to try your best to keep your whole arm inline to the target....having your shoulder in line is crucial. There is no right answer with the return point....I've seen successful players go back to their shoulder while others (like Stephen Bunting) have almost no draw back. Again, experience with different spots but see what FEELS best, not exactly what's the most accurate. I find that an inch to the left of my mouth keeps my arm more inline to the dartboard and I have an easier time with a full follow through. If I pull back too to near the center of my face, it almost feels like I have an extra kink during my release that's not natural. Again, everyone has different body mechanics.
Maybe try going around the world 1-20 (only hitting fat numbers) with one return point at a time (do the whole game with one consistent return point). Count your score and try a different return point but make subtle changes. See which return point feels the most natural with all areas of the board.

One last thing, be aware that your return point can change the height of your elbow. Just a simple 1" move upwards on your cheek can change the whole angle/height of your elbow. Pay attention to that while throwing. Maybe try to keep your elbow in a fixed position and then slightly change your return point but still keeping the elbow in the same position. That way you can find the best elbow height first for a comfortable/natural throw and then tweak your return point...by figuring out that first, you limit the return point spots because there is only so many places you can draw back before upsetting that elbow position.

If you watch the pros, every one of them has a different elbow position height and that corresponds with their return point.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imy5b0cdG-o
The point you make about a forced throw in a match situation seems very insightful. I hadn't looked at it that way, but eventually I would like to play in competitive play and it wasn't something I'd considered. I guess I do feel a little more forced the harder I throw, and usually that also corresponds from the return point being just below the eye. To me it feels like I have to push the dart from that position a little more to generate the force needed, whereas when I draw back that little further beyond the cheek it feels like I have momentum. Perhaps that is a sign that the smoother throw that I feel from just wide of the cheek is the best for me.

But I'll certainly put a few methods to the test over the next week. I guess part of the problem is I've probably just been throwing a bit aimlessly. Perhaps if I genuinely test this out I'll be able to make a better choice, or at least be comfortable in my own mind. I feel like most of the time my elbow position doesn't change a great deal irrespective of the return point, although I'm aware that I'm probably incorrect in that thought. Perhaps I'll get the Mrs to check!
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