Double Top Darts.

The importance of the shoulder
I have posted a few times on here as I continue to fine tune my throwing motion. As I was practicing two nights ago, I had a revelation. Granted, it is probably simplistic, but has helped me greatly already.

My issue has always been a lack of consistency and darts scattering right and left. I tried late releases, forward leans, a multitude of grip styles, etc. During my throw, I found that my throwing hand (my right) would end up flipping to the right at the end of my stroke. Try as I might, I struggled with controlling this. I also struggled greatly with the classic finish of the arm extended straight at the board and palm down. In fact, when I focused on the palm down finish, the darts tended to roll off of my index finger and drift left.

What I came to realize, and I am sure that this is absolute basics to those who have been playing for a while, is that my hand was not over my shoulder when I drew the dart back. I found that when I drew back my dart that my shoulder was to the right of my hand (or my hand was to the left of my shoulder). This offset was actually quite slight being no more than an inch or two. This set up a throw whereby my arm went initially a bit to the left, then back to the right because my forearm started angled to the left. And, of course, the darts scattered left and right depending on the exact moment they were released.

By turning my front shoulder more toward the board and drawing back in line with my shoulder, the left to right was gone immediately. Also, the classic palm down finish happened on its own and no more rolling the dart off of the index finger. Triples are becoming a bit more common and I closed the Bull in cricket with two darts. The only challenge now is getting this to the level of muscle memory for consistency. Right now I do pretty well with 2 of 3 darts flying true.

Again, I am sure many are reading this and thinking how basic this step is. For me, though, it was truly an A HA! moment. Hopefully, this may also serve to help someone who is new like myself and is struggling with this same issue. Sometimes it is the simplest thing that makes the most significant improvement.

Keep throwing Dartz Nutz!
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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its often said about the shoulder and I think its a valid point as if you pint your arm straight out it goes in line with your finger so it is definitely worth trying Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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I am definitely going to look out for this next time am throwing I too suffer a lot from darts hitting 5s and 1s with no consistency at times in my throw. So worth thinking about thanks ranger
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The other good thing about setting up more sideways is that your torso isn't going to twist -- one of the things that needs to be unlearned by some of us Americans who grew up playing the "throwing sports."
26's so far this year: I've already lost count. :-)

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I use my heel and my shoulder as my points of alignment,,,, I stand at a 45* angle to the board and try to line up my shoulder on the bull,,,,
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What you describe as hand flipping to the right at release happens to me when I line up/address the board too much to the left... the stroke drives the hand to left of target, and the hand says "Whoa! That's gotta go to the right! and flips to the right.... In the worst case, I try to change the direction of the stroke in real time, and the elbow "yips".

This "lining up the shoulder", I call "addressing the board". If you've addressed it well, your stroke runs true. I look for an external cue, like where the foot goes on the oche. Once I find *the* spot, I put the foot there all the time. Still working on the upper body/hip position though.. have not figured out exactly how that relates to my target since the shoulder is a rotary joint -- you can push in many directions.
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Big E - The fact that the shoulder is a rotary joint was a big part of my problem. Sounds like we have experienced similar issues.

With my recent change in my stroke, I come back with the dart in the direction of the shoulder (which also keeps it under my right eye). Then, I focus on using the tricep to extend the arm. Sounds silly, but if I don't I end up pushing the dart with a combination of shoulder and tricep which can make you lose power. The upper arm comes up naturally when I do this.

Seems to be working now but I am sure, like most of us, I may have to tweak something in future.
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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This isn't something I had even thought of but definitely will give it a try and check for myself, cheers Ranger for a different point of view. Have a +1
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Playing 40 years on and off and still barely average
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I think I see what you guys are saying, but if you look at the pros a lot of them don't line up their shoulder with their drawback (actually the shoulder is not in line with the whole throw for that matter).

The first person to spring to mind was Gary Anderson, since he has a more square stance but still pulls the dart back right to his eye. I watched a little of a match with Gary against MVG. MVG kind of lets his shoulder hang in front of his body, so I would say he has his throw in line with his shoulder (like you are saying if Im not mistaken).

So right there you have two amazing players, one appears to have the shoulder in line or at least very close (MVG), while Gary has an offset of at least an inch like the ranger mentioned.

edit: I would say RVB throws with his shoulder in line since he pulls to the right side of his face.

From the little darts Ive watched, it seems that pulling to the side of your head is more of an amateur thing (like throwing a ball) even though it might technically line your shoulder and elbow up a little better.
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Ted Hankey seems to line up the shoulder, eye and elbow in the same plane. Martin Adams does not. Actually, it looks like most pros don't. What is lined up is elbow and eye with pull back and push in the same plane. It is possible that eye/shoulder and elbow in the same plane may work, but then you have to move around for every off center shot.....
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A Word From The Top Dog Phil Taylor....Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

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Its what I was doing last year when my game got good briefly for a spell again, but I ended up with such an aggravating pain in my shoulder I had to stop and it took a few months for it to ease. But I dont think others will have that problem as its a result of my old injury I think.

I kind of throw more chest on now, which is not ideal but is less painful. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Love this forum and all the feedback/insight!

I, too, have seen many of the Pro's that do not line up their wrist, elbow and shoulder. I think this most likely comes down to "if it works for you then do it". And, of course, the Pro's are throwing many thousands of darts a year. For some reason, when I was throwing naturally, I was having the issues I mentioned in my original post. The good news is that the changes I made are becoming second nature so I am finding a new "natural".

At least for me, this simple solution remedied several problems at once including one I forgot to mention. My release was clearly affected as my darts used to fishtail all the way to the board. Now they are flying like, well, darts! They are straight and true with good penetration.

I will stick with this as long as it works and enjoy the accuracy that has come from it.
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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