Target Darts.

book on Talent
This is an interesting read. I don't know exactly how to make it work for darts, but it does say a few things about buzzwords you ought to use. "Automatic" is not one of them.... It is an excellent read, describing what Talent is and how to acquire it ... to some extent.
Unfortunately I have no talent.

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Talent *can* be acquired.... there is no such thing as "natural" talent. There is aptitude, but not talent....It's all in the book.
(08-10-2015, 11:46 PM)BigE Wrote: Talent *can* be acquired.... there is no such thing as "natural" talent. There is aptitude, but not talent....It's all in the book.

"automatic' in which context?
In the non-thinking unaware of what you are doing context.
Here is an example from my own experience.

I took some ideas from the book and implemented them at home. The chief idea is "deep practice", which amounts to detecting and correcting errors. Obviously would be simpler with a coach, but.... none around.

I took the idea of hanging a string from Phil Taylor and the idea that pull back and push must be in the same plane. I worked on this for a few days..... hanging the string down different parts of the board. The plane is defined by your elbow and the string. That is the plane in which the arm moves.

Days of effort, just on the string. I took 9 different weight darts, and demanded that my errors are mostly vertical. I grouped around the string, often picking darts up off the floor. I was intensely focused on what I was doing. I watched myself as much as I could. (video would be better). I slowed the throw down, introducing a lob. I added a snap of the wrist in both directions. I did this exclusively.

Today, I removed the string. My n01 went up about 4 PPT.

The shooting during play was different than the shooting during practice. Practice was intensely detect/correct oriented. Play was not. It was the Bobby George "look where you shoot and shoot where you look" school of thinking. Nice follow through......

Before the work, I did an around the clock doubles. It took 100 darts.

I did one today, after playing practicing in the morning and playing 25 legs. It took only 61 darts. That is a SIGNIFICANT jump in performance.

Read the book. It explains why....
(08-11-2015, 12:46 AM)BigE Wrote: In the non-thinking unaware of what you are doing context.

In practice or in a match?
Any time, The greats are always aware of what they are doing. Look at how long Phil Taylor takes to set up each shot.

He was on a show with Adrian Lewis called Red vs Black, doing a competition called "speed darts". The contestants would choose which player they wanted on their team. Phil took over 2 minutes to knock out 501. Lewis took about 45 seconds.

It does not seem that there is much automatic about Phil Taylor's throw. Clearly the same with Justin Pipe, Barneveld, Andy Hamilton, James Wade, Paul Nicholson, Gary Anderson, SImon Whitlock, Ted Hankey, Steve Bunting etc..... You could argue that MVG throws automatically, but I think he just throws quickly.
I got you. "Automatic" refers to anything done with lesser effort than the normal.

Talent is natural or mostly in-born trait; skill is the one that is acquired.
Check out the book. It is non-fiction, but I could not put it down. Very well written, very well explained. Anything I let onto here is MUCH better explained in the book.

What I understood is that talent and skill are different. Talent would be the ability to create skill, but skill has roots in human biology that we can all create.

The author of the book created a video in which he duplicated the Tiger Woods trick shot:
Here is a quote:

"As I traveled to various talent hotbeds, I asked people for
words that described the sensations of their most productive
practice. Here's what they said:

Awake* "

"* Here is a list of words I didn't hear: natural, effortless, routine, automatic. Another word that's not used around the talent hotbeds I visited was genius. Not that geniuses don't exist: the teachers I spoke with pegged the genius rate at about one per decade. "
I've always described talent as the willingness to stick with something. The five year old that spends hours plinking around on a piano is said to have talent, while the other kid that gets bored after five minutes lacks talent.
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Thunk, thunk, thunk, walk, chalk, pull, turn, walk, turn, repeat...

Cannot wait to get stuck into this book - thank you for sharing this!

In my eyes talent is another word for dedication. Granted you do get some that are just simply better than others, but hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard!
Nickname: 'The Tungsten Tickler'
Darts: 26g Golden Vanquish
180s: 52
Highest checkout: 152
Best leg: 16 darts
2016 180s: 8/50
Twitter: @ABGratton24 / @TungstenTickle
This is nuts ( and no not nutz) in sports 'automatic' does not refer to 'not trying' or 'not focused' or anything like that. What it refers to is operating in the rear brain and TRUSTING your training. This means that you stay in the moment and are focused on what you need to do, what you are going to hit, and maybe you give yourself cues, but you DO the mechanics because you have practiced them, but you do not think about them.
If you do, all you will do is start to tighten up.
In practice, then yes there is a place for this stuff, but no not in a game, and it really ins't helpful to change the understood definition of 'automatic' it should be synonymous with 'in the zone' or 'playing out of your mind' or similar euphemisims.
As George says 'Trust your shot'.
If anything, automatic refers to "muscle memory", which refers to the utilization of the myelin reinforced circuits you've built during hours of direct "detect and correct" practice. Myelin is an insulator that makes sure nerve impulses reach their destination before the impulse has a chance to short out and have low effect. It is like insulation on wire.

There are no shortcuts -- you still have to put in enough time to get the myelin to wrap around the right nerves and create the right circuits/control paths.

If you are putting in practice time, that practice ought to be well thought out. You need to be attentive and focused throughout. It is better to stop when your mind wanders or you start throwing without thinking than to forge on.... you'll only be creating poor control pathways, where the myelin wraps around the wrong nerves. eg. it feels good for me to rotate my wrist outwards at the end of a shot... result: Hit the one.... I don't want that. I consciously make sure the wrist does not roll out.

By paying strict intense attention to detail, you can accelerate improvement by a factor of 10 or more given the right circumstances.... age being an important factor ( the younger you start the better you'll be, no surprise there).

Having a coach really helps. Stumbling alone, in the dark, without a clue about what is proper technique is no way to learn how to play darts, or any technique based activity, like gymnastics, playing violin, shooting baskets, playing golf, bowling, tennis etc. Stumbling alone is fine for acting, comedy, even soccer.

A common movement in darts is that of the "follow through". Imagine how long it would take you to discover that in isolation? Especially if you could hit from time to time with a snatched dart!

Imagine how quickly you could learn to follow through properly with directed "detect and correct" drills, consciously focusing on just the follow through chunk?

I mentioned that I've tried this practice technique with excellent results. I have not mentioned that my wife commented that I was grunting when I was practicing.

It was so hard to overcome existing muscle memory! It took significant physical effort to move differently. I was sweating hard after 20 minutes each time.... It has gotten easier, but I still grunt in practice.

Watch Steven Bunting.... he has the face of determination on when he throws. That's a conscious effort.

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