Shot Darts

Worrying about doing "too well"
hi nutz

during my league games, I tend to start my games well, and that's when my brain starts to worry about how to keep the throw going and that's where it all goes down hill.

any tips?
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Throw your mind on the game and relax. Try to think of "having fun", happy moments. Soothing music might help.
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I do the same thing and I cant say I have a solution because darts is a very mentally challenging game.

Stay in the moment. Don't remove your thoughts to the future or the past.

Enjoy the moment ... build your confidence. Scoring is cyclical in nature ... good games / poor games ... good nites/ poor nites ... the secret is Staying in the MOMENT as you stand on the oche and your only thoughts should be very limited.
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I get a sense that having started well, you expect to finish well. This turns playing the game into watching the game. Once you veer away from the focus that started it all, you cannot expect to produce the same level of play.

If you want to watch, put your darts down and watch someone else play.

If you want to play, get on the oche, and PLAY. Do what you need to do to play well --which starts with trusting yourself.

A good start should make trusting yourself easy and give you all you need to stay in the moment and play.
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(10-05-2015, 05:34 PM)majeek Wrote: Throw your mind on the game and relax. Try to think of "having fun", happy moments. Soothing music might help.

I always feel decently relaxed at the start, and then i freeze and start babying the darts. Really frustrating when the practice before the game it all flows easily.
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(10-05-2015, 05:42 PM)BigE Wrote: I get a sense that having started well, you expect to finish well. This turns playing the game into watching the game. Once you veer away from the focus that started it all, you cannot expect to produce the same level of play.

If you want to watch, put your darts down and watch someone else play.

If you want to play, get on the oche, and PLAY. Do what you need to do to play well --which starts with trusting yourself.

A good start should make trusting yourself easy and give you all you need to stay in the moment and play.

That's a very good way to look at it. Thanks! I think I need to start trusting myself. That's real important.
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(10-05-2015, 05:35 PM)Grey Owl Wrote: I do the same thing and I cant say I have a solution because darts is a very mentally challenging game.

Stay in the moment. Don't remove your thoughts to the future or the past.

Enjoy the moment ... build your confidence. Scoring is cyclical in nature ... good games / poor games ... good nites/ poor nites ... the secret is Staying in the MOMENT as you stand on the oche and your only thoughts should be very limited.

I keep telling myself the 3 darts in hand are the ones that count, not the ones that were already thrown. But then the first dart goes in the 1, the second dart goes in the 5, and Im always stuck in that rut I can't get out of.
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In my experience, once I say "these darts count" I start watching where "these darts score" as opposed to doing what I need to do to throw them well. I throw more tentatively, my follow through is not so good, the darts begin to spray as they miss and can go in at odd angles as frustration mounts. That does not happen when playing well.

There is a particular frame of mind that you have when throwing well. This is the frame of mind you must reproduce each trip to the oche. Some people can get into it on demand. Some people, once they've got into it, must stay there for the duration of the match. I fall into the latter group. I cannot speak to my team mates between shots and expect to shoot well. I need to focus on the task, not take tips on throwing better.....

Practice is the time that you can spend on the minutia of the shot. Let's assume practice has a mindful detect and correct component. It is not just firing darts at random targets. By mindful, I mean maybe adjusting amount of wrist snap, solidifying the elbow on the back swing... whatever.... once you get to competition, those detect/correct thoughts are gone. You *must* trust that some of what you did during practice is going to stay with you when you play.

For me, play starts by slowing the heart rate, approaching the oche knowing exactly what I am going to try to hit, addressing that target as in practice ( if you don't lean in then, don't do that now) , lining up the dart and trusting myself to stroke it into the target.

If you need to decide on the next shot. Take your foot off the oche and make the decision. Then slow the heart rate, approach the oche etc. Repeat what made you successful in the frame of mind that you had when you were successful.

Your only goal at game time is to play. No changes to your technique. Just find a way to calm down so that you can express your technique at game time as well as you do in practice. I doubt you tell yourself in practice "These three darts count."! So don't do it at game time. That is adding unnecessary pressure. It is not easy to do, but it is impossible without getting into the right frame of mind.

Bottom line, try your best on every trip to the oche. Don't worry about the results. You know if the dart is thrown well, hit or miss. If it was thrown to the best of your skill level and you missed, that is fine..... but, if you missed because your head got in the way..... regroup and try to stay on top of that.
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(10-05-2015, 10:45 PM)BigE Wrote: Your only goal at game time is to play.

This is great advice and I really hope it comes to me during the game on Wednesday!
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update:

had another league game tonight, as usual, game jitters completely controlled me.

snatched at darts and they were all over the place.

how do i get rid of this?! as usual, practice was good and froze during the game. the short format does not allow me to get into any rhythm at all.
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I think everybody has similar problems, which all stem from "trying too hard."

Whether its too high of expectations, getting mad when you miss, etc., I feel like it is all the same problem, trying too hard.

I have this problem too sometimes, and for me the best thing to do is just aim at the target and throw at it, maybe focus on the follow through or a particular part of the throw which might help re-establish or stick with the fundamentals.

I feel like this is why a lot of the pros have similar advice, from Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis, Paul Lim, and I think a few more that I cannot think of at the moment. They all have a little "routine" in their head as they throw. I think Phil's is "aim, drawback, fire." Paul Lims is "A-B-C." Adrian Lewis says "back and forward."

Adrian lewis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw531BZcGGA
Paul Lim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl1RH5wfGGM

edit: What I was trying to say is that thinking too much on the oche is bad, but maybe having a little saying which works almost like a distraction could help. Some people might think that even a simple routine is too much to think about, but not if it stops your mind from racing, being nervous, overthinking, etc.
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(10-07-2015, 07:44 PM)Dmott Wrote: I think everybody has similar problems, which all stem from "trying too hard."

Whether its too high of expectations, getting mad when you miss, etc., I feel like it is all the same problem, trying too hard.

i seriously think this is an issue with me, i try way too hard. and it never EVER works out well for me. but im such a perfectionist that it really gets to me and I expect myself to hit what I hit in practice, but it never happens. i get annoyed and it doesn't help my cause at all. its so cyclical and i'm really struggling to get through it.

I also feel like my skill level has plateaued recently and im stuck averaging 45ish. I recently broke through the 40 avg seemingly overnight and now I can't figure out how to get through this next one.

Darts is so fun, but so so frustrating.
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I think the plateau around 45 is because you are missing closer to your target now, so lots of 1s and 5s while aiming at 20s, instead of 18s and 12s also. But from here on out I would expect it to be steadily increasing.
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(10-07-2015, 08:01 PM)atas41 Wrote:
(10-07-2015, 07:44 PM)Dmott Wrote: I think everybody has similar problems, which all stem from "trying too hard."

Whether its too high of expectations, getting mad when you miss, etc., I feel like it is all the same problem, trying too hard.

i seriously think this is an issue with me, i try way too hard. and it never EVER works out well for me. but im such a perfectionist that it really gets to me and I expect myself to hit what I hit in practice, but it never happens. i get annoyed and it doesn't help my cause at all. its so cyclical and i'm really struggling to get through it.

I also feel like my skill level has plateaued recently and im stuck averaging 45ish. I recently broke through the 40 avg seemingly overnight and now I can't figure out how to get through this next one.

Darts is so fun, but so so frustrating.

This has probably been posted somewhere else on the site but is a good read and describes (i think) some of what you are going through.

https://www.dartbase.com/slump.htm

remember all players go through this it's not just you. Even most of the pro's acknowledge that they play better in the practice room than on the stage. -

I don't know how much you warm up before league but here is what I do to help -

The first thing I do EVERY night before league play in warm up is throw around the board until I have hit every single on the board.

What I feel this helps me accomplish is confidence. When I find my self struggling in the match I remember back to the warm up where I hit the specfic target I now need to hit. I reenforce that I have hit this earlier in the night so I should be able to do it now.

It seems like you have the drive - you will get there it will just take some time.
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The biggest impediment to throwing well is thinking you're a better thrower than you really are. The sooner you accept that your games are a snapshot of your ability to play, the sooner you'll try things to improve it. Sounds cruel, but it is true.

The most likely candidate for snatching your darts is that you've got a snatchy throw. Add a little bit of jitters and that snatchy throw becomes much worse.

I recommend that you try to develop a *full* follow through. The best way to do that is to video yourself and compare your follow through to the pros. I bet you will be surprised.

I would start to develop a solid follow through by first just throwing at the board and fully extending your arm. Once you do that enough so that it does not feel like a novelty, I would try to hit some targets throwing like that. Just big fat singles at first. That ought to take a while to become comfortable.... a couple months at least, if you play daily. That full follow through must follow through fully to the target.

I can safely say that if you go into most lower level leagues, you will find teams filled with players that have not developed a full follow through, yet think they have. The most likely reason I can think of is that they believe success on the dart board implies that the dart was thrown well. Nothing can be further from the truth.

A well thrown dart often finds its target. A dart that found its target says nothing about how it got there.
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