Shot Darts

Grinding it out
Background: I play B grade league darts where a three dart average of 45 will normally get you to your double

I've been doing my A1 and other practice drills 3 or 4 nights a week and playing league on Wednesdays.  While I feel I'm throwing better in practice I feel I am actually playing worse in the league.  I'm not really worrying at the moment though as I expect that continuing to work hard will pay off.

A couple of weeks ago I had a shocker in the league and went down meekly in a flurry of 26s.  I just couldn't throw straight.  Last night I felt I was throwing about the same as then (awful!) but the practice sessions I'd done helped my think about my stroke a little - although I seem to play better when I don't think at all.  When I'm practicing and throwing badly I have a little mental reset of thinking "back and through" and concentrating on a nice long, straight follow through.  This can get things flowing again and brings back a bit of feel.

I used this technique last night and was able to grind it out to two wins from three.  First up, my doubles partner carried me to the line and I somehow hit the double 4 for the game.  In my first singles I was able "fake it until I make it" by using "back and through" and kept scoring acceptably and got to my doubles.  I then threw pretty well at the doubles to take the game.

I lost my second singles against the opposition's best player in a deciding leg.  He actually had a dart for a 15 darter but I just kept plugging away...throwing straight and hitting enough big 20's to keep myself in the game.  He took his double to win fairly easily in the end.

I guess what I'm trying to get across is that I feel like I gained a valuable skill last night: the ability to be competitive even when throwing badly.

Anyone else have tips on what to do when it doesn't come naturally on the night?
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Firstly well done, what you did was smart and very hard to do when the inevitable looks obvious.
What you did was to play the board and not the player. The truth is that the only way you can be affected by the other player is when you allow it to happen...the other player cannot transfer emotions on to you no matter what they throw.
Easy to say ..hard to accomplish..I think James Wade has the best ability to remain unaffected by his opponent right until the very last double..If you can master this skill you will win games that you would have otherwise lost and your own standard of play will elevate.

There are many other tips but what you did will be your greatest asset during those games.,
Because you can only control what you do, not what they do.
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(10-15-2015, 06:52 AM)Ant007 Wrote: Firstly well done, what you did was smart and very hard to do when the inevitable looks obvious.
What you did was to play the board and not the player. The truth is that the only way you can be affected by the other player is when you allow it to happen...the other player cannot transfer emotions on to you no matter what they throw.
Easy to say ..hard to accomplish..I think James Wade has the best ability to remain unaffected by his opponent right until the very last double..If you can master this skill you will win games that you would have otherwise lost and your own standard of play will elevate.

There are many other tips but what you did will be your greatest asset during those games.,
Because you can only control what you do, not what they do.

Thanks for the kind words Ant007.

Yeah, I made this post because it wasn't like this for me as recently as a couple of weeks ago.  It'll be interesting to see if I am able to do it again.

Darts is unique as your opponent can't really do anything to affect your game.  They can't bowl you an unplayable delivery, snooker you or be quicker to the ball.  Every visit is just you and the board.
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(10-18-2015, 11:06 AM)Banz Wrote:
(10-15-2015, 06:52 AM)Ant007 Wrote: Firstly well done, what you did was smart and very hard to do when the inevitable looks obvious.
What you did was to play the board and not the player. The truth is that the only way you can be affected by the other player is when you allow it to happen...the other player cannot transfer emotions on to you no matter what they throw.
Easy to say ..hard to accomplish..I think James Wade has the best ability to remain unaffected by his opponent right until the very last double..If you can master this skill you will win games that you would have otherwise lost and your own standard of play will elevate.

There are many other tips but what you did will be your greatest asset during those games.,
Because you can only control what you do, not what they do.

Thanks for the kind words Ant007.

Yeah, I made this post because it wasn't like this for me as recently as a couple of weeks ago.  It'll be interesting to see if I am able to do it again.

Darts is unique as your opponent can't really do anything to affect your game.  They can't bowl you an unplayable delivery, snooker you or be quicker to the ball.  Every visit is just you and the board.
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Your welcome, but as you said yourself, you wouldn't have done this a few weeks ago..so it's just part of your development as a player gaining experience. Look at some of the Pros..they purposely look away from the board whilst the opponent is throwing..it's another way of doing what you can to stay calm and remain unaffected by their opponents score. It's a bit hard for us to do when the opponents score is written up on the same side of the scoreboard. I know it's sounds a bit mean but when I play some one in a friendly game I'll say good darts if they throw a good score but when it's someone I don't know and it's an important comp..Ill ignore it and say nothing. It's only a way of controlling my own mind..nothing else.
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Really good thread. Nice to hear something real from a non-savant like me. One thing you said especially struck a chord: "I just couldn't throw straight." Exactly. One thing I always notice when I watch darts on TV is that those guys almost never miss lefty-righty. It's all tons and ton-40's and some 60's, with very few 5's and 1's. They throw straight, and have the confidence to know they can, and if they're gonna miss at all it'll be vertically. Now this kind of consistency can't be that hard to achieve, even for us mortals, right? Wrong -- it's hard. Hard enough that the pro women don't seem to be able to manage it on the same level as the guys. But it's a great goal to aspire to.
26's so far this year: I've already lost count. :-)

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(10-18-2015, 03:12 PM)brenthahn Wrote: Really good thread.  Nice to hear something real from a non-savant like me.  One thing you said especially struck a chord: "I just couldn't throw straight."  Exactly.  One thing I always notice when I watch darts on TV is that those guys almost never miss lefty-righty.  It's all tons and ton-40's and some 60's, with very few 5's and 1's.  They throw straight, and have the confidence to know they can, and if they're gonna miss at all it'll be vertically.  Now this kind of consistency can't be that hard to achieve, even for us mortals, right?  Wrong -- it's hard.  Hard enough that the pro women don't seem to be able to manage it on the same level as the guys.  But it's a great goal to aspire to.


I believe that once you have technique that is "good enough" what stops you from hitting the 20 every time is your mind.  If you can make peace with your mind and allow yourself to get into that frame of mind when you are throwing well, you will throw much better darts.

It is a lot easier said than done.  To do it, you have to have been in that place at some point. It helps if you have been able to get into that capable and confident frame of mind in some other sport, or activity.  It happens to be the same frame of mind.  

One good way of doing this is to start to focus on your next shot as soon as you can.  For sure, before you cross back over the oche.  Best if you can forget the last shot the instant you pull your darts, and begin focusing on the next.  You can control your next shot.  The one in the board is over. It should help you from producing a series of 26 shots.  

Often, those shots are the result of trying too hard for the T20.  If you do start to miss badly, go 3 x S20 just to take a breather and regroup.
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As far as throwing straight is concerned, you will prob find that your vertical line will improve first, before your horizontal line. This is largely due to keeping stable throughout your throw and having a good pivoting action at the elbow. Hence it follows that in the beginning you will gradually start to hit a lot more 20 beds than 5s and 1s. The horizontal line is harder it's another level again...this is more reliant on weight and strength sensitivity, so the T20 T5 and T1 will consistently appear as you become a much much better player.

Be really happy with T1 and T5s..it's a sign your gradually zoning in and putting both elements together.
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(10-19-2015, 05:00 AM)BigE Wrote: I believe that once you have technique that is "good enough" what stops you from hitting the 20 every time is your mind.  If you can make peace with your mind and allow yourself to get into that frame of mind when you are throwing well, you will throw much better darts.

That's what I find during A1... There'll be visits where I know I will hit my number and I do with 3 darts in the middle of the bed. Other times I'll snatch and miss by two segments. The horrible darts feel horrible and it was this that made me try to develop a technique to throw straight. As well as "Back and Through" I sometimes invoke Breaker Morant's last words as well...

When I finish A1 I'm often throwing really well and that's the feeling I want to try and get during league. I'm hoping that arriving in good time will give me the chance to run through A1 and get my throw going.
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(10-19-2015, 11:35 AM)Banz Wrote:
(10-19-2015, 05:00 AM)BigE Wrote: I believe that once you have technique that is "good enough" what stops you from hitting the 20 every time is your mind.  If you can make peace with your mind and allow yourself to get into that frame of mind when you are throwing well, you will throw much better darts.

That's what I find during A1... There'll be visits where I know I will hit my number and I do with 3 darts in the middle of the bed.  Other times I'll snatch and miss by two segments.  

OK, so from this symptom, I'd think you need to work on following through *all the way* to the target.  In my experience a throw can get *more* snatchy, but a snatch does not magically just happen, it's there to begin with.  

Any jerkiness, and it is likely that the elbow has moved after alignment -- the body wants to move it back in place during the push and the whole thing just keeps going. That to me is not a snatch. A snatch is something that stops you from completing the follow through.

Have you taken a video of yourself yet?  How you  think you throw and how you actually throw are almost  certainly different. I'd put money on it.
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This is a good read and plenty of good advice to follow, like follow through. I think confidence comes from practice and knowing that you have made a shot before. I often will think that it comes easier knowing that you have made the shot and it's no big deal to do it again and again.
Sounds like you're improving every time you step to the oche
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(10-19-2015, 01:46 PM)BigE Wrote: Have you taken a video of yourself yet?  How you  think you throw and how you actually throw are almost  certainly different. I'd put money on it.

I have and you're right, it doesn't look like I would have thought it looks.

https://youtu.be/O_TQj4tU5G4

Be gentle with me!
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Last night was league night and after two weeks of arriving later than I'd like, not warming up properly* and playing rubbish I made an extra effort to get there in plenty of time.

I had a nice warm up of throws at the bull, followed by an informal A1 (which I know is not meant to be warm up or practice) until it was nearly time.  From there I threw at some 20's and doubles and felt like I was throwing pretty well.  Not as well as I can or have but pretty well.

We were playing the top team in the league (played 31, won 28) and we were 3-0 down after the doubles.  I hit D8 first dart for 1 leg in the doubles but couldn't take out D12 with 3 darts to close out the win.

I won my first singles 2-0 thanks to a 90 finish in the first (S20, floater into D20, D15) and 75 in the second (S6 going for T15, S19, Bull).  I won my second singles 2-1 in a very tense affair that featured about 812 missed darts at doubles.  ("Please let me get another chance...")  During the final leg I got heavily outscored but was once again able to focus on not panicking, hitting solid scores and keeping in the game.  I didn't especially need "back and through" but it really helped to not walk to the oche thinking "I MUST hit a ton this visit".

Our best player closed out the 8-7 win for a shock, come-from-behind victory.

*I know: excuses, excuses
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