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Elbow drop, sigh
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So decided to video myself throwing darts, been having some trouble centering my shots they are off left or right, mostly left. Some of the left ones I know are snatch throws but a good deal of them have felt nice and smooth just that my hand didn't travel the path I wanted. Looks like I have some drop in my elbow, just got to figure out how to get it out. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.



I've been been playing for close to 3 years and had some rotator cuff and bad muscle tightness about 6 months ago and that when I noticed that my darts took a turn for the worse, I'm thinking that started the snatching from guarding the sore muscles, I'm over it now but I don't think my darts have recovered. I've been doing the flight school for a few months now and that has helped some but I still get a case of the lefts and sometimes just complete random darts, ie fat 9 when going for the trip 20.
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(11-19-2015, 11:19 PM)mshelton Wrote: So decided to video myself throwing darts, been having some trouble centering my shots they are off left or right, mostly left. Some of the left ones I know are snatch throws but a good deal of them have felt nice and smooth just that my hand didn't travel the path I wanted. Looks like I have some drop in my elbow, just got to figure out how to get it out. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

[Video: https://youtu.be/AqPCvGHF2ho]

I've been been playing for close to 3 years and had some rotator cuff and bad muscle tightness about 6 months ago and that when I noticed that my darts took a turn for the worse, I'm thinking that started the snatching from guarding the sore muscles, I'm over it now but I don't think my darts have recovered. I've been doing the flight school for a few months now and that has helped some but I still get a case of the lefts and sometimes just complete random darts, ie fat 9 when going for the trip 20.

That elbow drop seems to be your way of getting the hand away from the line of sight, so that you can see the arm/hand/dart/target all at the same time.

This sort of thing can come from the thinking that you are controlling your arm at every point in the push phase.  

Unfortunately, that is impossible.

Once you begin the push, some say once you pull back, you are committed to the throw.  I mean when you say "ready" and lift the dart, "aim" and line up the shot then once you say "fire", there is nothing at all you can do to change what the arm is doing.  There is not enough time for the signals to move from your hand/arm to your brain, get processed for adjustment and corrective signals to be sent back down your arm again.   In short, Darts is about "open loop" control, not closed loop In closed loop control, you'd get feedback from your arm and can do something about it. But you cannot.  Once you say "fire" you are committed to the shot.

But all is not lost... there still is *some* feedback, it is just not in real time.  

Proprioception is the sense of knowing where your body parts are without looking.  It is the sense that allows you to touch your nose with your index finger and your eyes closed.  You sense arm/hand/finger position and move slow enough to adjust.

In darts, you sense the arm/hand etc position from the last shot.  If successful, you try to repeat that last shot from memory, attempting to command the arm to move in such a way that the memory of the movement and the new movement are the same.

This is not in real time.  You remember the sensation and you try to reproduce that sensation.

This does not require you to hold your eye on the target at all times.  If that is a true need for you, consider pulling back to beside your head and not in front of your eye.  Imagine Gary Anderson.... he lines up that dart under the eye and throws.  He cannot see the target once the hand moves forward until his arm is fully extended.  He is the current world champion.  Many players throw in a similar way -- they rely on lining up the shot, then remembering the movements and repeating the good ones.

Flight School helps here a great deal, with A1, and especially A2.  A3 is the stroke challenge drill, where you maintain the stroke in A1/A2 under spot shooting pressure.  Do not overdo A3.  I would personally throw way more A1 and A2 than A3.
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I admire your courage for posting the video while you are struggling, as an average player I am not able to help. There are some great people here so I am sure someone will be able to help.
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I am no expert and a relatively new player, but I have been able to improve in my time so far. Personally, I see nothing wrong with your stroke. I also see nothing wrong with your elbow. I agree with that BigE guy that once you start the throw you can not correct. Snatching is an attempt to correct. I see no snatching in your video. In fact, I think it shows really good wrist drive that ensures a full follow through. I think you have to commit to your throw. Develop a repeatable swing, line up your shot, swing your swing, and hope for the best. One thing that has helped me, I give serious consideration to the backswing. I want that to travel a line directly away from the target. When I do that, I then find that the line back to the target is more accurate without me trying to get it to the target through force of will. Good luck and happy darting.
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Thunk, thunk, thunk, walk, chalk, pull, turn, walk, turn, repeat...

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(11-20-2015, 02:03 AM)Dartbuggy Wrote: I am no expert and a relatively new player, but I have been able to improve in my time so far. Personally, I see nothing wrong with your stroke. I also see nothing wrong with your elbow. I agree with that BigE guy that once you start the throw you can not correct. Snatching is an attempt to correct. I see no snatching in your video. In fact, I think it shows really good wrist drive that ensures a full follow through. I think you have to commit to your throw. Develop a repeatable swing, line up your shot, swing your swing, and hope for the best. One thing that has helped me, I give serious consideration to the backswing. I want that to travel a line directly away from the target. When I do that, I then find that the line back to the target is more accurate without me trying to get it to the target through force of will. Good luck and happy darting.

The issue is with dropping the elbow.    Lining up the shot, then *changing* the geometry of the arm introduces room for error.  The random shots are most likely pushes of the entire arm, where the elbow needs to move back up again, and stops the arm from a full follow through toward the actual target.

The full follow through from the lined up position should be worked on.  Forget the results in the board.  One way is to hold the elbow up with the other hand.  The other hand can be the external cue that lets you know if you've dropped it or not.
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It would be interesting to hear from others what they think about the pull back as well - it seems to be pretty far back, like mine, and i've found that it is a source for errors when trying to throw straight as there is greater speed at the point of release.
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(11-22-2015, 06:25 PM)LionCityDarter Wrote: It would be interesting to hear from others what they think about the pull back as well - it seems to be pretty far back, like mine, and i've found that it is a source for errors when trying to throw straight as there is greater speed at the point of release.

In this video, I just think the long pull back is tied to the desire to see the target.  You really only need the smallest of glimpses -- a full panoramic view is not needed.  

 Pulling back more is not as accurate for me either.  I think it has something to do with the arm moving off the plane in which I lined up the shot -- which means the push is not straight, as it has to turn back onto that straight line you lined it up on in the first place.

Of note is Taylor's comments on why he trimmed the back end of his flights.... He could pull the arm back straighter without running into his face.
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Thanks for the feedback guys, after I posted this I had a little mini peak for a couple nights but it was a hard lean and a driving motion on the darts, not a sustainable throw in the long run, played well though but had 1 out of 4 or 5 errant.

Took a break for a few days and started back really concentrating on my elbow and a hinge like motion, it's getting better though my follow through is abbreviated not a snatch just not far with no elbow lift at the end, thinking I can concentrate in that later once I grove the hinge motion in. Used it last night and hit a 180 in warmup and a 9 mark (cricket) in the LOD tournament, those 2 things are a extremely rare for me.

When I get the motion right I can really feel the lock in and reduction of far errant throws. The elbow dropping and coming back up as a cause really makes sense, too many moving parts trying to come back into line. As for the sight thing, I do have somewhat of an issue with that, I tend to need to keep a clear picture of the target the entire throw w/o distractions, clear flights have helped this in the past and I think I may stick with them, may look at lowering my set up also.
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I was told to point the elbow at the board. seems your elbow is pointed down. Once I raised my elbow the darts landed closer to the mark I have in mind
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mshelton, 

It sounds like you are getting it.... the first step to curing unwanted elbow movement is to not move it.  Then, start moving it in the right fashion: only after release, to enhance ( some would say to create ) follow through.  

With practice, you can get used to not seeing the target at all times.  Especially when you accept that once you start the throw, there is really nothing you can do to adjust it.
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