Harrows Darts.

Banz's Deliberate Practice (DP)
** Executive Summary: Banz is describing in great detail how he plans to practice to improve **

Just after New Year I was looking at the numbers from Pro Darter and saw that I had plateaued.  I then read this thread by Dorian about DP and realised that the reason I'd stopped improving was probably because I was Tracy and not Stacy in this video...


(01-16-2016, 01:41 AM)Dorian Wrote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzBCA_5e1Pg

By that I meant instead of using my practice time to work on the aspects of my game that needed improving I was just playing against Pro Darter as it's more fun.

This thread is where I am going to attempt to use DP to improve.  Apart from the fact that I want to get better I had confirmation yesterday that I had been moved from B Grade to A Grade.  Added incentive if ever I needed it. 

My current PPT in Pro Darter is between 53 & 57 and checkout between 15% and 20% over games of any significant length e.g. Best of 9.  These numbers are quoted as a baseline.  My goal is to throw better and I believe a better, more consistent throw will lead to better numbers here.  The goal is not just better numbers if that makes sense.


Areas I wish to improve
  1. My grip position.  I am making a very slight change here.  Instead of holding the dart on the pads of my fingers I want to hold it more with the tips.  This gives me a cleaner release.
  2. My grip consistency.  I sometimes hold the dart in a different place, too far up the barrel.  I know when I do it and I know I should reset but sometimes I just throw anyway.  This is never a good thing and something easy to put a stop to.
  3. Groove my full follow through until it is second nature.  A few months back I videoed my throw and saw my follow through was short so I worked on a fuller one.  This feels good when I do it but it's still not natural and I slip back.  This also causes my throw to become tentative.
  4. Grouping.  Sometimes my grouping is good and sometimes it is not.
  5. Spot shooting/switching for set-ups.  My really bad visits are the ones where I chase around the board trying for a set up.  I end up missing everything and scoring 13 points.
How I plan to improve
  1. Mindful A1.  Perform the A1 drill as my primary method of practice and concentrate on every throw having (a) the new grip in (b) the right place and © delivered with a full follow through.
  2. Add A2 into the mix.
  3. Doubles practice.  I find I throw at doubles with more confidence if I have hit them recently.  I don't want this to have a competitive aspect so I am going with round the clock with throwing three darts at each double.  The focus here will be on treating it as a finish so misses inside are "not as good" as misses outside.
  4. Practice setups and finishes.  Add a game like 170 into my sessions.
I'm not going to play PD every practice session but will still use it as part of match-type practice.  It's a great way to see how my throw holds up under a sort of pressure.

Thanks for reading.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
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(01-28-2016, 02:11 AM)Banz Wrote: ** Executive Summary: Banz is describing in great detail how he plans to practice to improve **

Just after New Year I was looking at the numbers from Pro Darter and saw that I had plateaued.  I then read this thread by Dorian about DP and realised that the reason I'd stopped improving was probably because I was Tracy and not Stacy in this video...


(01-16-2016, 01:41 AM)Dorian Wrote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzBCA_5e1Pg

By that I meant instead of using my practice time to work on the aspects of my game that needed improving I was just playing against Pro Darter as it's more fun.

This thread is where I am going to attempt to use DP to improve.  Apart from the fact that I want to get better I had confirmation yesterday that I had been moved from B Grade to A Grade.  Added incentive if ever I needed it. 

My current PPT in Pro Darter is between 53 & 57 and checkout between 15% and 20% over games of any significant length e.g. Best of 9.  These numbers are quoted as a baseline.  My goal is to throw better and I believe a better, more consistent throw will lead to better numbers here.  The goal is not just better numbers if that makes sense.


Areas I wish to improve
  1. My grip position.  I am making a very slight change here.  Instead of holding the dart on the pads of my fingers I want to hold it more with the tips.  This gives me a cleaner release.
  2. My grip consistency.  I sometimes hold the dart in a different place, too far up the barrel.  I know when I do it and I know I should reset but sometimes I just throw anyway.  This is never a good thing and something easy to put a stop to.
  3. Groove my full follow through until it is second nature.  A few months back I videoed my throw and saw my follow through was short so I worked on a fuller one.  This feels good when I do it but it's still not natural and I slip back.  This also causes my throw to become tentative.
  4. Grouping.  Sometimes my grouping is good and sometimes it is not.
  5. Spot shooting/switching for set-ups.  My really bad visits are the ones where I chase around the board trying for a set up.  I end up missing everything and scoring 13 points.
How I plan to improve
  1. Mindful A1.  Perform the A1 drill as my primary method of practice and concentrate on every throw having (a) the new grip in (b) the right place and © delivered with a full follow through.
  2. Add A2 into the mix.
  3. Doubles practice.  I find I throw at doubles with more confidence if I have hit them recently.  I don't want this to have a competitive aspect so I am going with round the clock with throwing three darts at each double.  The focus here will be on treating it as a finish so misses inside are "not as good" as misses outside.
  4. Practice setups and finishes.  Add a game like 170 into my sessions.
I'm not going to play PD every practice session but will still use it as part of match-type practice.  It's a great way to see how my throw holds up under a sort of pressure.

Thanks for reading.

I enjoyed this post.  I am in the same position as you, perhaps a little ways behind.  New and finding my grip and trying to perfect and get a feel for my stroke.  A1 and baseball every day.  Now going to incorporate A2 and A3.  I benefitted from reading your plan, Thanks.  Good luck in your quest.
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Good luck and thanks for doing this thread on your progress, looking forward to seeing you get better and better! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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That's a good solid foundation, mindset and practice routine drawn up. With all that in place you should see some positive results. All the best with it
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Darts Setup: 23g DPC Extreme Performance, Black Target Pro Grip Stems, Target Vision 100 Standard Flights, 35mm Gold CD Mk3 Points
Previous Darts Setup: 23g DPC Gun Metal Elite, Medium Black Target Pro Grip Stems, Standard Black V180 Flights, 30mm Black Grooved Storm Points

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Last night was the first night of practice and it went really well. After warming up I did 15 minutes of A2 and I really believe this could be a game changer. It totally changed the way I approach grouping from attempting 3 independent throws at the same spot to having darts 2 and 3 just be replicas of throw one. I also found it speeded up my visits although I'm not sure if this is wanted yet.

The reason I have speeded up, I think, is because it eliminates from darts 2 and 3 the time required to aim at the target. Mentally it feels as if the visit now comprises of three throws that are joined together rather than three separate throws. It felt as if there was a flow there; I wasn't rushing or hurrying. I don't know how much of this distinction exists outside my head but as that where most of the game is played, maybe it's important!

From there I went to A1 and had my best run through ever. No idea how long it took in time or rounds but it just felt great. Lots of darts well grouped in the mark and my throw feeling smooth. It also seemed as if the darts were coming out straighter, cleaner. My lighter grip seems to becoming the norm already.

Next I did a bit of Dorian's T20-T19-T18 to see how switching worked with the "Flowy Throw" and it actually worked well. By three or four rounds I was within a cm of each triple.

I followed this with Round The World Doubles. I warmed into this and was going quite well from 7 onwards. I didn't score this in any way.

"Finally" I did 5 rounds of 170 in 9 darts. I closed it 3 times, missed tops for the close and mis-counted and hit D10 instead of D5 in the last game.

"Finally" is in quotes above because...I was so happy with how I was going I had a game against T4 on PD. This was a mistake. I started really brightly but then found I wasn't able to keep the feeling going. I'm going to stick with the drills over the weekend to make the foundations more solid.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
Reply
(01-29-2016, 03:06 AM)Banz Wrote: "Finally" is in quotes above because...I was so happy with how I was going I had a game against T4 on PD.  This was a mistake.  I started really brightly but then found I wasn't able to keep the feeling going.  I'm going to stick with the drills over the weekend to make the foundations more solid.

Everything was perfect right up to here.   

I think psychologists use the terms "state dependent memory" and "context dependent memory" to describe how mental state and the external environment we find ourselves in assists us in memory. 

Fancy way of saying what we've done in practice does not always/immediately translate to games.

To cut to the chase, a *large* volume of practice is necessary so that you can put yourself in the right state of mind to reproduce those wonderful things that we've done during practice in games.   When the external cues of standing in front of a board and the mental state you've learned to enter when throwing well become stronger than the old memories of playing games at 53 PPR, you'll have this licked..... 

Studies have shown that even just thinking about an opponent that you've played or a pressure filled situation you may find yourself in can bring on the pressure and coerce the bad reactions that you once had to that pressure or situation to return.  

So, if your game once went south in a certain situation eg. flailing at a winning/match double, then remembering that you once did that may cause that flailing to rise again.... 

Once you are confident about the hours you've logged, remember that situation and put that demon to rest once and for all by doing the new things you're capable of doing.  Then do not revisit it -- keep moving forward.

I can't wait for the end of the season.  I do NOT want to compete for a few months.  I too have intense work to do that I do not want interrupted by competition.  That stress can be reproduced without using PD.
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(01-29-2016, 04:52 AM)BigE Wrote:
(01-29-2016, 03:06 AM)Banz Wrote: "Finally" is in quotes above because...I was so happy with how I was going I had a game against T4 on PD.  This was a mistake.  I started really brightly but then found I wasn't able to keep the feeling going.  I'm going to stick with the drills over the weekend to make the foundations more solid.

Everything was perfect right up to here.   

I think psychologists use the terms "state dependent memory" and "context dependent memory" to describe how mental state and the external environment we find ourselves in assists us in memory. 

Fancy way of saying what we've done in practice does not always/immediately translate to games.

To cut to the chase, a *large* volume of practice is necessary so that you can put yourself in the right state of mind to reproduce those wonderful things that we've done during practice in games.   When the external cues of standing in front of a board and the mental state you've learned to enter when throwing well become stronger than the old memories of playing games at 53 PPR, you'll have this licked..... 

Studies have shown that even just thinking about an opponent that you've played or a pressure filled situation you may find yourself in can bring on the pressure and coerce the bad reactions that you once had to that pressure or situation to return.  

So, if your game once went south in a certain situation eg. flailing at a winning/match double, then remembering that you once did that may cause that flailing to rise again.... 

Once you are confident about the hours you've logged, remember that situation and put that demon to rest once and for all by doing the new things you're capable of doing.  Then do not revisit it -- keep moving forward.

I can't wait for the end of the season.  I do NOT want to compete for a few months.  I too have intense work to do that I do not want interrupted by competition.  That stress can be reproduced without using PD.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I agree that it was a mistake and I kind of knew it at the time as well.  I just couldn't help myself but it's a lesson learnt.  The really annoying thing is that I didn't actually need the "validation" of the PD game to know I'd done well.  I knew that already from how I'd thrown so I should have just walked away.  I thinking stopping before there's a tailing off in performance is also something I need to get better at doing.

It's obviously early days but I'm encouraged by what I was able to see last night.  There's an inherent pleasure to throwing well (I well remember taking an A1 mark with all three darts in the middle of the segment, grouped to the size of my thumbnail) so I hope I won't need to add in "competitive" type practice unless I want to and not to liven things up.

The best thing is that this seems the correct way for me to practice to get better.  Everyone's different but this place and Flight School  have given me the tools to build a better game.  I feel like the evenings just playing PD have been a waste but maybe I wouldn't be at this point without them.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
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They were not a waste if you've realized that there are better ways!

Sometimes, when performance tails off, in *my* world, it becomes necessary to recover it.  That is where I find I do the learning, not when it is all going smoothly.  To recover, you must find the obstacle and overcome it.
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(01-29-2016, 09:07 PM)BigE Wrote: They were not a waste if you've realized that there are better ways!

Sometimes, when performance tails off, in *my* world, it becomes necessary to recover it.  That is where I find I do the learning, not when it is all going smoothly.  To recover, you must find the obstacle and overcome it.

True, when you're throwing well you don't need to do anything but walk up and let them fly.  It's an easy game when that happens (for 1/2 a leg or 90 seconds of practice).  You learn a lot more when you have to make it happen.  That's part of what this is about for me: bringing the baseline up whether I'm feeling it or not.  That, for me, is about repeating the things I want to do until they are second nature and work under pressure.

DP Practice #2
1) A2 for a leisurely 15 minutes until I felt the grouping was at a level I was content with.  Didn't hit the highs of day 1 (honeymoon) but still very satisfactory.

2) A1.  On a whim I added 10 lines to the bottom of the chalk board.  After each round I wiped a mark.  Although the grouping was not the tightest and many marks were 2 hits only I completed 18 and 16 without a miss and finished the 5 mark drill in 8 rounds.  It actually felt pretty easy today, the fat segment looked like the side of a house.

3) RtW Doubles.  A good run through here.  I probably hit about half of them and was within 1/2 an inch of all but one of the rest.  I had 3 horrible darts at D10 which actually shocked me out of my rhythm - bad throws and bad results.  I went at D10 again and hit it.

4) Did Dorian's T20-T19-T18 drill until I was happy that the switch was working, maybe 6 rounds.

5) 170 in 9 darts.  Made a mess of attempt one.

I  Finished #2 in 6 darts and #3 in 9.  Missed D20 and D16 on tries 4 and 5.  This feels like a good drill for switching and counting so may increase the number of rounds.

I finished up with a few throws at T20 to see where my grouping was at.  Pretty good.  No 180 but the three times I hit 2 T20's first up I threw a good third dart (#1 on the T1/T20 junction, #2 tight on the top wire of T20, #3 hit the flight and bounced out).

I still felt I was throwing well when I put the darts away.  No Pro Darter tonight.

Summary
Not as smooth or accurate as DP#1 in some ways but a more believable performance.  Like me on a good day.  This sort of felt like the baseline had moved up a little bit.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
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I am wondering if you've got the notion of DP right or if I have it wrong. The notion I have is to break down the movements into chunks that you can be conscious of....as opposed to breaking the game into similar pieces....like scoring/setup/finish.
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(01-30-2016, 02:24 AM)BigE Wrote: I am wondering if you've got the notion of DP right or if I have it wrong.  The notion I have is to break down the movements into chunks that you can be conscious of....as opposed to breaking the game into similar pieces....like scoring/setup/finish.

Now you mention it, I'm not sure if what I am doing here is DP as it was described in the videos Dorian posted.  I haven't researched it much further than that if I'm being truthful.  Apart from my grip and follow through I am happy with the mechanics of my throw.  Or at least happy enough that I don't wish to tear it to pieces and re-assemble it.

As such, I chose to use a definition of DP to mean: "Practicing with the deliberate aim of being able to produce my best throw all the time, even under pressure".  The "deliberate" for me is mindfulness.  The "practice" is of the non-competitive kind designed to build a repeatable throw that can stand up to pressure.

As you say, the breakdowns I have used are less mechanical and more to do with aspects of the game: grouping, spot shooting, doubles, set-ups.

I can change the OP if this is a misrepresentation of what DP actually is.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
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(01-30-2016, 02:40 AM)Banz Wrote:
(01-30-2016, 02:24 AM)BigE Wrote: I am wondering if you've got the notion of DP right or if I have it wrong.  The notion I have is to break down the movements into chunks that you can be conscious of....as opposed to breaking the game into similar pieces....like scoring/setup/finish.

Now you mention it, I'm not sure if what I am doing here is DP as it was described in the videos Dorian posted.  I haven't researched it much further than that if I'm being truthful.  Apart from my grip and follow through I am happy with the mechanics of my throw.  Or at least happy enough that I don't wish to tear it to pieces and re-assemble it.

As such,  I chose to use a definition of DP to mean: "Practicing with the deliberate aim of being able to produce my best throw all the time, even under pressure".  The "deliberate" for me is mindfulness.  The "practice" is of the non-competitive kind designed to build a repeatable throw that can stand up to pressure.

As you say, the breakdowns I have used are less mechanical and more to do with aspects of the game: grouping, spot shooting, doubles, set-ups.

I can change the OP if this is a misrepresentation of what DP actually is.

Well either can work for different people, but the way Banz describes it is closest to how Flight School envisions it.
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From now on I'm going to do less frequent updates.  The nature of this type of practice is that is quite repetitive and does not really lend itself to a thrilling narrative.

Summary: Week 1
The bulk of my practice this week followed this format:

  1. After warming up I did about 10-15 minutes of A2 until I was grouping them well enough for my liking.
  2. From there I went to A1 and tried to maintain the same stroke and the same grouping.  Was completing it in 8-11 rounds.
  3. Next I did a bit of Dorian's T20-T19-T18 to see how switching was working.  Continued until I was within a cm of each triple.  Once it was going OK (6-8 rounds) I changed it to T18-T19-T20 until content .
  4. Round The World Doubles.
  5. 5 rounds of 170 in 9 darts.
After a few days of this I added the following round of practice:

    6. 30 darts at 20's; 30 @ 19's; 30 @ 20's.
    7. 5 rounds of 170 in 9 darts.

I felt I needed to add a drill (number 6) which just involved grooving my throw at the scoring segments.  I discussed it with a like minded forum member and he suggested this which I think is a good idea.


Summary
This feels like the right way for me to practice.  Grouping is slowly improving but my throw feels straighter and my release cleaner.  There was an immediate large improvement which dropped back a little.  It still feels as if I am throwing better but that the changes haven't quite stuck yet.  For example, I still have to be quite mindful of my grip at times to avoid it either reverting to the pads of my fingers or going too far the other way and being right on the tips.  Time alone will make this stick.

As a warm up for league I gave myself a best of 9 challenge against PD T4 and won 5-3.  Double percentage was 31% and I managed two sub-20 legs and an overall 63 PPT which was very satisfying indeed.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
Reply
(02-03-2016, 03:06 AM)Banz Wrote: From now on I'm going to do less frequent updates.  The nature of this type of practice is that is quite repetitive and does not really lend itself to a thrilling narrative.

Summary: Week 1
The bulk of my practice this week followed this format:

  1. After warming up I did about 10-15 minutes of A2 until I was grouping them well enough for my liking.
  2. From there I went to A1 and tried to maintain the same stroke and the same grouping.  Was completing it in 8-11 rounds.
  3. Next I did a bit of Dorian's T20-T19-T18 to see how switching was working.  Continued until I was within a cm of each triple.  Once it was going OK (6-8 rounds) I changed it to T18-T19-T20 until content .
  4. Round The World Doubles.
  5. 5 rounds of 170 in 9 darts.
After a few days of this I added the following round of practice:

    6. 30 darts at 20's; 30 @ 19's; 30 @ 20's.
    7. 5 rounds of 170 in 9 darts.

I felt I needed to add a drill (number 6) which just involved grooving my throw at the scoring segments.  I discussed it with a like minded forum member and he suggested this which I think is a good idea.


Summary
This feels like the right way for me to practice.  Grouping is slowly improving but my throw feels straighter and my release cleaner.  There was an immediate large improvement which dropped back a little.  It still feels as if I am throwing better but that the changes haven't quite stuck yet.  For example, I still have to be quite mindful of my grip at times to avoid it either reverting to the pads of my fingers or going too far the other way and being right on the tips.  Time alone will make this stick.

As a warm up for league I gave myself a best of 9 challenge against PD T4 and won 5-3.  Double percentage was 31% and I managed two sub-20 legs and an overall 63 PPT which was very satisfying indeed.

Well done Banz you're progressing very nicely Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.  a suggestion though would be to consider adding a Bulls Drill.....quite simple just aim at the the Bull and try to get say 10 points in consecutive hits 1pt 25 2pts Bull etc if you miss with a throw you start again, I find it very helpful for grouping.

Note:I'm not familiar with the details of the A2 & A1 sessions Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. ..... they may well already include a Bull set.

Cheers
Dorian
Son of Merlin

Caerleon - Wales

(Mission "KURO" M4 rear taper design- 23GmYellow Kite Shape Flights 100 micron & Solid Brass Stems)

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My father Merlin, once told me that "You should end up pointing to what you were aiming at when you've released the Dart."




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(02-03-2016, 04:47 AM)Dorian Wrote: Well done Banz you're progressing very nicely Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.  a suggestion though would be to consider adding a Bulls Drill.....quite simple just aim at the the Bull and try to get say 10 points in consecutive hits 1pt 25 2pts Bull etc if you miss with a throw you start again, I find it very helpful for grouping.

Note:I'm not familiar with the details of the A2 & A1 sessions Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. ..... they may well already include a Bull set.

Cheers

I don't do any bull shooting so this could be a good addition.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
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