Shot Darts

RE: Reach a plateau - How to breakthrough it?
Hi all,

Been playing for about 5 months now. Found the right dart (Target Distinction D7) and posture and grip (pencil). But for the past two months been not able to progress further even though am playing like 1-2 hours on avg per day at home.

My MPR is still hovering around 1.8 (I love cricket and mostly played it instead of 01 games). 

How do I get above 2.0 and beyond? I've had another friend who played the same time as me and he is a 2.4 now and he practise less!! 

Has it got to do with something else?

Thanks!

Dan
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(10-06-2016, 12:46 AM)Dumbeedum Wrote: Hi all,

Been playing for about 5 months now. Found the right dart (Target Distinction D7) and posture and grip (pencil). But for the past two months been not able to progress further even though am playing like 1-2 hours on avg per day at home.

My MPR is still hovering around 1.8 (I love cricket and mostly played it instead of 01 games). 

How do I get above 2.0 and beyond? I've had another friend who played the same time as me and he is a 2.4 now and he practise less!! 

Has it got to do with something else?

Thanks!

Dan

In my opinion, yes.

I've written quite a bit on this and it has become my pet subject.  I'll paraphrase what I've written elsewhere...

I strongly believe there are different types of practice and if you're not at least considering the differences you are not going to be using your time effectively.  If you haven't looked at this thread then I think you certainly should:  https://www.dartsnutz.net/forum/showthre...?tid=17420

My take on practice can be found in my Deliberate Practice thread.

My strong belief is that Flight School, specifically the A2 and A1 drills are excellent.  They were the tools that enabled me to really build my game.

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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Thanks Banz!

So you are saying practising against computer or online players on Granboard not really a good way to move up one skills? 

Better to have drills like A1 and A2 to bring one to next level?

Thanks.
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(10-06-2016, 07:57 AM)Dumbeedum Wrote: Thanks Banz!

So you are saying practising against computer or online players on Granboard not really a good way to move up one skills? 

Better to have drills like A1 and A2 to bring one to next level?

Thanks.

I would say that only this sort of practice will hold you back or slow down your progress.

Not everyone would agree with me but I strongly believe that a practice session should go like this...

  1. No pressure throwing where you are trying to groove your throw.  Drills like A1 and A2 are perfect for this.  You are trying to build a solid throw here so that when you put it under pressure it holds up; you're trying to make it automatic.  You need to be throwing at a target but not under pressure if you miss.  This is A1 in essence.

  2. Low pressure throwing.  I use a doubles drill.  I'm trying to hit the doubles in my sequence but it's not the end of the world if I miss.  The key here is that my throw should be the same as in step 1.

  3. Under pressure throwing.  Once you have gone through the first two steps you should hopefully be throwing well and feeling confident.  This is when you can go to something like Pro-Darter or similar opponent.  This is where you pressure test the throw you've been building up over the start of the practice session, but your throw should be the same as in the first two steps.
If you warm up and go straight to step 3 then you are trying to improve under match conditions which I don't think is helpful.

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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Banz seems you say some great routines and I have read the threads you posted earlier

your doubles drill might be incorporated by using the pro-darter game "Bob's 27"? Sometimes I just play that and do not pressure myself and a good way for me to warm up
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I've posted this before but I really think it's an interesting read and lets you know that you are not alone -

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

In addition to Banz's suggestions of low pressure - intermediate and pressure -

You need to develop drills that help you with whatever your inconsistencies are-

If you struggle with taking out shots in 501 develop a practice routine that addresses this issue -

If you struggle with a particular number in cricket - focus on that number for a while

If scoring is an issue develop a routine that helps you focus on that aspect of the game -

As you tighten down your inconsistencies you will see your performance improve -

Easier said than done though -
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(10-06-2016, 12:36 PM)SlingBlade Wrote: Banz seems you say some great routines and I have read the threads you posted earlier

your doubles drill might be incorporated by using the pro-darter game "Bob's 27"? Sometimes I just play that and do not pressure myself and a good way for me to warm up

I haven't played Bob's 27 in a while. The only thing I didn't like was that you aren't punished for a miss inside. That may not be a big deal for everyone but I found it a problem as I only ever need to hit doubles to end a game of 501.

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
(10-06-2016, 12:46 AM)Dumbeedum Wrote: Hi all,

Been playing for about 5 months now. Found the right dart (Target Distinction D7) and posture and grip (pencil). But for the past two months been not able to progress further even though am playing like 1-2 hours on avg per day at home.

My MPR is still hovering around 1.8 (I love cricket and mostly played it instead of 01 games). 

How do I get above 2.0 and beyond? I've had another friend who played the same time as me and he is a 2.4 now and he practise less!! 

Has it got to do with something else?

Thanks!

Dan
You've gotten some great advice so far, but I would like to add this.     I have found that when wanting to get better, I needed to get out of the house and to outlets to play opponents, and preferably ones with more skill than I had at the time.    You will get beat up on the board, but at the same time you will learn the game and improve faster.   You will not learn near as much when playing opponents you can easily beat since that doesn't require you to really dig in and concentrate on every throw like playing better opposition does.
In addition, you say you practice 1-2 hours a day.   That is a long time for a relatively new player, and if doing so alone, it is hard to maintain your concentration level for that long and throw meaningful darts.     Perhaps shorter, more intense sessions are in order for a while.     Also, vary your pace of play when practicing.   Not all opponents play at the same pace, so if practicing alone, I will often toss my darts, walk back behind the line and have a sip of beer/cocktail/water, toss in another CD, then toss them again.    In league play in our area there are games with 4-6 players involved and that is a long time between throws, so not getting into the habit of throw, walk to the board and pull your darts and go back and toss again is a good thing.
Hope some of this helps.
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Thanks for all the good advice!

I do notice when I'm playing opponents online I tend to get jittery and start to mess up my throws such as not going proper follow through and straightening my elbow. Doing the A1 and A2 drills would help i believed.

Also yes I tend to practise 1-2hours without much break between sets. Maybe I should try like suggested to take short breaks between.

Thanks! All good advice!

Danny
Reply
(10-06-2016, 12:46 AM)Dumbeedum Wrote: Hi all,

Been playing for about 5 months now. Found the right dart (Target Distinction D7) and posture and grip (pencil). But for the past two months been not able to progress further even though am playing like 1-2 hours on avg per day at home.

My MPR is still hovering around 1.8 (I love cricket and mostly played it instead of 01 games). 

How do I get above 2.0 and beyond? I've had another friend who played the same time as me and he is a 2.4 now and he practise less!! 

Has it got to do with something else?

Thanks!

Dan

Hi Dan. I like your thread because it could have been mine 2 years ago. So maybe my perspective from a little further down the road might help. I am not purposely trying to contradict other posters (many who are probably far superior darters to me), but only giving the only perspective I have, which is mine.

I too at 5 months thought I had found the right dart, stance, and grip. My darts have changed many times since. Some say there is an advantage to sticking with one dart. I have made a habit of practicing with many diverse styles of darts. The benefit I feel I have gotten from this is that I no longer put that much importance on one dart. I know in my heart that the dart does not throw itself and I tend feel comfortable with whatever I pick up. The process of practicing with many darts instead of just one may have been a slower one. Taking the extra time has been worth it to me.

Through this process my grip has evolved to where it works the same no matter the shape or weight of the dart. I started with a pencil grip. About a year and a half in I noticed my middle finger was having too much influence so I moved it from under the dart to on top. I found this change easy to make and I never went back. 

I started with a pro-like side stance. This really did feel comfortable to me and was supported by the image of so many pros doing the same with success. However, I struggled missing left and right. So even though I realized it would not be as esthetically pleasing or expected, I tried a straight on stance. Maybe it is just my own personal physicality, but my arm motion and line to the target was strengthened. This was not an easy change to make. Suddenly my weight on my legs was shifted and I got leg cramps. I worked through this until my muscles got used to it. I don't mind being seen as someone who uses what may look like a rookie mistake as a stance because the results and improvement were worth it.

I guess my point is not to resist changes that may set your game back a bit in the short run, but benefit over time. And I think TIME is the key to everything. Everyone may progress at unique rates. I am 2.5 (almost 3) years in and I am just now able to break a 3 mpr on my better efforts. True, I did have a setback after having radical surgery on my throwing arm to straighten it out after years of abuse from skateboarding. But, that surgery was key because it straightened the mechanics of my arm. I may have never been able to improve with out it. 

I have been obsessed. Many days I practice 6 to 8 hours. Some say that throws that are not focused are actually a detriment and practice must be focused. I think that the key is to throw as much as possible. You can overcome by the shear force of time spent and experience gained. True, some experience is more valuable than others, but I believe they all help in the long run.

But here is what I think is the most important thing... I was wrong at the start of my darting. I equated the throwing of a dart to the swinging of a golf club. I thought the mechanics of the throw were the most important thing and could be analyzed and perfected. I thought it was absurd when others disagreed. George, (from flight school) said that "what your arm does is no business of yours." Guess what? I now believe 100% in Georges philosophy. What I have developed over the last few months is a feeling. It is a connection between my eye and what my arm must do to hit the target. If I miss to the left, (my natural drift when I don't follow through completely) I don't think, my arm needs to pull more to the right. I just consider the target and my arm makes the correction subconsciously. The only thing I consider is the feeling I have acquired over time of my arm winging the dart to the target. It is an amazing thing. Of course I am stoked to have this. It pumps me up and I want more. It is so satisfying to have the confidence that when I get to the bull I can take it out quickly before my opponent or electronic scorer.

So to sum up... TIME is the key. If you really love darts, it is not work to throw for 6 hours in a day. TIME and sheer number of darts thrown is the key to getting the feeling. Some may have natural ability (hand-eye coordination) and for them the process moves much faster. I still feel 5 months is not much time for anyone. Stick with it. Keep it fun. Stay motivated. Use what ever practice techniques inspire you to keep throwing. The bottom line is that it is not your brain that needs to learn to throw. Your arm must do it on its own. Give it time and repetition to do that and the plateau will pass. Over time you will see your progress move back and forth. You will have days where you feel like you have lost everything you have worked for. Stick with it. This too will pass. Good luck and happy darting.
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Thunk, thunk, thunk, walk, chalk, pull, turn, walk, turn, repeat...

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I thought of another important point. I too mostly play cricket. The problem is, the best players all play 01 games. I think 01 games really were an early hustle game. If you can do that maths and understand the strategies of getting out, you have a huge advantage over someone who may even be able to throw with more accuracy. Make time to practice throwing at the 20. Make time to practice chalking, doing the math, and doubling out. It will help you. I should follow my own advice in this regard more than I do.
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Thunk, thunk, thunk, walk, chalk, pull, turn, walk, turn, repeat...

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Couldn't agree more with what everyone else here has said. And they are all more experienced than me!

The only thing I would add, as a final step, is "Zen" throwing. What I mean is that I break down my practice into different parts depending on what I think I need to focus on. Once I have worked on something, then I just THROW. I try to clear my mind and focus on the target. If something goes out of whack with my release or arm movement, I know right away. I came across this when I realized I threw far better out with my friends playing a game of '01 or cricket than I did at home. All because I was over-thinking the whole thing at home.

Now, keep in mind I am not saying not to analyze your throw and use proper drills. I am one of the most analytical guys on the planet and am constantly working on my throw. But during practice I warm up, work on a few drills (A1 and A2 are exceptional), then I just throw. Without fail, at least for me, I do far better when I reach this point.

A great golf instructor once told me you work on your swing on the practice tee. On the course, you just simply PLAY.
Target Taylor 9 zero soft and steel tip 

Boards: Gladiator 2 with Target Vision lighting system and Gran Board 2 soft tip with Target Corona lighting system. 


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Although it may sound really simple you usually find "simple" things have major impact,  join a midweek pub team who are not pushing for the top every year,
Get to the venue, ask for a pint of Stella,  pull out your darts, get up there and just " lob em" !!,

Stop overthinking, your livelihood doesnt depend on it, that was one of my downfalls, enjoyment improves your game .
Match DartsUnicorn Gary Anderson Phase 4, 25g

"Nil Satis Nisi Optimum"

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