Double Top Darts.

the improvement curve
so the other day my wife and i were throwing around and mentioned something about she thought she was getting worse. she said that her scores were down and she felt like she was missing a lot more than normal. so after watching her for a while i figured out what was happening. 

the whole time we played i watched her get so many 22, 26, 15, 7, 11, etc. so what i realized was that she was actually improving to the point where she was no longer getting those luck-up T18s and T12s. her skill level had finally improved to the point where she was all over the 20 zone. it took me a while to explain to her that this was a good thing. 

once you get to the point where your misses are extremely close, then its all about getting in dialed in. unfortunately thats where a lot of players stop improving because they dont want to go through the hassle of tweaking or changing anything. in their mind they are doing everything right, they just missed. but in reality this is where having a good training routine and working on your mechanics will separate you from the average dart players. 

all those players you see with funky wind ups, quirky grips, and weird looking stances and follow throughs? well they almost always peak in this stage. sure, they will continue to get a *little* better the more they play, although thats pretty much all muscle memory and not ability. 

its at this point that when you are a doing a drill such as A1 or doubles or whatever that you should be more concerned with developing proper mechanics and less concerned with getting the dart to land in the intended spot. the ultimate goal for drills like that is NOT getting your dart to land in a certain spot. you can luck up and do that and it wouldnt have taught you anything. you can throw at each double until you hit 10 of every single number and if you are only concerned with hitting that double and nothing else, then you have learned nothing. you should be learning from every miss, not celebrating every hit. 

there is one thing that separates the guys on TV from you, and that is the ability to completely replicate every small and subtle move that happens during a dart throw every single time. the only way to get closer to achieving this to recognize the things you are doing wrong and having the mental ability to diagnose these things and correct them. our minds give us the ability the compensate to a certain degree, so even if your mechanics are awful you can put in enough practice time to compensate for that up to a point, but eventually you'll stall out and wont improve anymore. 

just remember this: practicing is a long term strategy for getting better. the whole idea is to improve at a rate where you really dont even notice it much. you just think to yourself one day "wow, im a whole lot better than i was at this time last year". but dont forget that throwing doesnt equal practicing. the goal of practice is improvement and if, while you are practicing you cant find anything to improve, then you are practicing wrong. it reminds me playing golf. every time ive taken someone out who either had never played before or was a beginner it always ended up the same way. every shot they were swinging trying to knock it out of the park. this what they did when they "practiced" hitting balls at the range. in reality it has very little to do with how hard you swing and everything do with balance and "touch", which together equal technique. 

sorry to turn this into rant but hopefully someone who is struggling will read it and get a deeper level of understanding what the big picture is all about. 

thanks guys for taking the time to read. 

MC
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Great post MC.
I bet with your wife's new accuracy level she would score higher aiming at 16s in the short term. Of course this would actually acieve nothing in the long term. Hope she can see your bigger picture.

This quote. .... "wow, im a whole lot better than i was at this time last year"
has really hit home with me. Ive been at for just over a year and started proper pratice in June with flight school and my stats have just grown so steady month by month that if I didn't keep stats I'd probably of given up months ago thinking I can't improve . But in reality I've grown so much over 12 months but most since June doing real pratice with a method. I have videos of my early throw and I'm snatching with no follow through, thing is I didn't know I was doing anything wrong.
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while i was writing this post i remembered something i said to my wife about 2 years ago. we had just started playing in a league and told her "if i can just get 45 every throw i bet i could win a ton of games". a few months after that i remember telling her that if i could single 20s every turn i would be happy. i thought i would be content with having the ability to throw 3 darts in 20 every time. obviously looking back on that now it makes me laugh because if i got a 45 i would be pretty disappointed with that throw. at some point i remember playing and i got couple of 81 or 85 in a row and getting upset at "only" 85. hahahah its hard not to belly laugh at that when less than 2 years ago i would have perfectly content with a 45.

it frustrates me trying to teach her sometimes because the things ive figured out are hard to actually explain verbally. its a mental thing. like trying to tell somehow how to do algebra or trig. you can explain the basics and the formula behind it, but at some point its up to you to have that "aha!" moment. like riding a bike i guess. you cant really explain to someone how to do that. you have to feel it and at some point you realize "oh now i get it! it makes sense now!".

but in her defense over the last few months she has really opened up to the idea that maybe....just maybe i might know what im talking about and she might benefit from at least listening. for a while she was very resistant to change saying that "i just cant do that". but you dont know if you can do it if you dont try. and throw 6 or 8 darts without any improvement doesnt mean that you should just abandon it. the problem im running into now is teaching her those little subtle things that she cant necessarily see or feel. ill say "keep your arm straight". "you missed because you dropped your elbow down" and she will get all fussy because she didnt feel herself doing it. but what ive found is that there is a lot that you wont notice unless you are actively looking at it.

you have to let go of that feeling of control every once in a while and look at what youre body is doing because if you arent really looking for it you probably wont see it.
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I think this is a great post started here. I sometimes forget that I have actually improved some in the past few months and over a year even more. Thanks for taking the time to point out some of your thoughts
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When I first began I remember seeing the improvement curve broke down like the following which I will always remember...
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 I have also noticed with a few friends who haden't lifted a dart..they were scoring better with flukes but now they are zoning in and they are inside the 12s and 18s and feel they are getting worse....just reassure her she is progressing and will be beating you by Christmas Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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+1 for a great post. We've seen in the past that you and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to practice.

As you pointed out it can be dispiriting when the improvements seem not to be coming, or at least are not reflected in greatly improved scoring. As you noted, if your "spray zone" improves to take out 18 and 12 then your scores will reduce. It's also true that your spray zone can improve so that your darts in the 1's and 5's are closer to the 20 bed but they're still 1's and 5's. It's important to realise that they are a better class of 1 and 5 and that improvements are being made.

Another thing which I totally agree with is that during your "throw grooving" practice time it's more important how you throw than what you hit. This is the power of the A1 drill in my book.

It's also good to know your throw. I can only feel mine in a general sense and have never been overly concerned with elbow positions or release points. I can feel what I did wrong and know what I need to do to fix it so it feels right. (That doesn't seem to make sense and isn't very scientific!) For example, double top is a really good indicator for me. If I'm not throwing well I kind of float the dart up there. I can hit the target when I throw like this but it isn't reliable. When I'm throwing well the dart is delivered confidently and is thrown "at" the target rather than "towards it". Again, I can miss when I throw like this but it is much more likely to start hitting than the other way around.

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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Try filming her throwing, if she'll let you. Helped me a ton. Maybe film yours and show her the difference. I guess that will only help if she has a very obvious action problem. Main thing is she's improved, it's all baby steps in this game as we all know.
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Banz your dead right above feeling your throw, when all is good it just FEELS RIGHT!
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+1 for a great post well analysed Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. Nice one Mc Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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thanks guys for the kudos! every time i write something like that i never really know how it will be received. theres always that fear of looking at it later and seeing "wow, idiot". so just having you guys acknowledge it means a lot to me, so thank you very much all of you.
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(11-02-2016, 07:47 AM)Tom12481 Wrote: Banz your dead right above feeling your throw, when all is good it just FEELS RIGHT!

The challenge can be making it like that all of the time because when it's going well it can be almost effortless.  Those periods can be brief but we all have them.

I am trying to work in practice so I that I don't ever have those "what am I doing wrong" times.  Sometimes it's not possible to fix it during a league game where you are throwing under the pressure of trying to hit what you're going for.

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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It definitely is not an improvement curve. The graph Hamo posted is very accurate. It is a rocky crooked road.
A lot of folks pack it in on the first or second slump. It is very disheartening to put in a lot of time and get worse. If you keep the faith and keep practicing you will get a bit better than you were before the slump.

Great post and thread.
Currently throwing 20g Wades badly at an Eclipse Pro




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mcockrell your advise in this thread is the best I ever had.  It really improved and continues to improve my game.  I kinda try to read everything that you write now Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Very good analysis.  Many thanks!!
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