Harrows Darts.

Dart Practice Analogy
For those of you who still don’t understand what dart practice truly is here is my analogy…
 
George S. got it right.

Rehearsal - When I was fresh out of high school I joined a progressive rock band with a bunch of friends as a bass player. I was given a set of songs to learn to play at our next rehearsal and I learned by ear the bass lines and went off to rehearsal. I struggled that first time, but after a few months I had the songs down. I thought I was learning how to play, thought I was becoming a musician, well I wasn’t, what I was doing was learning certain aspects of the bass just enough to get by. Darts is the same way. Usually the first time you pick up a set of darts is when you are out with your friends having a few cold ones. You play in bars, join some leagues, and sometimes even go to some big tournaments. What is missing is practice. If all you do is play 501, Cricket or any variation of them with your friends or alone at home you are just doing enough to get by. You are not practicing; you are not a true dart player.

Practice - After about 6 months of playing with the band, the lead guitar player told me I had to start practicing if I wanted to get any better. I looked at him and said I was, every day! I played all the songs we were covering nonstop. I showed him the thick calluses on my finger tips to prove it.  He said no you’re not, you are just learning enough to get by. So every week he would give me music scales and theory to practice. It forced me to understand proper technique, chord progressions, muscle memory, tempo, rhythm, ext… As the months went by, I truly got better, I could improvise, get into a groove, sit in the pocket, play outside the pocket if so desired. I became a true musician.  

Playing out - We started playing out, local bars, clubs, a few halls. Everything I learned from practice and rehearsal transferred into these moments. Having fun, but not making mistakes, knowing what to play, when to play, and HOW to play became second nature for me.  It never came to much but it became a lifelong lesson I still use to this day.  That was over 20 years ago. We had a lot of fun back then but what he taught me about becoming a musician can easily be transferred over into darts. 

Practice is practice, the more you put into it, the better you will become. Figuring out your weaknesses, understanding how to correct your faults is what practice is. Sure you can play some 01’ or Cricket if you are becoming board with your practice routine, just like I used to play songs after practicing my scales for hours.  Just understand that you must work on your throw, proper technique, muscle memory, tempo, rhythm, ext… That is what A1, A2, A3 teach you to do.

I think of league play as band rehearsal. All the practice I have done, I bring to league play. I am not truly focused, I am out with my friends, having a few barley pops, socializing, ext… I have some great average days, and some not so great average days, but I realize that it’s all on me. I am not putting in my all, my main goal is to rehearse what I have done in practice in preparation for the big stage.

I think of sanctioned tournaments as when we played out. Totally focused, not making any mistakes, doing everything I have learned from practice and league and bringing it to the stage. This is when I am at my best, when I “get in the zone” and everything falls into place. Does it happen all the time? No. But it does happen more than it does not.  I’m I a great shot? No. But I am at my best at that time. I prepare, I am confident from all of the practice and league play I have done. In my mind, I am ready. It is true what they say… 90% mental, 10% physical and the rest is all in your head.
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Some wise words there  :thumbup:
As you quite rightly say, it would be boring just playing scales and modes every day, similarly to playing round the board in darts. But it's necessary to get the basics and foundation spot on so you can make the fun parts even more rewarding. There needs to be some fun/competitive aspects when you're in the zone such as playing in a band to an audience and, likewise, playing darts in a league.


Quote:After about 6 months of playing with the band, the lead guitar player told me I had to start practicing if I wanted to get any better. I looked at him and said I was, every day! I played all the songs we were covering nonstop. I showed him the thick calluses on my finger tips to prove it.  He said no you’re not, you are just learning enough to get by. So every week he would give me music scales and theory to practice. It forced me to understand
I want to throw something else in here.
I always find with many skills the key to improving is to come out of your comfort zone and try new things because that forces your brain to rewire.

For example, in chess, instead of playing e4 as the first move as white play d4 instead because that forces you to think in a different way, acquire more positional skills, and leads to a totally different style of game.

So it's probably not what you were doing there, but the fact that you were dong something different. When you were playing the songs over and over again as you've mentioned there, you may have merely been rehearsing all your mistakes and any bad playing habits as well.
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Nice post and I agree with that too Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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I agree 100% - I was rehearsing mistakes and bad habits and I believe the longer you do it, the longer it will take to correct those bad habits and mistakes.
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Good post Southpaw . :thumbup:
 

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I love the not too polished (rehersed) track when playing it live, gives it a nice raw edge and keeps you on your toes more.  We've rehersed the same tracks too much and it ended up losing the feel for the music.  It ended up sounding flat.  

I suppose that can cross over to darts too, being in 'the comfort zone' as Jeffers says can leave your mental game flat.  You need to get out and explore a little and keep things interesting.
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Great Analogy!
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