Unicorn

Ability vs. Talent ... A Realization ... Long Post
Prelude:
Yesterday I got called up to be a regular thrower on a team in our local dart league, I was very glad to get the call and looking forward to the evening.
I practiced 2 hrs at home and arrived to the bar about 1.5 hrs early. I had a conversation with our team captain, during which he told me he had only been playing darts for two years.
The first game of the evening was a doubles match and I was paired up with the team captain. He was hitting Tons, lots of high numbers and even had a 131 out! Dang! I was only throwing 40's and 50's, but I did manage to throw a T19 on my first attempt.

... And that got me thinking ...

Meat Of The Post:
If he's only been playing for two years and throwing like that ... then he must have a talent for throwing darts.
I mean, I've only been playing for 1.5 years and cant hit sh*t even if my life depended on it. And I know there are old-timers out there that have been playing since dirt was invented and they dont throw that good.

There must be a difference between ability and talent.
Consider this: we all have the ability to throw a dart, but some are just naturally better at it, talented. Just as we all have the ability to teach a classroom full of 5th grader, but some are just better at it.

Now, Im not bitching, complaining or moaning about my lack of talent for throwing a piece of tungsten 7' 9.25" (236.85 cm) down range, but dammit, I guess I will have to settle for just improving my ability to throw a damned dart downrange.

I guess Ill take darts for what it is ... a dang fun game Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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With him on that
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Interesting thoughts...I agree that some may have a natural ability but still have to work hard to develop it. I remember reading somewhere that John Lowe was in pretty much the same situation. He was asked to fill in for a mate and found it easy to get on target, I wonder if we all have a degree of talent? Maybe some think this looks hard and guess what its going to be hard for them. However I'm a firm believer in 'practice makes perfect' too, which allows someone with little talent and plenty of ambition to blossom.
Its not an age thing either I'm playing the best darts of my life and getting better. At my club in my first full season last year I became 2nd division champion and was promoted to a first division captain. We've just finished yet another season and came 3rd out of 16 teams in that.

I took up darts a couple of years ago too after a 28 year break and if you'd seen how I threw then you'd laugh (I didn't though) but I was determined to improve.

A similar concept in addressing your topic can be found perhaps in boxing when you put a 'boxer' up against a 'fighter,' the boxer can be taught how to avoid the slugger with proven techniques and knows when to attack, has the right balance and can throw a punch often above his weight. The slugger has a natural ability to knock you into next week, take punishment but can be frustrated by a classy boxer etc an exciting scenario.

Self-belief / confidence plays a huge roll in how we perform and can often beat just talent BUT that confidence is underpinned by how well one practices. To my mind the critical thing is the quality and intensity of the practice sessions and not the just the amount of time.

That's what I particularly love about the "Weekly Challenges" on this forum.

What do others think?

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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I've been involved in this game for almost 30 years and things have changed for me in that time. When I started playing, I developed quite quickly to become the "go to" guy on the teams I played for. When things got tight, I was the one the team counted on to win the match.

Fast forward 30+ years and I'm no longer that guy. Things have changed in all those years. When I first started playing I did so sans glasses, didn't need meds and was a lean, mean throwing machine. Now I wear bifocals, take 2 RX's a day for high blood pressure and cholesterol, weigh 30 pounds more than I did back then and have had more joint surgeries than I care to think about-----almost all on my throwing side of my body.

I still love to throw and plan to get back into league in the fall, but I no longer have the confidence that I can be the player I once was, but I love to do it anyway and will do so till I can't reach the board with the darts. Point being, just enjoy yourself, don't put too much pressure on yourself to make great strides in advancement and take the little steps as they come.
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(06-04-2014, 02:12 AM)gumbo2176 Wrote: I've been involved in this game for almost 30 years and things have changed for me in that time. When I started playing, I developed quite quickly to become the "go to" guy on the teams I played for. When things got tight, I was the one the team counted on to win the match.

Fast forward 30+ years and I'm no longer that guy. Things have changed in all those years. When I first started playing I did so sans glasses, didn't need meds and was a lean, mean throwing machine. Now I wear bifocals, take 2 RX's a day for high blood pressure and cholesterol, weigh 30 pounds more than I did back then and have had more joint surgeries than I care to think about-----almost all on my throwing side of my body.

I still love to throw and plan to get back into league in the fall, but I no longer have the confidence that I can be the player I once was, but I love to do it anyway and will do so till I can't reach the board with the darts. Point being, just enjoy yourself, don't put too much pressure on yourself to make great strides in advancement and take the little steps as they come.
I can't disagree with a word you've said maybe the huge break I took helped.

Cheers,

Keep Well
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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Here's my take. I have to reference WDA on this. There was a fella there that was playing for almost a year and he complained ALL the time that he wasn't getting any better and he wasn't that great to begin with. So I had a look at his stats. In a years time he played just over 100 matches. That's it!! Compare that to another guy named Turbo who in the same years time played about 1300 matches and improved about 10 points on his average.

I don't care if someone has played years or even decades. The REAL question is "Have you put in that work?" Some people expect miracles from playing 100 matches over the course of a year. Sorry, but that's not how results come. But to answer your question Ikestr, maybe the captain you're talking about has put in a lot of work and really has a desire to get better? Maybe he's throwing 3-4 hours a day and is absolutely obsessed with getting better? That could be the reason he's playing well?

I also believe that some people just aren't cut out to play darts at any level. No matter how much they practice or compete locally they just don't seem to get any better. But maybe that person just wants a night out to play darts socially? I've learned that all dart players have different goals. One dude on WDA only likes to play people that he can absolutely destroy 6-0 and he will NEVER play anyone that's 1/2 way decent. Some people just play to have a chat and kill some time. Then others come out for blood. Better have your shoe laces tied when you run into these guys.

But to get back to the point. I think anyone can improve greatly if they put in REAL work and effort. But if that person thinks that "work and effort" consist of 20 minutes per day on the practice board..... well I've got some bad news for them. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Development varies from every individual. Consider also other factors such as physical, mental, and even spiritual conditioning. Ability, or adaptability. Talent or determination. Every individual is unique.
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Everybody have different throwing technique. I think everybody should have their own strong and weak points. Therefore each individual should have personal training needs. moreover, self mentoring is very necessary. Best think is to trying to discover whether trying to recover weak points, or keep on strengthen strong points. and trying to configure your "to do's" and "not to do" then I think it teach it to your spinal cord by repating and repating till you dont now how to do..
I'm not so called, a real darts nut!!
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(06-04-2014, 02:12 AM)gumbo2176 Wrote: I've been involved in this game for almost 30 years and things have changed for me in that time. When I started playing, I developed quite quickly to become the "go to" guy on the teams I played for. When things got tight, I was the one the team counted on to win the match.

Fast forward 30+ years and I'm no longer that guy. Things have changed in all those years. When I first started playing I did so sans glasses, didn't need meds and was a lean, mean throwing machine. Now I wear bifocals, take 2 RX's a day for high blood pressure and cholesterol, weigh 30 pounds more than I did back then and have had more joint surgeries than I care to think about-----almost all on my throwing side of my body.

I still love to throw and plan to get back into league in the fall, but I no longer have the confidence that I can be the player I once was, but I love to do it anyway and will do so till I can't reach the board with the darts. Point being, just enjoy yourself, don't put too much pressure on yourself to make great strides in advancement and take the little steps as they come.

LOL It could have been me writing that almost word for word Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Highest Checkout: Trebles Board 157, Doubles Board 100

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I can see how their can be a natural talent belief because honestly there does have to be. I believe though that time and effort put into the game pay off with huge dividends. When I started playing darts I played 1 night a week in a small league in a bar because the owner of the team put in two teams by accident and said go have fun to a group of friends and myself. From then on it went to buying my own darts and still playing that one night a week. Now I play in three leagues and my game has improved tremendously. In like two years time I've gone from not being able to hit a 2 singles to being mad if its not 3 or better. In the long run long format games are the best way to improve and it seems that is how WDA is set up(don't know because unfortunately can't get a good webcam and board setup) as well as the pdsl league I play in. I also feel the mental part of playing better competition or people that are going to push you is the only way you can get better. So in that long drawn out answer which I think I ranted on I feel that practice is more of a factor then a natural talent.
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I think some people are lucky in that whatever they try they are often better than the average person and then there are those who are mega gifted and it can come very easy to them. But I think no matter what your ability or talent is you can always improve if you really believe in yourself and work hard, you may never get much better than say 15 or 20 per cent but then you just have to realise there is things beyond your control that you cant influence and just enjoy whatever it is you do.

I had a natural talent for bowling a Cricket ball, whatever the reason was from the very first time I played Cricket at about 6 years old I could bowl the ball fast, I would often play Cricket every weekend in the summer when I visited my Aunty and Uncles, when I was 12 we played Cricket for the first time at school and everyone was amazed at how fast and well I bowled, to them it seemed like magic! they kept asking me how do I do it? I just spin my arm is all I knew because that is just how it felt to me, I had never thought anything about it until then. Much to many peoples annoyance I never pursued Cricket much past the age of 14 even though many expected me to make it a career, but things went sour for me when I got home from Cricket practice to find my Uncle lying dead. Sad that I never fulfilled my god given potential but that was it.

When I started Thai Boxing a few years later I got the same reaction when I first did elbow strikes, everyone was amazed at how much force I generated but I was just basically doing the same thing I did when bowling a Cricket ball only with my hand tucked into my armpit sort of. So what I am getting at is I did not have a natural talent to play Cricket or throw great elbow strikes but I had a natural or freakish ability to rotate my arm/shoulder in such a manner that it made me seem natural at those things. I think its the same with any sport, some people just have steady nerves and smooth movement which can help with throwing darts and a natural ability to gauge and judge the force needed to throw a dart, they do all this without thinking about it because its just normal to them.

But it should not put us off who are less blessed with such abilities. I struggled at first and it was only when I put more effort into improving that I hit my first 180 and quite a few more in a short space of time, I'm totally crap now since my various injuries though lol but even the last few days I have put more thought into what I am doing when throwing the dart and making some improvement again, hit a lot of 140's lately but I seem to have some kind of jerkiness in my throw which I am struggling to eliminate, but I am not going to stop trying. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Great read grip

I think you get out what you put in..obviously some people will be better naturally but most of the time these people get overly confident and waste there talent by not practicing enough...where as the avg Joe who puts the time in Will surpass this guy
Play like it means nothing when it means everything


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Grip admitting he likes cricket, there. :p
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Yes I loved it then, lol!
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Thanks for all the replies and advice Nuts!

One point i wanted to make in my original post, but did not, was that I do agree that there is no substitute for practice. I understand this because I preach this with my music students, I say 'there are only three things that make you better ... practice, practice, practice.' I can see the resultant progress by practicing.
The same principals absolutely apply with me and my throwing darts and I agree that with more practice will come more results.

But part of the message I failed to accurately convey was that I believe there are some who are more naturally talented, or if you like, require less struggle with practicing, in both cases to become better ... quicker.
To illustrate this point I will use myself as an example: at an early age I was able to listen to music and recite it on piano and guitar, without any training. I went on to teach myself piano, guitar, bass, drums and sax, all without ever taking a lesson. By the time I was 18 I was in several bands playing several different instruments, again all without any lessons, Ive made a good part-time career out of playing music. Talent? Yes, and more natural ability than others.
On the other side of the coin: Ive known several musicians over the past 25+ years who have spent years of practice, thousands of dollars on lessons and years of playing who still cannot sing a note or strum a guitar properly.

My point being, I am ok with knowing that at this moment it does not look like I have the natural talent of throwing a dart, and I am ok with that. It just means I have to work harder at it in order to get better. I have the ability to throw, and I will have to put in lots more practice in order to get better.

I would like to hear from others who think that they have a natural talent to throw darts.

Thanks Nutz
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