In this post I am going to be talking about Flight School, but I'll be talking about my own current progress, a 'preaching to the choir' as it were and not so much a 'what is Flight School' post, although you can check it out here: Flight School, seeing as the rest of this post will make a lot more sense if you are among the 'saved'.
For those of us already familiar with George and FS I will start by saying that I have come into it quite early on in my darting life, but was eager and with a bit more of a knack that I would have ever dreamed, and a willingness to hurl darts at a board every chance I got, and well I soon found myself getting impatient with the A1 drill. Not because I was completing it flawlessly, but rather because I felt I should be doing more, and so I went pretty quickly from the A1 to the A3 and even a little of the A4 'Ten Ton Drill'.
This did good things for me, but I also think laid the seeds for future issues.
Certainly the A3 drill did good things, especially with 'spot shooting' and I would have bouts of killer accuracy, but then that would melt into strange control problems.
Now a lot of this is also to do with my emotional development as a player, but it also highlights the importance of the A1 drill, especially I suspect, for a new player.
George will frequently attest that the drills are not 'practicing darts' but rather 'learning darts', and from my experience at this point I will back this up.
As simple (or so it seems) as the A1 drill is, it does go a long way to teaching you control of your dart with an easy natural throw, and I believe that rushing through it the first time around was ultimately detrimental to my progress (plus I was in a way competing with myself, and that is always a losing battle).
So what I did was gave myself a Flight School re-set, stopped reading a lot of dart forums for a while (to remove some of the mental clutter) and went back to A1. I have stuck with A1 all season. I have done the A2 (grouping) drill to warm up, and then I have done A2. I do flight school 2-3 times a week, with one night on top of that for league darts, and then one other fun night playing darts with my wife.
The result of all of this 'flight school 2.0' is that I have started to rebuild a lot of confidence, as well as having a much better, more consistent stroke.
I am only playing third division, but making the best of it, and as of writing this currently sit first in personal scoring in the division (but with some people very close to over-taking me!)
With about four games left and the playoffs just around the corner I think I can feel comfortable now moving on to including the A3 drill.
(and a good third of this post did not publish. Oh well, guess we can leave that all to next time!)
Thanks for reading anyway,
Dave 'The Abominable Throw man' Sproull