As fun and exciting as the dart team is, I think it should be noted that it is a distraction, especially for those of us who put too much pressure on ourselves, especially when we confuse 'how good we can be' with our current baseline of performance. I suspect that this is common for dart players, especially those of us who are ambitious in one form or another. (although I couldn't tell you what specifically I am ambitious towards).
Through a combination of this and a few other factors I started to go off my game as more and more I tried to force things. I was tense, and because I was tense I stopped being able to extend my stroke all the way out toward the target in a fluid motion. More to the point it started to cause me pain.
I got to the point where I thought I needed to change my grip to save my game, and that somehow my grip was intrinsically harmful and that this was now catching up to me.
Flight School's creator George Silberzahn of course had misgivings about this, as well I should have had myself, but if for ever so briefly, change I did.
Thankfully, I didn't change for long, and in a weird way it did help me as it was this brief experiment that so strongly illustrated that my issue was nerves/tension/emotions.
So then, how to get back to the state I was in so recently where every dart thrown was like water off a ducks back, and any miss throw was quickly forgiven and forgotten?
Add that to the fact that even in the short time I have been playing darts I have been seeing a cycle of performance, where I will reach a peak and then find in some way that it is being at the peak itself that brings me down. Is that just something that will level itself off with time and experience? Rationally speaking, I assume so but I also suspect that it is within this process that there is a danger consciously or unconsciously to make a 'this is as good as it gets' decision about my darting abilities. I think this will be a satisfying level of play, but in it I think there will be some sort of risk reduction. At least that is intuitively what I think might happen, and perhaps does happen, but I'll leave it to either time or you dart veterans out there to verify this.
Back to the whole changing the grip thing, there is one thing that I think needs to be addressed that happened to me. People like to give advice, and that is fine, and some people even like a certain level of trash talk and gamesmanship, but if a player is having a difficult spot in their game, I think it is dirty pool to try to prey on it and make the issue worse for the person. It is one thing to throw someone off their game, quite another to ruin someone else's game.
I hope what I am saying here makes sense, and yes I have survived and my game (what it is so far) has survived. I just find a lot of people who claim to support the growth of the game will tear you down to build you up it seems. Maybe it is just human nature and people can feel threatened?
I am not too sure, but as I grow in darts it is these sorts of things I notice and wonder about.
Season Wrapping Up Soon!
As I have said, i think this team is great and I am excited to see how we do over a longer season and a more reasonably even playing field. I also wonder if being the captain of the team will work against my own personal development as a dart shooter?
Time will tell, but i suspect that more so at first it most certainly will and I think to an extent already has had a bit of a negative effect, but as time goes on I think one will need not have an adverse affect on the other, especially as i continue to get better at not putting artificial expectations on myself.
i mean the answer is always the same isnt it? Steady,dedicated and directed practice to build both confidence and prowess, regardless of your role on a team.
We are planning to do this out of our own pockets as maybe a team pride sort of thing, but well I might as well throw it out there, because if anyone wanted to sponsor us for shirts we'd be more than happy to sew on a patch to promote you and i could also feature you here on as well. between the two you might get seen by a few people, and you'd contribute to making us look awesome while we played darts!
i know, it's a long shot, but if you are interested in sponsoring (or providing) our team shirts email me here
Ok, I think that is all for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope not to be so long in getting the next one written. I really just needed to focus on getting my game settled down. Now that I am back on track (maybe even better than ever!) I don't think you'll have to wait quite so long for the next one!
Dave 'The Abominable Throw Man' Sproull