Wouldn't you know it, but we went on to win six out of a possible eight legs to take second place, with my wife pegging out two of the games and coming up with some big scores, including a 168 in a game where we very dearly needed it. (sorry no photo) At the end of it all the bar owner Param (who also plays and is a fine darter indeed!) added us to their summer team. Now joining the summer team was something that we would have been allowed to do regardless but it was nice that they seemed happy to have us and sincerely thought Rebecca and I worked well as a pairing in darts. (I agree..and once the games have that 'for real' feeling the wife has another level of play!).
It is all a learning experience but being the top player on the last place team in your first season brings some pressures with it, both real and imagined.. and so being able to play on a team that has the current first and second ranked players in B division will take some pressure off as well as possibly offer some opportunities for us to take advantage of some mentor-ship, or failing that the learning that happens by simply being around people doing something well.
In any event they are a good bunch and we are both looking forward to the upcoming summer season!!
Before that happens though we still have at least one playoff game for the Shaft Throwers. It isn't impossible that we will advance, and we have been making the games a lot closer of late, but the sensible answer is not likely.
I think our best bet is to into it with nothing to lose and maybe hope that the other team will maybe just maybe underestimate us.
Getting it right: Negative reinforcement in darts
To hammer home this point I was playing a game against a pretty good and pretty experienced player and I had a shot waft outside of the scoring area just above the twenty where it meets the five. (in case you are wondering my release was a little short) "You should not be able to do that" he says matter of fact and suggested that on his team they were going to make people pay a cash penalty into some sort of darts version of a swear jar.
Now far be it from me to correct someone who has been playing the game for twenty odd years, but I don't think this is simply wrong, I think it is damaging.
Never ever in my life have I ever heard of 'playing not to lose' as being a winning strategy in any type of competition, and I would suggest darts is no different. if nothing else, what this guys was saying is tantamount to 'whatever you do, don't think about purple elephants' .
I also think there is a difference between understanding mistakes and correcting them in a constructive way, rather than being punitive and more than likely putting a potentially very destructive bug inside someone's mind.
Toronto is a great place for darts with some great people and great players but I don't think that being positive and playing to a high standard are mutually exclusive. Maybe it is a Flight School vs Non-Flight School thing but maybe it is as much about being in touch with your mechanics and feeling your throw than it is about learning your mechanics, but either way I think good things happen when you focus on learning to do things right and knowing it, rather than tearing yourself down for honest mistakes and lapses.
How is it in your town? Am I even being fair in saying this type of negative reinforcement is a Toronto thing?
Well that's all for now, but maybe a little food for thought..
if you haven't entered the contest yet, chances are still very good of winning but it IS starting to heat up.
See you all next time!
Dave 'The Abominable Throw Man' Sproull