Consistency In Darts
Now I am no expert myself, otherwise you might have seen me on TV by now, but I do have my own insights on the topic and thought I'd share them now.
I think when people say they want 'consistency' that they are talking about staying within a certain variable of error in terms of where the darts land on the board, and for that to align as closely as possible to how they throw in practice and/or during their best games. In other words, the ability to consistently and reliably deliver the dart to it's target.
This is how I personally am trying to get there...
- The Arm: Spend time on the board with specific and focused practice. Maintain the basics of good form (relaxed, follow through, throw from the elbow, etc) but don't obsess over them or nit pick over the details constantly. Give yourself rest days! Now with all this in mind, that to reach your full potential you will need to put in the time, and like mastering ANY skill that means (for most of us at least) thousands of hours.
- Mind and Attitude: First off, make sure that you really want it. That is because, there are no easy fixes. This means that you will need to have a lot of patience and put in tons and TONS of time where it doesn't look feel like you are getting better at all, and sometimes feels like you are going backwards! The last couple of weeks I have played with a player who has not seen me shoot since I very first started playing. His feedback on how I play now as compared to then was incredibly motivating. I would also suggest that 'getting better' and 'darts' is something you look at as an overall growth path and for every shot/turn/game/season/tournament is part of your learning experience. This way you can gain from your set-backs mistakes and screw ups instead of just beating yourself up over them. Oh yeah, don't beat yourself up, I know hard to stop sometimes, but just bad news.
- Pressure: This is maybe the main reason that people state for not performing as well in games as in practice. (A) Be well prepared. Make your practice challenging to increase your skill and simulate as best you can real game pressure. (B) Stay focused on what you are doing. Don't think about the last turn or the next, or what the other player threw or who is watching or winning or losing or what you will have for lunch. (C) Deep breaths. (D) Accept that nerves are a normal part of competition, but that you can still perform well with them. (E) Immerse yourself in pressure situations, and understand that each time you are getting closer to where you want to be and better acclimatized to a variety of situations.
- The Journey: This is all about YOU as a dart player and no body else. This means that the timeline of your darts journey and the specifics of how you develop are all yours. For sure you can be satisfied after a good game against a strong opponent, but never compare yourself to anyone else other than to yourself.
Thank you, as always for reading!
"The Prophecy" Dave Fox Sproull