So, now that I have a room booked, and train tickets paid for what exactly is my 'mission' once I get there?
Well, as I have said before, first and foremost I want to go there and soak in the experience and enjoy it all, to get my feet wet.
That being said, it isn't that I don't want to compete or be competitive. I am 110% capable of throwing darts that would make me competitive, I know this, because I do it in practice and I make my practices pretty tough. Except, we know that it is hard to replicate what we do in practice while in an actual game, under the sway of nerves and adrenaline.
The biggest secret, I have been finding, as far as dealing with nerves in darts, (other than making sure the practices are tough enough) is simply exposure to the things and circumstances that illicit the response and giving yourself the chance to adapt and adjust. Hence, my 'soak in the experience' idea.
Yet, maybe there is a little bit more I can do, to make this experience enjoyable, as well as an opportunity to learn and grow stronger as a player.
I would sincerely love to show up and throw the best darts of my life, and who knows I might, but if I EXPECT that of myself, then I am just setting myself up for disaster. On the oche, and on each and every throw I can be focused and dialed in as I can possibly be, but to even start thinking about outcomes before a dart is even thrown is maybe of itself a pitfall.
So my missions to myself (should I choose to accept it) is to take everything I have learned about mental excellence in sport (and darn tootin' this is a sport!) and try my best to apply it here.
So what will this entail... ?
- The ever present 'have fun' (and I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't)
- Don't 'time travel' to either possible outcomes/consequences or dwell on past performances.
- Stay in the moment and on task.
- Recognize when my focus slips, and without chastising myself, bring myself back into focus.
- Be oblivious to mistakes, errors or bad throws. Dwelling on them only hurts me.
- Assess all the possible distractions that are there that are beyond my control and see them for what they are, so I can focus on my job, on what I can control.
- Accept that the event is an opportunity to learn and grow and not a 'test'.
- View my opponents as a resource. The best teaching tool I could possibly have.
- Play with confidence, speak and listen with humility and an open mind.
- Fear no one.
- Believe (both the 'will be' and the 'I am')
- Go in with much to learn and nothing to prove.
- Remember that even with the worst nerves I know how to keep my focus and make the shot.
- when I'm on 119 don't go 20's . ;-)
OK, well possibly a tall order once I am 'in the heat of battle' but that is what I am going to try to do.
Of course, I can't predict, so really I will just have to take this as a first step in to new territory, and well, just have fun with it.
So what do you all think of my mental checklist? Anything I'm missing? Anything you just plain ol' disagree with?
Also, I am going regardless, but if you still wanted to support my trip it would still help a lot and be greatly appreciated.
You'll feel really cool about this once I become world famous and you can say you helped me get there
All in all happy to be going. It should be a lot of fun, and my first time in Trenton in decades. I'll try to have a write up and a few pics of the town and the darts to post up on here.
Thank you all, as always for reading.
Dave Fox Sproull