Welcome to the Darts Minute

This is the very first Darts Minute! Here’s why…

As a  student of the Internet, marketing, self-improvement and stupid YouTube videos, I’ve noticed that there is often a false correlation between length and value, in other words, people seem to think that how long a talk/video/class is has some connection to how “good” it is.

So people add modules and handouts and audios and “extras” and such to create the impression of value.

Oddly enough, my Marketing Brain understands the reasons for this – eg. engagement, participation – but those are techniques to get people to buy something, and are almost exactly the opposite of what we need to get them to learn something.)

Experience tells me that some of the most important things we learn happen in a very short time (“Careful, that’s hot”), and that most lessons can be very quick and focused on one, easy to understand and use idea.

I don’t have a road map yet so I expect these Darts Minutes will touch on every aspect of the game. Over time I think I’ll be able to start grouping these together in a coherent way.

What do I want from you?

Chat. Comments. Feedback. Pushback.

Let me know what you think. Do you like it? Do you disagree? Did I make no sense? Do I have a funny accent? Tell me about it.

If we can turn this into a conversation then I think all dart players will benefit. I know it will certainly help me do a better job.

Darts Survey – help us help you

One thing I’ve been putting off for a few years is creating something that would help Dart players get to the next level. A book, a course…something.

While the articles here are helpful, there isn’t anything tying them together – there’s no plan of action.

So I am preparing a new course and I need your help.

Rather than write about what I think is important, it makes more sense to let the community decide what they need to work on. I put together a small, 4-question survey and sent it to my Facebook group.Take the Darts survey Update: I closed the survey for now and am making sense of the results….

The results so far have been really interesting and I learned some new insights about what you all want. (No, I’m not posting results while the survey is going on – I don’t want people to be swayed by popular opinion. When I have about 500 responses, I’ll post more about it here.)

Thanks for being a part of Darts Technique. I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

Update 1: one consistent thing people are asking me about is help doubling out – the maths and what to shoot for. I can’t teach this any better than Bill Spears in his book on Mastering the Out. I’ve been recommending it for years. It will help you learn the right way to “think” about your outs.

How to get out of dart throwing slump in the middle of a match

What to do when your darts game falls apart during a match.

Every dart player – even the pros – go through times when their game seems to deteriorate; where they can’t seem to do anything right.

Know that this is totally normal and is just a part of being human, We all have outside stresses, physical highs and low and biological rhythms that will cause to  to have bad days (and amazing days!)

Here’s a few ideas to help you when you catch yourself in a slump. These are for when you’re in an actual match. Ideas for breaking longer slumps are in another post.

1) Calm down:. The calmer you are the better you will throw. Concentrate on controlling your breathing and think about something pleasant, like your last vacation.

Take an extra few seconds at the oche or while waiting to throw to just get in a couple of good, deep breaths.The goal is to slow down your heart rate and minimize any nervous jitters you may have.

Don’t get mad. Remember that we all have bad throws and nights and trust that it won’t last forever.

Put all your focus on what you want to hit next and the outs you need to achieve. Think of your next 3 darts and all the possible out combinations you might have (“if I hit T20 my next dart is at S18, but if I hit S20 my next is at T18”) This will keep your brain focused on the game and not on your performance

2) Don’t make adjustments Staying focused on the numbers you need to win the current game is the only thing you should be thinking about right now.

This is not the time to “go back to” your old stance or try that new grip you’ve been working on. Adjustments to your game should occur at the practice board not in live games.

A slump is a psychological issue, not a mechanical one so you need to work on your head not your hand.

3) Let it go. So you threw some bad darts. Big deal, life is short, move on. I guarantee that you will throw better darts in the future. Look forward to those moments.

Also remember, one thing that even the best player in the word can’t change is a dart that’s already thrown. Keep focused on the next dart, not the last one.

4) Believe in Yourself Have you ever thrown a perfect dart? A perfect Ton80? 3 triples in cricket? That’s all the proof you need to know that you are capable of throwing perfect darts.

  • You can hit what you need.
  • You will get your next out.
  • You are ready to win your next game.

Positive self-talk is essential for any competitor – Use it.

What do you do when you’re in a slump? I’d love to hear your tricks for getting out of a slump, especially during match time.

Being consistent when throwing darts

Improving your Darts Consistancy

I recently got a message on the DartsTechnique facebook account from “Player H”, who said:

“I recently started playing. I’m battling with my darts consistancy. One day I easily throw 20’s and will close a 501 game in under 30 darts.
The next day i cant hit a 20. Because of this, I, tried 19’s, but with the same on and off problem.
This extremely frustrating, and the frustration has resulted in loss of confidence, which affects my closing.”

First of all, a new player closing 501 in under 30 darts, is doing very well, and the fact that he is measuring (keeping track) shows me that ‘H’ could become a good player one day. A great lesson from Marketing also applies to Darts – “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”. Keeping a logbook is extremely important for making progress.

Now I’ve never met ‘H’ so replied:

“Well, first of all…stay on the 20’s. Inconsistency will follow you around the board.

To help evaluate your darts consistency, answer these 2 questions:

Question 1: how are your groups? When you throw 3 darts does one go high, one left and one right; or to you tend to hit 3 triple 1s?
Question 2: how are your checkouts? If I leave you 32, do you usually hit the d16 or do you often end up throwing the 16-8-4-2-1.

I’m guessing as a new player it’s the second one.
I’m big on things like stance and throw mechanics.
Here’s a clue for now: consistency hitting the board is a result of darts consistency in :

  • how you place your feet and body,
  • how you distribute your weight,
  • how high your elbow is,
  • how far your hand travels,
  • and about 20 other things….

so lets figure it out. Glad to help – hit me questions any time.”

I’m hoping to hear back (and I’ll follow up here) but I think that’s a good start.

Would you have answered differently? I’d love to hear your ideas on darts consistency.

Problems with my dart grip

Hey guys. I’m having serious problems with my dart grip…I need your help for a change.

 

For the last 3 months, I’ve been struggling with getting my grip right. For some reason, I can’t settle into a consistent grip and pressure. Now I usually help others with this but I can’t seem to help myself.

 

My stance is locked in and my release feels about right, so I’m ok there. My groups are good when I have the right grip but I seem to keep shifting between a tight grip up where the point meets the shaft, and a looser grip where I cradle the darts at threee fingertips and launch the dart.

That may not make much sense but they are pretty similar other than pressure, and I’ve used both grips successfully at times in the past.

Anyone else experience this inability to lock down a part of their game? I’m getting frustrated…..and I should know this stuff!

On the positive side, having problems with my dart grip is keeping me from worrying about my stance. Maybe it’s time to re-read some of my own darts articles.