Practice routines I am improving with

Discussion in 'Practice, Strategy & Technique' started by Mountain, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Mountain

    Mountain Member

    Some nights I was good. Not losing a match, despite the 1’s and 5’s. I felt confident pegging, even if my journey to a double wasn’t smooth, or took an unusual route. And it was on one of these nights that the penny dropped when I hit a 13 darter. I was never going to hit less than that if I didn’t know how to count. 140, 180, 60 and I went to the oche and threw at 17, because I had time to think through 51, 50/20, D10/DB. I didn’t have time to think what to play on 104 when I got a single, so stayed for 51, and had to be told 53 remaining.

    So I wrote myself an out-chart. I stuck it up in the dart room. That didn’t work. Kept looking at the chart and not memorising the combinations. So then I would practice 61 = 45/15, D8/14, D16. But things got fuzzy past 63. I wrote the outs in a journal, and all the combinations of single, triple and doubles. And still when I got to the oche I was calculating numbers. Counting down in 6’s until I got to a good out. But the odds were difficult. So I made flash cards and look at them on the bus. Then I simplified them to just the single. 67 = 17, 77 = 19, 84 = 16. But nothing compared to standing in front of a board and trying to take them out, from 61 to 98. I know, I am a genius. Just not that smart. I gave myself three darts to take out each number, or start again until I had. I was also using a champions choice dartboard, so it took a loooong time and I usually finished at 80, and did 80 to 100 in another session.

    About the same time I registered with the darts performance centre after seeing one a youtube coaching clip from them. I didn’t get much past the analysis phase or get a tune-up kit like I wanted before I started. And two hours practice. It seemed undoable, and life, and work, and kids took away focus.

    Until the last few league matches made me angry. Frustrated with 41’s, 55’s made me revisit my practice strategy, and look for new routines to freshen up my skills. What I had done was make a note of all the triples and doubles used in the outshot routines. I had 21 marked down, from D20, to T13. I had to hit 5 marks before ‘finishing’ the number. Then I might practice my doubles, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1 - 20, 10, 5 - 12, 6, 3 and 18, 9, B. So I had accuracy. Just not set-up, and too many 1’s and 5’s.

    Then I stumbled on flight school through the book written by ‘sleepy’. I signed up and in the process joined SEWA. I had read George’s book years ago, and that is were I developed my practice routine of marking down 10, 12, 14 triples and doubles and hitting them 5 times. But what I re-discovered from flight school was working on my stroke. Now if I hit a number I don’t go onto the next one, but try and land all three together. Mostly I land near enough the target that in the grouping I might still get one in the double or triple, but if it is too far away I get satisfaction from stacking barrels.

    SEWA has given me practice game ‘competitions’ to break up my routines, and I have gone back to using the darts performance centre and used their interactive games to record my results. There is an old mantra about not managing what you aren’t measuring.

    Since playing around the world on doubles, but not worrying about hitting the segment and more about stacking barrels to develop a stroke and cadence to my throw I have hit more 180’s and 140’s, and lowered my 501’s games average below 21, which is where I want to be. Thanks to all the advice I have gotten here, as it has given me the confidence to adapt my practice routine to one that suits me and tailored to improve the areas I need to work on.
     
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  2. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    Glad to hear it! For those doubles I find both BlackHorses game and John Parts 'Catch 40' to be great ways to force them into your mind.
     
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  3. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    Mountain I have taken a similar path, only difference is I have nowhere to compete...yet(fingers crossed). Erik is spot on. . I have found on catch 40 that it is also good to alter your routes too. For instance 81...some days I shoot 45-36 and others 57-24. The DPC exercises are what I latched onto the most. When you mention cadence I like the Double down game because you not only work the doubles but also the rhythm between throws.
     
  4. Mountain

    Mountain Member

    Practice is starting to pay dividends, if slowly. I actually went backwards on a lot of my games, but have really enjoyed trying to up my CCU score, which is stating to help in games. Last night I lost my first three singles games, but didn’t play badly. Then in the last game I played a ‘rival’. You know, the blokes you want to beat. The ones that take pleasure out of beating you. Well, we went to three. My first three visits were utter rubbish, he thought he had it won. Then 140, 140, and pegged 109.
    BH RTW and Bob’s 27 is giving me confidence on pegs, as has Catch 40. I’ve been playing my own version of doubles too, but still working out scoring. 20, 10, and 5, then 16, 8 and 4. 12, 6 and 3 followed by 18, 9 and Bull. Thinking I should chuck in 14, 7 and random. The aim is to hit all 3 in sequence - muscle memory. I finish practice with a couple of rounds before a game or two of 501. Thanks for the inspiration.
     
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  5. Mountain

    Mountain Member

    Comment please, this is not a humble brag. Without practice I was more able to hit a pressure target than not. Doubles were mana to me because I wasn’t shaky, I was focused. The more practice I do, the less focus I have. Or it seems. I’ve just watched a YouTube clip with the game 201. I think 6 darts to finish provides more focus than 9, although that is more pragmatic. George gives me the focus of grouping. I like throwing at my numbers, but using my first as a marker. Who cares if I don’t hit a 180 if I can smack three barrels on 5 during practice?
    My point? I am learning my outs and finishing strategy, but fuck, my highest out has been 150. I love D15, even if I shouldn’t.
    I know this wrong, and I only take this path because I can’t count. And I have a partner that counts like Zeus, so I meed to give him what he expects. I believe I have answered my own question. The pressure is to count correctly and not be a lazy bastard
     
  6. Mountain

    Mountain Member

    Just to clarify, I hit D14, and D15 regularly on Bob and BH RTW. Not so much D12, or even D4 shits me
     
  7. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    You’ve got a lot going on in that question but, here’s my 2 cents. Initially I think that practice has established some new habit for you in your stroke. It could perhaps be the pace at which you throw, the time between throws, how you hold your off arm, etc. Then when you’re playing for keeps you are getting hung between the familiar “old” stroke(because you’re in a familiar environment) and the “new” stroke that has been developing during your practice sessions. From experience, in golf, in just takes a little time and your intuitive mind will put the 2 together. And on the idea of focus, some months ago we had a nice discussion on it in threads titles vision and focus and what are you really practicing. Good reads and worth it because the terms concentration, focus and vision are sometimes used interchangeably in fine motor skill sports and they aren’t always so. I hope this helps a bit! Keep up the good work!
     
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  8. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    Never give up! When you've practiced enough, nothing will be a 'pressure' shot ;) it will all be just another shot at ..... with confidence. And around then you get a new gear too ;) I used to liken it to my 'passing gear'...I had 'cruise' in which I'd just motor along and then when it mattered I'd kick it up a notch and take out that 142 without even given it much thought. Just bam bam bam, game over :D
     
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