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This month we look at how musicians can help dart players and we have a quick checkout practice game.

Coaching Clinic 14

Posted: 15.08.12 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

This month we look at how musicians can help dart players and we have a quick checkout practice game.


We look to musicians this month for some inspiration on practice and to see if they can help you to hit the big checkouts!

Musicians are good role models when it comes to practice. Like dart players they often practise solo, for hours and hours a week. One of my favourite quotes relating to practice is credited to a very famous musician, JS Bach. Brushing aside the praise lavished on him after playing a particular beautiful piece of music on the harpsichord, he said:

“There’s nothing remarkable about it at all. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself”!

We can all relate to this modesty as darts fans when we watch a player hit a couple of trebles and then a double to take out a 140 check-out to win an important match. They do make it look simple, we all know it’s not.

The other similarity to the very best musicians and the very best dart players is that they all practise. That is the difference between the best and the rest. Forget all the nonsense about ‘natural talent’, that’s just not true! Practice, and most importantly the right kind of practice is the key.

To get you hitting the right notes on the practice board here is a checklist of ideas to get you started:

1.  Work out what part of your game you need to practise. Fill out a session plan in advance and stick to it.

2.  Set yourself some targets of what you are hoping to achieve from the session.     

3.  Put on your darts kit, shoes, shirt, watch, jewellery, everything you would normally          wear.

4.  Try to make the background noise in your practice game as realistic as possible. If you play in a noisy pub put some music on.

5.  Try to plan your practice sessions when you know you will not be disturbed- it’s not          always easy we know but it will help your concentration and focus.

6.  Before you start your practice go through the warm up routine that you go through before a match. Do some stretches and start focusing your mind on what you are going to practise and what skills you may need.

7.  Keep an accurate record of your practice scores. The feedback that players can create by doing this is extremely valuable.


Practice Game

Talking of 140 checkouts, how many darts would it take you to hit that on average? We only deal in 3 darts at the Darts Performance Centre. So, on average would it take you 3 darts, 6 darts or fewer, 9 darts or fewer, 12 etc etc to hit a 140?

Have five goes at it and five at these checkouts too:






First of all it is a nice quick game even for those struggling for practice time. Even 5 to 10 minutes a day practice will make a difference so don't ever think just because you only have limited opportunities to practise it is a waste of time. 

Secondly predict how many darts you think you will need for each checkout and what, on average over the 10 throws your score might be? This is a great lesson in looking at your skills in a more objective way and getting an accurate idea of where exactly your skill level is.

Thirdly, once you have an average for each checkout you have a target to beat for next time. If you take your practice seriously, having a target to beat can add a little pressure to your practice if you are really determined to beat your score. Practising with a bit of pressure is the most valuable type of practice as it reflects more accuratley how you play in a competitive match.



Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net



The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. The site is arranged as an on-line coaching manual. There is advice on technique, nerves, psychology, goal setting, practice games, an area to log your statistics and an interactive area where your darting questions are answered by two sports scientists, one with 30 years dart playing experience! Membership is just £25.00 per annum


Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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