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In Aidan

Episode 3 - Happy Birthday To Me

Posted: 05.09.12 in Throw Like A Pro Blog category

In Aidan's " Throw Like A Pro" blog he reflects on the first 12 months of his journey to the top of darts!

September marks 12 months since I began this journey, and I’ll start with a negative in that I would like my game to have been a lot more developed than it is. But, if I am honest, I haven’t been putting in the hours on the practice board, not to the extent that such a dramatic increase in ability will be all that evident.

From a positive perspective, some passing observations I have noticed in my game:

  • I am scoring at least one 100 in every leg. (For many of you, that is an easy task, but it took me a long while to get there.)
  • My grouping has improved dramatically; if I am straight with my first dart, I stand a very good chance to follow up with two more.
  • 12 months ago, I was getting very frustrated if I wasn’t hitting a 100 every time I threw three darts, or if I missed doubles I was getting visibly angry. Not anymore, my outlook has changed and my game is improving because of it. Every dart is a new one, it’s about being able to get over the last one and re-focus.

I would class myself as an ‘okay’ thrower. I am not a novice anymore. I know if I warm up for an hour, and then go and play a competitive game, I can match my opponent in the scoring department. In terms of areas for development however, there are many!

So if scoring is good, why am I not winning every leg? I struggle with my Doubles, and this is my main focus in the next few months. When I get to a finish of 79 for example, a sudden rush of panic over takes me, and if I aim for the T13 to leave D20, there is a chance I will hit a 6 or 4.

When I eventually am on the double, I am still perfecting the art of laying down a marker, if my first shot doesn’t enter the bed, it should be set up in a way that my second can Rick O’Shea in to it! Concentration skills; Keeping focus is hard....

  • oh look an apple! You get my drift!

12 months throwing darts and I am thrilled to still have the interest, the desire to put my toe to the oche and play. It’s a fantastic sport. Slow and steady wins the race, that’s certainly my motto going forward. I will no longer get annoyed with myself, but instead seek in desperation for a positive angle in everything.

In the last year, I am delighted to say I have lost count with the number of 180’s I have hit. My highest checkout is 134, although competitively it’s 130. I have met, and interview all the 2011/12 PDC Premier League stars, information that I will be sure to include in later blogs. I took to the oche against Raymond Van Barneveld, a game I will remember for a long time.

And I have, most importantly, won some games, and this is what spurs you on to take up your set of arrows again, and again.

I am currently playing with two teams in separate County Leagues. The experience is invaluable, I am playing against more experienced and talented players week in week out. A piece of advice I heard 12 months ago still echoes in my head:

“You can throw all you like at home, on your fancy board with new stems, flights and all that. But don’t call that practice. Practice only counts when you’re throwing against someone, and there is pressure on your double to win.”

Golfers will never hit a round of 72 perfect shots, or get a hole in one every time they stand over a Par 3 tee box. It’s being able to walk off the course having hit a few good shots that’s important. And for darts, it’s the same, certainly at my level anyway. It won’t be perfect every time, which makes the times when they are, all the more sweet. 


 Paul Gillings – Darts Performance Centre

I enjoyed Aidan’s blog very much, it is extremely insightful for anyone trying to master darts, as well as some very valuable lessons and advice from a player striving to be someone at darts. I will focus on a couple of points.

Aidan reflecting on his improvement over the year spells out the value of setting goals. Hitting a ton “nearly” every throw is a great example of how you can monitor your progress easily. Goals such as these can act as great motivators to get you on the practice board and even to help you stay focused during a match.

Aidan’s ability to forget the last dart and focus on the next is a huge hurdle for not just dart players but anyone involved in competitive sport to get over. One of the first things I wrote when I started the Darts Performance Centre was a darts philosophy which we made into a poster.

One of my favourite points on the poster was borrowed from golf and a hero of mine, Bob Rotella and mirrors Aidan’s new found skill of focusing solely on the dart in hand!

“I will stay in the present moment. I won’t speculate in the middle of a match what my average is or whether I am going to win or lose. I will accept bounce outs, misses, mistakes. I will be in a good mood and a great state of mind for the whole match. I will enjoy playing!"

If Aidan can keep this mindset I wonder where he could be in another 12 months?

Author: Aidan Farrelly ( throwlikeaprodarts@gmail.com )

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