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This month we look at some "Couch potato" coaching and how a straw could help you play better darts!

Coaching Clinic 24

Posted: 25.06.13 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

This month we look at some "Couch potato" coaching and how a straw could help you play better darts!

 
 

 

Coaching on the Sofa!

My favourite ever piece of advice that was given to me to pass on to young footballers was from a FA representative running a football coaching award course I was on. He explained how simply watching the game can be a huge part of the learning curve for young players to pick up positive skills. The youngsters were keen on the idea too; it was a great argument for staying up late to watch Match of the Day!

Darts is no different as one member of our site pointed out after a night of Premier League action.  He said, “even pub or county players should be inspired by a night watching these players...take a look at their stance, throwing action and even their setup kit...observation is a very powerful tool.
You never know, you just might see something that you can use in your own game that could make all the little things fall in to place!”

He is right of course and you should also try to listen to the interviews after the games. The Power especially always lets small nuggets of information out that may just inspire you.

The Final Straw

 We have something new to try next time we are out with our darts video coaching kit. A friend of the site-Uncle Bullseye sent us some advice to try out for a fairly common issue with dart players. We see a number of players who either drop their elbow before releasing (usually just after they have aimed the dart) or start the throwing motion from below their eye-line.

Keen observers of the Premier League action would have noted that this is not how the big boys do it! So how can you train yourself to lift the elbow? Over to Uncle Bullseye:

“If you have a client who needs to raise their elbow to correct the throw try this. Remove the flights and replace them with drinking straws. This now makes the dart longer and you have to raise your elbow, or it hits your shoulder. Amazingly the darts will still fly into the board. Give it a try (I know you will) and let me know what you think”.

Straw Poll

We did have some feedback from one of our members who tried using a straw in place of his usual stem. Interestingly he also said it reminded him of drills he used to do when he was a club swimmer. Another sport to add to our list of borrowed ideas!

Adrian reported back: Great tip by the way in Darts World. I've got my drinking straws ready for my session this Friday. As a club swimmer years ago we did loads of drills of this nature to correct poor habits with stroke. This type of thing is superb and if repeated often enough helps achieve the "unconscious competence" we all seek.

He then emailed to say: By the way the straw drill worked well. 6 throws with the straws attached to my spare darts and then I threw 140s. Not a clue why it works but it seems to work -Adrian

 

And They’re Off!

Another common fault with players is the third dart walk. Some players are so keen to set off after their third dart has been released that they practically beat the dart to the board. I am exaggerating of course but I am sure you have all seen players who do this.

One fairly well known tip for assisting with this is to hold a fourth dart or something similar, a pen or pencil for example. The idea is to trick yourself into thinking that you still have another dart to throw after three darts and therefore you don’t set off in a “Boltesque” style sprint to the board.

It is important. If you don’t follow through correctly coupled with the forward motion as you set off early to collect your darts, it can have a devastating effect on the precision of the third dart.

Images  courtesy of John Kasawa and nuttakit/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

 

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The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. The site is arranged as an online 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 and an invite to our exclusive members only events!

Membership is just £25.00 per annum.

Author: Paul Gillings and Andrew Humphrey ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )