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We float an idea past you on how to remind yourself to follow through perfectly after you have thrown your dart

Coaching Clinic 39

Posted: 20.10.14 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

We float an idea past you on how to remind yourself to follow through perfectly after you have thrown your dart

Welcome to our coaching article. Please allow us some trumpet blowing before we get too far. But oh, where to start!

Well the Winmau World Masters is the best place. First of all let's talk about Rob Franks. Rob was invited to play in the World Disability Darts Association tournament at the Winmau Masters in Hull a few weeks ago. We sponsored him in order that he could get there. Rob pointed out recently we are the first company to ever sponsor a  dart player who is eligble to play disability darts! Wow, that made me puff my chest out!

Since then Rob has been appointed to get the UK version of the WDDA off the ground. Watch this space for updates. With Rob in charge it's only going to go one way and I predict huge things for Disability Darts in the UK.

 

Next up were the Boys’ and the Girls’ Winmau World Masters tournament. One of our sponsored players Cameron Hinchcliffe, who throws our Gun Metal Darts made it to the semi-final of this prestigious event-what an achievement and what a player.

We went one step better in the Girls’ comp with Robyn Byrne from Ireland, who really is a fantastic player too, became the 2014 Girls’ Winmau World Masters Champion.

Now we understand more than anyone that it is of course the player that has to hurl the dart and we take our hats off to these two great young players. But, we are also very proud that these young rising stars choose our Performance Darts as their tungsten weapon of choice!

Right, the trumpet has been put away, shall we get on with the coaching blog?

We have chatted before about the inspiration we get from the feedback from dart players that we get to know via running the Darts Performance Centre. We bumped into two old friends (Dave and Jason) at a competition in Romsey recently and picked up another great little tip from them.

We have had some acronyms before. Do you remember B.E.E.F? Balance, Eyes, Elbow and Follow through. We told you this one a while ago as a little reminder to yourself of the correct sequence of events for throwing your dart! We have a new one we would like to float past you.

 

Dave and Jason did actually both come down to D.P.C. HQ for a video coaching session and we did do a little work on their follow through.

 

I emphasised to them how important it was to keep practising their new style follow through and this inspired Dave to come up with: R.A.F.T.

R – Relax

A - Arm

F – Follow      

T – Through

Simple but a brilliant way to remind yourself what you should be doing!

One of the best ways of getting to know our members is our annual tournament and coaching night. I was organising that and found the details that one of the sports psychologists (Matt) we had along had produced to give to everyone that had taken part.

The session was about pre-match preparation and trying to deal with anxiety and nerves-something I would wager virtually every dart player has encountered at some stage of their career. There were a couple of areas that stood out for me, mainly because they are related to the feedback we get regularly from players.

The first concerned perfectionism. Matt relayed the story of a golf study that demonstrated golfers who strived unrealistically for perfection actually saw their performance plummet. Yes of course you want to do as well as you can but hey, 26’s happen!

What we say to any standard of player who is being too hard on themselves is to remember our philosophy: “I will refuse to let anything that happens on the oche today bother me. I will accept bounce outs, misses and mistakes (yep including the 26’s). I am going to remain in a good mood and state of mind, I will enjoy playing.”

You can of course reflect afterwards about what, if anything, didn’t go well for you, but after the game is the key, not during it!

One other great point Matt brought up is an area we have touched on briefly before. He emphasises how players can beat themselves before a game worrying about things they have no control over. Who your opponent is, how noisy the venue is, how hot it is etc. Matt’s point was; if they’re beyond your control then there is no use worrying.

On the other hand the areas that are under your control, he pointed out there is no point worrying about them either. Why? Because if you’ve got them under control then there is no use in worrying.

We are often told darts is 90% in the head. So if you can get rid of the negative clutter and replace it with the thought that during every match  you will be decisive, commited, clear and accept whatever happens on the dartboard then you will find you will start to play better darts.

Raft photo courtesy of Sura Nualpradid/www.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. You also get an invite to our free but exclusive members only events and acess to our members only darts coaching app! Membership is £25 per year!

Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )