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Aidan , the Co-author of our book dispenses some good advice about practice

Coaching Clinic 59

Posted: 23.09.16 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

Aidan , the Co-author of our book dispenses some good advice about practice

Our friend and Practice Plan co-author Aidan was asked recently by Max, a player keen to improve, how best to set about his practice to achieve his aim of playing better darts. Aidan copied me in on his reply (as I got a mention) and I am glad he did. In sport it is often the simple things that get forgotten but these simple things are often the difference between stagnating and improving.

Anyway make your own mind up if following the advice Aidan dispensed could make your training time more effective!

This is Aidan’s reply to Max:

We often get asked for advice on how players can step up their game. The first thing I would say is that it takes time. If you want to improve you need to be patient and give any changes and adjustments time to bed in. Here are some simple points to get you started.

1) Focus on your technique. A solid technique that is repeatable is what you are aiming for in order to get what every dart player wants - consistency. You can get a fellow dart player to watch you throw and offer advice. Utilise your mobile phone or IPad to get a video of yourself throwing. On the DPC site there is a blog called Technique MOT – which gives a list of all the do’s and don’ts whilst throwing. Use this to check you have a sound throwing action!

(PG - Aidan even threw in a commercial break) Better still use our analysis service. We can video your throwing technique and quickly establish any major faults that you can work on. Or send a video to Paul and he will compile a video report for you pointing out any potential areas of improvement.



2) Keep your practice focused - if there are technique weaknesses then aim to iron these out - don't just throw at the board. Make out a practice plan so you have a fixed route to follow and keep a note on your practice plan of what scores you hit. This will stop you from getting “lazy” and playing endless 501’s. Keeping score will show how you are improving and in turn this will give you the motivation to continue

3) Stay positive - Always. Don't beat yourself up. Always try to enjoy your darts. That's when you throw the best. Lost games are an opportunity to learn and get better so aim to look at why you lost and focus on improving it.



4) Play as much competitive darts as possible - join a team, play singles competitions or just bring mates around to your house. All of these things help to make sure you are always concentrating, and practising playing under pressure. This is the true test of your playing. Always practise in match conditions. Wear your kit and keep the social side of darts aside until you have finished your practice match. You don’t talk about EastEnders with your opponent in a league game so don’t do it in a practice game!

5) Set targets - these should obviously be achievable goals. It could be to increase your average by 10 points over a year, or to play in 5 singles tournaments in a year, or to hit 5 sub-20 dart legs in a week. This is also where keeping your practice game scores comes into its own. Trying to beat the score from the day before or week before is another great way of adding some pressure to practice.    Anything like this is very helpful to keep you motivated and to monitor your progress. 

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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 access to our members only darts coaching app! Membership is £25 per year!

Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )