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We have some more advice from back in the day!

Coaching Clinic 60

Posted: 31.10.16 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

We have some more advice from back in the day!

This article was first priduced for the September editon of Darts World Magazine.

Thank goodness it’s September! August is a very slow month if you are involved in the Darts World. There are a couple of good BDO Events and the PDC “Exhibitions” down under and all over but in general it’s quiet!

So I have pulled off the shelf another of my retro collection – this time How To Play Darts by Dave Whitcombe! The article we did a few months ago with Leighton Rees was warmly received so here are some more snippets on how to play better darts from 1981.

First of all for our younger readers Dave Whitcombe was in his pomp in the 80’s playing against stars such as Bristow, Lowe and Rees. He was the Winmau World Master in '82 and '85, BDO World Championship runner up in '84 and '86 and arguably his greatest win, taking the title in the most brutal of all formats, The News Of The World in 1989.

Dave On Fitness:

“Although you have heard about professional players keeping fit I can assure you that this consideration is not really part of their make-up”. Dave went on to explain that it was not that players were adverse to exercise, just time constraints didn’t allow for jogging or physical jerks.

Dave On Games To Play:

Battlefield – One player has the top half of the board, 11 round to 13 and the other has the lower half, 6 round to 8. These 10 numbers each are your soldiers. Write them down and mark against them Single Double or Treble, at least two each of D’s and T’s on the chalk board or paper. Each player then takes it in turns to hit his opponent's numbers and “kill off” their soldiers. The last player with a life left wins.

Dave On Common Courtesy:

Don’t blow smoke in the direction of your opponent and think twice about sparking up a cigar! The smoke lingers and can be very off putting and can impair the vision of your opponent.  Some more advice that will still today be close to a lot of players' hearts;  don’t rattle loose change, fiddle with your darts or chink glasses whilst your opponent is throwing.

Dave On Practice:

Dave was ahead of the game with his practice regime. He has a timetable worked out on what suited him best. He advises at least an hour a day practice (if you can fit that in) and stresses that if you are the type to keep records then you can track your improvement (sound advice).

Dave’s Practice Timetable:

1              10 minutes grouping around 18, 19 and 20

2              10 minutes at 25 and Bull

3              10 minutes at the most awkward doubles 1,3 5 etc

4              10 minutes on your favourite outshots 40, 36, 32 etc

5              2 games of 501

6              A few shot outs (70-T10 D20 86 T18 D16)

Dave also advocated learning the checkout table he provides in the book.

It is an excellent book, Dave’s professionalism comes shining through and it will be amazing for our younger readers to imagine perhaps not beer but certainly smoking cigars (or cigarettes) being allowed during a match. Times are also changing with regard to health and fitness, but only very recently has this been openly discussed and players embracing a healthier lifestyle are now starting to come through.

How To Play Darts By Dave Whitcombe Copyright The Hamlyn Book First Published 1981

Havana Cigar by Serge Bertasius Photography courtesy of www.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 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 )

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