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A predictable night of unpredictability in Dublin last night. We have doubles, er doubles and John Part!

The World Grand Prix

Posted: 03.10.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

A predictable night of unpredictability in Dublin last night. We have doubles, er doubles and John Part!

Welcome to the Darts Performance Centre darts blog.

The Grand Prix got off to a predictable start last night! By this we mean the only shock would have been if there hadn’t been any shocks. However, it was surprising to see so many favourites fall at the first.

Double Muddle

The biggest casualty of the night was Jackpot. He admitted in his pre-match interview that he hadn’t been practising hitting a double to start the leg. This caused a flurry of concern on Twitter and in the commentary box. The scenario of a football team not practising penalties during a knock out tournament was offered as a comparison.

It is an interesting debate. On one hand I would assume Lewis practises hitting the double during his practice sessions. Although normally this routine would be to polish up his ability to finish a match. It would also arguably benefit him when he needs a double to start a leg. With that in mind the penalty practising is possibly a slightly unfair comparison, or is it?

There is a strong case that Lewis’s mindset was wrong last night. Perhaps if he had played a succession of 501 practice games with the “double in” format it may have made him realise that it was not actually as straightforward as it sounded. This could work in the same way for an international football team practising their penalties.  It may dawn on a player taking a practice penalty kick that he may have to go through this exact scenario with the weight of his nation’s expectations weighing down on his shoulders, as well as the hopes of his team mates.  Suddenly the “simple task” of popping the football into the net from the spot appears more daunting.

This realisation of what the task may involve should be enough to focus the player’s mind and ensure that he is fully prepared for what may happen. It doesn’t appear that last night Jackpot had considered all the “what if” scenarios and paid the price!

Double Muddle 2

In our preview we alluded to the phenomenon known as “trying to hit a double”. We suggested that funny things happen to dart players during this phase of the game. The matches last night didn’t disappoint. Bomber had apparently been practising getting away on double 14 and then proceeded to go for anything but double 14. Colin Lloyd on the other hand went to the bottom of the board for double 19, an interesting choice!

Steve Brown did at least have a coherent goal at the outset of the match (until he abandoned it) of setting aside any hope of a 9 dart finish by going for the 14. He revealed that his only objective was to “get away” within his first three darts. Wayne Mardle may “feel” a nine darter coming on this week but the odds are stacked massively against that happening so Brown’s thinking appears sound.

Bomber has a dual career, he is also a darts coach (not many of them about ) and the balance of the players left in the Grand Prix should be reflecting on this `coaching tip` and adding it to their game plan tonight.

Double Trouble

John Part is also in the lead in our competition. He will not be pleased with this accolade mind. He was left stranded on 342 when Jackpot checked out during one of his winning legs last night. This was the biggest deficit of the night. There is a long way to go before the Red Dragon practice board is sent out. Perhaps John Part will surrender his lead to another player suffering even worse double trouble


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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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