Starting at the beginning is a very good place to start!
Some dart players still do believe they are "different" from any other type of sportsman. When we first started out nearly five years ago many Pro's thought practice was overrated and that any degree of physical fitness didn't make a jot of difference. What message did this send to your average pub player?
We have of course monitored the change in attitude over the past 5 years and slowly but surely the benefits of training and practice as well as being physically fit have slowly been accepted. We are not claiming any credit for this, we have merely been interested bystanders.
We have recently put together a practice plan book. We thought carefully about the practice games we included, how intense they should be and in what order they should be played. The science of darts practice if you like. The book has been a hit and the feedback we have had has been brilliant and very helpful for when we bring out our next one.
For many of our practice plan users the main benefit has been the realisation of exactly where they are in terms of their darts skills. Monitoring their scoring and finishing allows for the biggest single ingredient needed to improve your darts, which is an accurate starting point of what level you really are at.
Here are three practice games that will give you an idea of where you are at:
It's A Record
How straight do you really throw? Your target is the 20, single but trebles would be nice of course. How many darts can you land in the 20 segment in a row? Keep count and as soon as you stray jot down how many you hit on the bounce. Play 10 times and keep your sheet for comparison next time!
9 Dart Challenge
The first 9 darts of any leg are vital. They set the tone for the rest of the leg and if they go well you are on the way to winning the leg. But, what really is your 9 dart average? The Pro's hit an average of 90-100 on a good day for each of their first 3 throws. 60 is a huge landmark for grassroots players, it means you are throwing straight.
So have 10 lots of 3 darts all at your favourite treble. Write the total score down for each set of 3 darts. Add up all 10 scores at the end, divide by 10 and that is your 9 dart average. Keep a note for next time.
The Achievement Game.
This is a DPC original, it can be harsh and sobering! Write down 6 finishes under 80: For example- 43, 72, 77, 59 64. Now how many darts does it take you to get a sub 80 finish? You are about to find out.
Keep track of how many sets of 3 darts it takes to get EACH number. If you get it in 2 darts or 3, mark 1 on your score sheet and move on to the next number and start afresh. If it takes 4, 5 or 6 darts, this is a 2, 7 darts, 8 or 9 is a 3 and so on. When you have completed all finishes, add up the 6 amounts you have on your sheet and then divide by 6. This will then give you the amount of throws you need to complete 6 sub 80 finishes.