If you are a regular reader of TDT you should now be surprised by at least two things:
First, by me (ouch!) "quoting" Shakespeare.
Excuse #1: I couldn't resist.
Second, by writing this issue in a way that can be best described as
"and now for something completely different".
Excuse #2: I'd thought you'd like'd that'd.
And, I'm warning you - this article is LONG. I could have easily made 2 articles out of it - no, better say 11 or 12. But that's it: It's one article. If you have to pay your Inet connection fees by yourself, wait for the article to fully download. Then disconnect. Then go to the fridge, get a beer. Then read.
Okay, okay... that's enough of making fun now, I promise! Let me now introduce you to Andy Roque. Andy is a great fan of TDT. I remember it all started out in the beginning of this web project, when I had several problems with his email address for the 'inform-me-on-new-issues' mailing service. I think we then went through a bit quiet time, and then, one day, I received the following questions of him:
Issue 5 dart FAQ says about eye aiming and your own
technique of doint it. I aim like Bobby George's(maybe) - where in the dart
is almost position at the center of my face. When I close my right eye, my aim
is line up to the target, thus I really use my left eye though right handed.
You know during practice I at times hit my face in the backward move -- but
it never happened in a match play..why?
Here are my concers:
1. Fear of backward move to hit my eyes or any parts of my face, I like to start aiming with my right eye. Will this eliminate the chances of hitting the face during the backward move?
2. Please explain in detail when you throw forearm not vertical.
3. It's quit uncomfortable for me yet to do right eyes aiming, but how many inches from my right eye is best so that I could attain the minimum backward move and the extended arm follow-thru as well. I measure mine as 4 inches from my thumb to the face, thus allowing only few inches to do a backward move. Also do I make sure my lower elbow don't get moved during the backward move?
4. My yes gets so much strained and tired when right eye aiming..and never whe?n using the left yes style.
5. I have noticed also that upon switching to right eye aiming, the dart has more power and acceleration..is this a plus on my throw?
Hope you have the patience of responding in detail.
Thanks always, Andy (TDT enthusiast)
When I read this I was at the same moment very pleased. The mail did not only show that Andy did a very good description of what his problem was and what he wanted to know (believe me, this is NOT USUAL!), it was also obvious that he had read ALL of the TDT material, and this carefully! Isn't it great for anyone who writes for the public to get a definite proof that his stuff is really read? Okay, Andy had a question, and I tried to answer it (note: there is a technics section on TDT!):
Dear Andy,Not much later, there was the follow-up:
A lot of difficult questions here, hope I can clarify some of them.
>Here are my concers: >1. Fear of backward move to hit my eyes or any parts of my face, > I like to start aiming with my right eye. Will this eliminate the chances of hitting the face during the backward > move?
It seems you aim different in matchplay than you do in practice. Maybe because you concentrate more, or you tense up and your technique changes. I don't think changing to right eye aiming will eliminate hitting the face, why should it? I think as it seems obvious you don't know the reason why you hit your face you should work on it by visualizing and practicing.
>2. Please explain in detail when you throw forearm not vertical.
It's a matter of personal preference. If you feel very uncomfortable with a vertical forearm then you shouldn't use it, e.g if there is still pain and muscle strain involved after practicing it for a longer time.
>3. It's quit uncomfortable for me yet to do right eyes aiming, but > how many inches from my right eye is best so that I could attain the minimum backward move and the extended arm follow-thru as well. > I measure mine as 4 inches from my thumb to the face, thus allowing only few inches to do a backward move. > Also do I make sure my lower elbow don't get moved during the backward move?
The elbow may move a bit during backward, that's no problem. 4 inches for backward move is definitely not enough. Again, I don't think changing to right eye aim is a good idea. Better work on your face hit problem in a different way to pull back under your chin or beside your cheek.
>4. My yes gets so much strained and tired when right eye aiming..and never whe?n using the left yes style.
Because you are not familiar with the new technique and it confuses you.
>5. I have noticed also that upon switching to right eye aiming, the dart has more power and acceleration..is this a plus on my throw?
This is a plus on your throw. It seems the reason is that your forearm is more vertical which gives better levers for aceleration. Anyway, if you really decide to switch to right eye aiming this will need a lot of practicing. Your eyes are strained because they are confused. Not only does a human have one dominating hand or foot, we also have one leading eye. We don't notice this normally, but the better eye takes control in aiming. Therefore your eyes get strained if the 'other' eye has to take over control.
>Hope you have the patience of responding in detail.
I hope the response was worth something.
shoot well Karlheinz
First let me thank you for all the worthy responses on my last email. I followed your advice to maintain left aiming instead. You fully explained them specially when you mentioned about dominance of one eye, hand of foot over the other.
Now I don't feel awkward or unorthodox when people criticize on my style. I know I could hit the triple and bulls better with left aiming.
Hope you don't mind if I go back to this routine--a question I ask you earlier and still can't visualize what you mean, in other words confused.
In issue 5 dart FAQ, you wrote- my techique is quite usual, I only do my forearm not vertical when throwing. In your response you wrote-- if you feel uncomfortable with vertical forearm, then you shouldn't use it'
To the following questions, please explain in detail so I could visualize the actual position and angle from the shoulder,upper arm, elbow, lower arm and wrist(wheter straight up or slant backward):
1. What is a forearm throw.
2. What is a vertical throw. When you said you use only use forearm not vertical, makes me think its two different and distinct throws.
3. When you responded using vertical forearm - here you put them together - I am really confuse.
Mhm, One of us was confused. Did I say one of us?
Dear Andy,As expected, I didn't have to wait for long:
Confusion is not only on your side, as I am not quite sure (which actually means I don't have the slightest idea) what you mean with 'vertical forearm' or 'forearm throw' if it was not what I thought it was and where I based my answer upon. ;-)
I see it's a problem explaining visual things by only writing about them. Maybe you could give me a better description of what you mean exactly.
Karl, sorry I got you confused too, so let me re-phrase and copy/paste some text and responses.
1. Your advice from FAQ issue 5: My technique is quite usual, I only
do my forearm not vertically when throwing, it's about 30 degrees to my
left eye. Therefore I would suggest as a solution for you to throw a normal
2.MY question and your advice: Question:Please explain in detail when you throw forearm not vertical.
Your advice: It's a matter of personal preference. If you feel very uncomfortable with a vertical forearm, then you shouldn't use it, e.g if there is still pain and muscle strain involved after practicing it for a longer time.
Summary: #1 advice says: I only use forearm not vertical. #2 advice
says: uncomfortable with vertical forearm (in this sentence the word 'not'
is missing) ***
Karl, please elaborate and explain the difference between #1 - forearm not vertical way of throwing and #2 - vertical forearm way of throwing
Ooohh, yes. I thought I got it then. So I wrote back:
Okay, I think I got it now.And, as expected, another follow-up was there just the next day... Now please, don't get me wrong here. The funny style I'm writing these 'intermediates' here doesn't mean that I'm making fun of Andy. Absolutely NO! Explaining visual things over email can end up in tragedy (ask Romeo and Juliet, they didn't even need computers to perform a perfect drama). And getting hammered by questions is, when there are not 213 mails with "c'mon pal, gimme dat dartbo'd hangin' measures 've lost dat bl**dy flyer in the pack'g" coming in at the same time, a thing I enjoy. Especially when questions are tough. And Andy's were quite tough. And, mhm, well, he had a few of them:
Vertical forearm throw must be considered as 'good' and 'normal' way of throwing. Therefore, for doing non-vertical forearm you should have good reasons. The best reason is that you feel very uncomfortable with a vertical forearm.
The reason why the forearm should be vertical is that this reduces sideway movements when throwing and such reduces a source for errors. When you throw with an angle in your forearm the 3-lever system no longer is in a vertical plain. Aiming is not as natural as it is with a vertical plain in a 90 degrees angle of the plain to the board surface. These two things can result in additional sources of error.
Of course in your throw from the left eye it is impossible to throw vertical forearm anyway, so if you decide to go vertical you must change aiming to right eye. This directly leads to the dominating-eye problem.
So from my point of view the solution looks as follows:
If you think it is possible/comfortable for you to switch to vertical forearm which includes right eye aiming try to do so. Of course your results will be poor for a while, and you will probably face slumps and uncertainty, but it should pay off in long term.
If you find it very uncomfortable/impossible to do this, develop your left eye/non-vertical forearm throw. As with Bobby George, your chances shouldn't be too bad that this will work.
You see, both ways have their arguments. It's your personal decision in the end.
I hope I could clarify this issue a bit now.
Thanks a lot to your splendid elaborations. It erases all doubts in me. Now, I can categorize myself as a non-vertical forearm thrower. You have clarified the issue very scientifically, unbiased and supportive with actual facts and opinions. I'll consider doing your initial advice to stay left eye where I shoot well plus w/out eye strain. *************************************************
Karl, here are 7 issues:
(*) Interruption: Pah! Only SEVEN?
Getting addictive to this sport, I play dart as a 'therapy' due to weekly 'brain drain' doing systems and programming to earn a living - isn't this a good reason to leave home and get my wife's go aheads?).
I enjoy playing for money (indoor only 3x weekly) with close friends and relatives- and we all had no experience playing at bars or pubs nor join a tournament. Our weekly pastime used to be bowling and playing 'guts- German poker' until they all shifted to dart sport.
Please comment on these attitudes during match play:
1. Why at first game my dart a times travels down left off the board(wall hits) when I aim for the lower or left side numbers of the board. My finger release coordination if off and get embarrased when this happens. One of my fingers pushes the barrel way off to the left at the split second release. It never happen when my hands has warmed up and velocity of throw increases.
2. With mercy and no mercy attitude. When I play a friend whom I know money is scarce for him and can't afford to alway lose a bet, I tendency to handicap myself, easy on my shot and not concern to win at all. The disadvantage, when it's time to compete with a '$fatty and top seed' player, and condition myself to a fierce and no mercy attitude, it takes time for me to re-coupe my usual competetive throw and thereby lose the match/money.
3. Why do I win and shoot better when the bets is lots of money.
4. Why do I do great when the game includes a bonus pay for hitting the triples' on a cricket or around the clock only triple game.
5. Almost always when at play with a worthy or lousy opponent, why do I don't mind trailing or feels comfortable trailing just because I knew I could recover from the phase. Again I lose the match because of a mis-calculated confidence.
6. I was very good using my normal old grip but when experimented to new ones, it was hard for me to adopt back to the old winning style of grip. This scares me to try new grips because of hardship when it is time to revert.
7. Lastly and most important, and because I might adopt and do some copying, can you please describe your own style of darting from throws(vertical or not), stance, aiming, attitudes etc., and share good and bad experiences in match play. Do you maintain one single permanent stand whether you aim for the left side or the right side of the board.
Regards and thanks for your patience,
Well, putting 'TDT enthusiast' after his name was not only obvious. To me it seemed it was more a bit of understatement! And again, I LOVED THIS! So I checked my inbox. Okay, only 46.5 questions on dartboard hangin', so enough time left (46.5 is calculated like this: 30 persons typed their email address; 33 not; 30 + 33/2 = 46.5 - Romeo:"O, teach me how I should forget to think!" Benvolio: "By giving liberty unto thine eyes. Examine other beauties."). Needless to say, I answered the same day:
Dear Andy,(*) Interruption: If you have forgotten this article's headline or got confused by it, now the time is right to scroll back on top and read it... Aaah!
Lots of questions, but okay. ;)
No problem if you want to continue, but I would more like the questions coming in one by one. I like more to elaborate on one specific issue, when there are so many questions I think quality of my answers suffers, and I would more like to concentrate on quality than on quantity (I think you already have found out that I have a bit of a scientific approach to the game).
You can file your mails through the online form or through normal email, I get both and treat them equally.(*) Interruption: The following is NOT a detailed description of my technique. I can absolutely ensure you that, if you nevertheless think that it is, it is not. No. Niente. Nada.
But here we go:
>1. Why at first game my dart a times travels down left off the board(wall hits) > when I aim for the lower or left side numbers of the board.
Easy. We warm up to hit better and get initial problems under control. Everyone needs the warmup, some more, some less. You seem to need more, so do more. Personally I had my best tournaments when I faced difficulties in warming up. When it goes to easy in warmup I start to feel suspicious, because the problems then usually find the worst moment to occur.
>2. With mercy and no mercy attitude.
I find it useless to compete against opponents much weaker than me. I don't play for money, for me the fun side suffers when I play for money, but that's a personal thing and okay if you like to. It's important to play all matches on full throttle. If you don't you will, as you said, have difficulties when full speed is necessary against the tough guys. There is not much you can do about this, only always playing with full concentration and full power can solve the problem. Mercy is a noble attitude when playing for money, but difficulties when switching to no mercy for opponents that don't deserve it are normal.
>3. Why do I win and shoot better when the bets is lots of money.
Motivation/concentration. You can handle the pressure when money is high, this lets me think of your mental game and pressure control as quite good. If you don't get tensed more when stakes are high (which would be a minus) what's left is your increased motivation/concentration as a pure plus. That's why you shoot better.
>4. Why do I do great when the game includes a bonus pay for hitting the triples' on a cricket or > around the clock only triple game.
See point 3. Difficulty rises, so your concentration does, too. Many players can't handle the increased pressure and tension. If you can, then a pure plus remains as result. Seems you have read TDT articles carefully! ;-)
>5. Almost always when at play with a worthy or lousy opponent, why do I don't mind trailing or feels > comfortable trailing just because I knew I could recover from the phase.
This question almost answers itself. You feel too confident and shoot lousy because your concentration/motivation is low. If pressure doesn't effect your game much (as it seems), in these games the pure concentration plus from the above situations turns to a pure minus.
>6. I was very good using my normal old grip but when experimented to > new ones, it was hard for me to adopt back to the old winning style of grip.
That's why you find the advice in the 'technics' section that you shouldn't do too many experiments with grips. Okay to do a little, but not too often.
>7. Lastly and most important, and because I might > adopt and do some copying, can you please describe > your own style of darting from throws(vertical or not), stance, aiming, attitudes etc.,
I won't answer the throwing technics question in much detail, because I don't recommend copying other players, especially by not seeing their throw as a whole. What's good for them can be bad for you (and quite often is).
There is nothing of a miracle or secret with it, I can assure you, it's simply against my personal understanding of the game. But I will give you a few facts. Forearm angle about 10-15 degrees to the left. Normal right foot forward stance (right hander), considerable leaning forward. Balance foot's toetip touches the floor. 4 finger grip, small finger spread away slightly. Long cylindrical barrel, 18 grams both steel and soft. Steel with hammer head tips. Standard form flights, middle length nylon shafts. Full follow-through when warmed up properly.(*) Interruption: As written above, this was NOT a detailled description of my throwing technique, because I would never give one. Is this subject clear now once and for all?! Even for the Capulets & Montagues?
What I see as most important in my game is the 'quiet cool' philosophy (this is how Frank Pratt in fundartmentals book calls it). Never show your mental state to an opponent. I try to play without emotion (whether bad or good). Throwing 180 and 26 is the same thing in body language and reaction. Just watch Pete Sampras playing tennis, then you will see what I think is the perfect attitude.Now, is it Montague and Capulet in cat fight, or is it Romeo and Juliet in love? Or is it just about both because there is no difference? Mph.. I still stick to Benvolio. Later I knew what str
Admittedly I was carried away to bombard you(though you say its okay) with 7 strikes but I'll limit it from now on to maintain the quality and more elaboration of your response. Besides I am aware I not the only reader among the TDT's you attend to.
You have tuned me up and erased all the hang-ups completely; from now on I will always put a full throttle to whoever it maybe.. and with 'coolness' attitude whatsoever.
Just one question about dart weights: My goal is to go down in weights.
I had tungsten steels ranging 21 to 28 grams. I kept the 28 and 27 cylindrical ones and discarded the rest whose barrel doesn't match my grip.
Lately I bought a 24 grams as a headstart to gradually drop my gram weights down to at least 21 -- because 'dart pros' mostly uses the lightest ones and the 'top seed' players I play with had the same concept.
Anyway I never use the 28 anymore, Shoots better on the 26 and lots of slumps with newly acquired 24 grams because the barrel went thinner and affected my grip. But I still want to fullfil throwing a 21 or lower-- more avid when you mention you throw an 18 yourself. Can I attain this goal? Is it normal for the barrel to go thinner as they become lighter so that it is impossible to get a cylindrical barrel grip of a 24 to be the same as a 21?
With all the appreciations and thanks,
And now, this is an easy question. Absolutely easy. Don't have to elaborate much on that. Give a short mail back. Standard operation. But...SCIENCE mode ONHi again Andy,Hi Karl,
You are right, the better the player gets the lighter darts he usually prefers. So for beginners I usually recommend dart weights from 22-24 grams. The reason is that the heavy dart helps in developing a better technique. A heavy dart won't hit the target with a bad technique, while light darts guarantee more 'luckies' and will always fly somewhere near the chosen target. This phenomenon is mainly because throwers of a lighter dart don't have the necessity to follow-through to achieve good 'first' results. I have also discovered that many beginners start on the 19s (especially in softdart with the low weight limit; here in Europe, where we play softtip on steeltip sized boards, many of the beginners sgo for 19s because it is technically not so demanding, especially with a light dart).
Also the heavier dart, especially with standard form flights, reacts less sensible and therefore also reacts less sensible to throwing errors. A T20 aimed dart that would go to 12s or 18s with a light weight goes to 5 or 1 with a heavy weight, when the throwing technique is quite okay for a beginner's - average standard. With a very bad technique (especially missing follow-through) you will even have problems to hit the board with a heavy dart, but a light dart will actually land somewhere in scoring area, that's what I mean why a heavier dart helps in developing technique.
When you leave beginner and average standard phase you will find that the heavy dart doesn't react as sensible to your 'work' than you would like, and this means it is time to go lighter.
I live in Austria, and this means there is as much about alpine skiing here than there is about baseball and football in the US. I like to compare the heavy-light dart problem to skis for 'normal people' and for 'racers'. A ski from a racer is okay for him, but absolutely improper for a beginner, because it reacts very sensible to errors, but also very sensible to the good feeling and sensible work of the perfect skier. The same is with the light dart.
Your problem now is that you throw on the very heavy side so the barrel is quite fat. Whenever you reduce your barrel gets thinner considerably, so it's normal you have troubles. It is normal the barrel gets thinner, and it is one reason why we switch to thinner darts (better grouping).
Some years ago I quit playing darts for 1.5 years. I had problems getting back, and a main reason was I had problems with the thin darts I was used to (21 these times). After some months of bad results to my standards I found a quite paradox solution. I switched to a brass dart with a long cylindrical barrel and about 18 grams of weight (this set was about $10 and for sure the cheapest set of darts ever thrown by an Austrian player of my strength ;)) ). This because I still had the feeling to throw a light dart properly, but didn't have the feeling to throw a thin dart. Later I could switch to the thin 18 gram tungsten barrel I use now, because the feeling was there again after a lot of practicing. So I can understand your grip problems on a thin dart, but you won't get much better when you continue to throw your heavy ones.
Maybe you can find a solution like mine when you reduce the tungsten quality of your darts. I wouldn't recommend to use the brass in your case, because a 22-24 brass (as I would recommend as your weight for the near future) will actually be very thick and therefore improper. E.g. try a cylindrical 24 gram tungsten with not more than 80-20 Tungsten-Nickel. In general you are right not to go straight to 21 and find an intermediate solution for first experiences.
You said - When you leave beginner and average standard phase you will find that the heavy dart doesn't react as sensible to your 'work' than you would like, and this means it is time to go lighter. (which amazingly did work for me).
Update of my goal to go down in gram weight:
I bought a 24 (80/20 tungsten/nickel) months ago before seeking your advice; did not like the grip barrel change from the old 26. The 24 did not react the way I wanted to, did not use it at all and stay tuned at the 26. However my goal still stays behind my head.
1. Still persistent, I bought last Monday another (cylindrical 80/20) a 19 grams which despite of barrel becoming thinner became more comfortable to my grip, reacts more sensible and shoots better than the 26 or 24 -- why?.
2. I set aside the 26 for good but kept the 24 planning to use it as an alternate with the 19--is this a good idea or just throw a 19 from now on.
3. Given the same strength and follow through, is the speed throw to reach the board for a 19 grams lesser than a 26-- this is how I feel.
At this stage we leave poor Romeo and Juliet behind us. Wasn't there also a Prince Of Denmark calling for his personal spirit (two beer or not two beer, that is the question...)? If you followed the advice earlier in this epic I think you have visited the fridge several times now. How's it goin', hm? Okay, we are almost at end. The private part will start soon.First possibility: You take more care in throwing because the darts are new, so you concentrate more. Reducing your dart's weight can also result in a short-term-high, because the lower weight will need less power and therefore you will be more accurate, a plus that usually decreases once aou are used to the new weight. Watch your play carefully in the next few weeks. If you won't experience a decline in your game, then it's okay.And here you have the "special treatment" within the TDT project: the epic drama of Andy and Karlheinz. (Romeo: "It was the GAME, the herald of the morn; No SCIENCE."
Second possibility: You benefitted from the lighter weight and you have really found a dart that suits you more than the old one. Going from 26/24 to 19 is quite a huge jump, but if you feel okay with it and don't get into serious trouble later just throw the new one.
>2. I set aside the 26 for good but kept the 24 planning to use it as an > alternate with the 19--is this a good idea or just throw a 19 from now on.
Just throw a 19 from now on. It's not a good idea to throw different darts for different days, especially if they vary that much in weight.
>3. Given the same strength and follow through, is the speed throw to reach > the board for a 19 grams lesser than a 26-- this is how I feel.
This is what you feel, but I don't think this is actually what happens. First I doubt you really throw same strength with the lighter dart, I think your power adjusts naturally to the new weight (the stone-throwing-ancestor's heritage on throwing parables, if you remember this from my 'technique' document). Then the lighter dart gives less resistance force to your acceleration, and this will actually cause you to think it travels slowlier. It's possible that it really travels slowlier (I'm not sure on the physics behind this), but that's no problem. It's also possible that if you throw the same flight size (which you should for first try, darts tuning is another matter on its own...) the flight 'stops' the lighter dart more in the air than the heavier one. This should apply when you throw rather big flights, e.g. 'standard' form.
shoot well Karlheinz
p.s.: This thread is starting to be the longest one with a reader of TDT, it seems you qualify for the 'persistence' prize. ;-) As it also is one of the more interesting and shows very well many problems and stages which I think are quite the same for many throwers, I think it would be worth some special treatment within the TDT project, especially as I'm looking for new ideas on a redesign of TDT at the moment. I think it could be a good idea to publish, along with our thread, a few words from you about your experiences with the game, how you started to improve and such things. I'd also be interested in what you think, as probably a reader who not only browses by but studies and reads TDT carefully, what you would like to see on this platform and how you think it could be improved. Just mail what you think about all of this!
Anyway, the final words go to Andy:
Your reponses to the three questions were so accurate. I can't believe you responded for the dart being 'new' - a very impressive analysis which I didn't expect but don't deny was the truth on me.
Wrapping up the long tread, analysis and digestion to your advices, below are the things you have accomplished towards me and which I am now doing a result of your patience and scientific explanations. You notice I am an avid reader of TDT and yet with my experience with you, you have not lost my confidence nor me able to find your reasonings inconsistent to some old ones. You must be a very brilliant person by far with varied experience in the world of darting.
(*) Promised LAST interruption: A less pretentious person than me would have cut this paragraph out. But I simply LIKE IT TOO MUCH!! ;-))
1. I retaind left eye aiming- your reason, eye dominance and strain.
2. Full trottle at all cause - against the gutsy and the lousy players.
3. Don't attempt vertical forearm throw since I am a left eye aimer anyway.
4. Gave me both the 'feeling' and 'urge' to achieve my goal to throw one and only 19 grams..
Thanks and very satisfied,
PS..response to your PS.
First if I understand you correctly, you can do publish the 'long tread' in any manner and editing you prefer-- maybe add it to your FAQ sheet. I am sure darters around the globe specially the TDT followers will benefit them. Sometimes question and answers approach attract more attention and retention as oppose to referrence type.
Then, maybe ISSUES # from you once a month can add spice to your reader. It's always a long wait to read one. Any tophic will do and similar to a newspaper columnist who don't run out of ideas and what to say everyday. Again I am aware you are a perfectionist in written information.
Fourth and the least is a short tale and experience about myself in darting. It's about 2 years now I have been playing dart indoor only. This sports created some arguments between married life when fun adjourn during unholy hours. The sport is addictive when you get involve -- just like any other sport, I am surprise why here is USA we don't have live coverage of championship tournaments and competion just like tennis, bowling etc.
During my beginner period, I acquired ligther darts then went to heavy ones. Now a little above averaged player, I have reverted to the lightest one I can get. You can imagine how many pair of darts I have bought and discarded to friends, just to attain a little excellence in this sport.I have accmuluated lots of excerpts and advices from TDT -- a web page I highly recommend to anyone who like darting. I practice for two hours everyday and compete 3 times a week--which sometimes is bad because houshold chores like grass mowing seems to be forgotten. When I think I am good, there comes another who is a beginner and becomes top seed among the circle. Thanks if I become a top player..for now I enjoy this sports so much that I drop the rest.