dartbase.com - The Dart Thrower

FAQ - Practice

For practicing also read the article practice, practice, practice.

After reading your article on practicing I have changed my practice format. 
I now begin with ten rounds of 'round the board, including bulls, 
and tally the darts needed. I then shoot at each double until 
I hit it five times or more within a sixty-dart per number 
limit. I take notes on my scoring prowess, or the lack thereof.
I have done this routine now for three consecutive evenings, 
and have begun to see some statistical progress, although 
I realize at least ten such practice attempts should be 
tallied before looking for some statistically valid 
I think your practice routine of hitting each double 5 times is too hard for a beginner (which you still are after just 4 months, although progress should already be considerable). You see this from the 60 dart limit -- that's a lot! You could use this better to go around the board more. Maybe you should change your routine to hitting the double once or twice, with a limit on say 21 darts or so.

You should also consider that my practice article focusses on darts how it is played in Europe. This means it's 301 double in double out and 501 straight in double out. On a competitive level cricket is non-existant (I know in the US it's nearly reverse). Therefore I have not much experience in competitive cricket play and how this effects practicing. But nevertheless it's a pity cricket is played that rarely in Europe. It is a very interesting game because it combines hitting with a strong tactical part, a thing that completely misses in x01.

because both my general board accuracy and my doubles in 
particular are weak, I am considering the purchase of a 
Champions'Choice board (half the surface area on D's and 
T's, as I'm sure you're aware!), I realize that I may find 
this board somewhat frustrating, at least intitially, but 
I don't have a well-developed "doubles ego" to bruise by 
this choice. Your thoughts on this 
would be apprecciated. 
The advice is: don't use a champion's choice, it's not worth the money. The outcome is as you expected frustration -- especially on your level. You just play like you play on a normal board. The only difference is you hit less. You can buy such a board for curiosity and fun, but in my opinion it has no positive effect on your game.
Three months back I started to loose faith in myself. And I 
lost it bad. Due to some personal matters between my Husband 
and me, I totaly lost my selfasteam. Now I am trying hard to 
rebuild it as another qualification is coming up soon, 
and I want to play good naturally.

My Husband is trying to help me the best he can, but no matter 
how hard I practise I end up being "close" all the time. I 
play 301 masters out, and to get down is ok, but get out... 
*mumbles* I am always "close" and I mean really close! Sometimes
however I stop thinking and then it is there like a clock! 
I wonder if there is anything except training and trying to 
belive in myself again I can do?
you say you just throw for 2 years. Qualifying for the national team when playing that short is a great achievement, congratulations!

This also suggests that you had a tremendous first high and are experiencing your first slump now. If you haven't done so yet, read TDT's latest article -- the first slump.

Your problem obviously seems to be mental. 'Between the lines' I read that your loss of self-esteam isn't only limited to darts but effects 'real life', too. You say your husband is (was) involved in this, so I doubt (although things seem to be settled now) that he is the right practice partner for you. If it is possible I would suggest you practive with other people, especially because it generally is not a good idea to practice mainly with one person. It is by the way -- as written in the 'practice...' article -- the best way if you focus on practicing alone.

On establishing self-esteam: When you get up in the morning, look into the mirror and say:"I'm good at darts!" or "I'm a good player!" (if you prefer, then use Swedish here.. ;-)) ). During the day, repeat this on occasion. Another method is to apply small sheets of paper with notes like these in places you stop by during the day (on your desk, on the refrigerator, or anywhere you come by during the day). Be short and positive in these notes, e.g "I'm a good player!" works, "I'll overcome my problems" doesn't work because the one thing that will remain in your brain is "problem".

Looking for an answer.I just can't explain it,there I am 
almost perfect in two practice games,and when league starts 
just ten minutes later,I can't hit more than two marks a round.
For the first five games.I ask my teamates what am I  doing 
wrong,they seem to agree that I'm throwing too fast.So I slow 
myself down and no change?Arrhh!What am I doing wrong?And all
of a sudden I throw a 3.25 the last game(cricket)something 
I'm use to and much better than the preveious five games.Is it 
just a mental thing or what,I tried not to let it effect me.
But after the thrid game of throwing crap,I became more than 
worried.My teamates have never seen me throw this bad so they 
couldn't offer advice,besides they usually ask me for it.So it
 was way past going to yuor happy place.I couldn't imgane one 
 at the time.So if you could,explain what just happen?a five game 
slump?I have never seen or even heard of such a thing. Thanks Ron
Dear Ron,

you need more warmup before matches. Two practice games are next to nothing for warmup. It doesn't matter that you are playing good in these two games. A quite usual practice curve would be just as you described your whole league day -- two or three good games (because you are fresh and aware), then a couple of bad ones (because you realize problems), and then steady good play (because you could eliminate the problems). It seems you are stopping just at the phase you would get good. You should play practice games for at least half an hour prior to the match. A full hour would be better. You have 2 good games, then 5 bad ones and then the first good one. Means, play at least 7 warmup games, better 10. You might find this a lot of practice, but warming up is essential. Pro players are warming up several hours(!) before world championship matches.

I'm starting to get into soft-tip darting. 
I've purchased an electronic board and have 
been playing quite a bit.

My question is, is throwing against the machine 
a good way to practice, or do I need to be out 
in the crowd. Do i need the noise of a standard 
pub full of people, or can I get the same practice at

Thanks a TON
hrowing against the machine is good practice. I developed all my play mostly on playing alone. Only thing is - practicing alone isn't practicing matchplay, and practicing matchplay is important, although it isn't the only way of getting strength. If you don't have the opportunity to practice competitively, playing the machine is the best alternative. One way to help yourself: Use your imagination. Think of being in a match situation, imagine all the crowd around you and the special pub atmosphere. This mental technique is called visualizing and is very useful for many problems.
	 I would like to get into the habit of practicing again
but can't seem to get motivated. 

Do you have any suggestions ?

Motivation problems are the worst problems you can have. For getting back motivation you have to set yourself goals you want to achieve. These should be short and long term goals. Short term goals should be realistic goals you should be able to achieve by practicing. Long term goals can be more of "dreams", bot not completely unattainable. You should set short term goals according to your playing strength, e.g. improving your percentage in won league games by 10 per cent or so in one season, improving your results in tournaments and so on. E.g. some sort of friendly "rivalry" or bet with a teammate (who has about your strength) on who achieves more wins in the running season can be helpful and fun, too. If you play a weekly pub tournament and you usually finish 5th or so, you should set your goal to get third, then try to get into the final and then try to win the tournament one day. Once you have achieved a short term goal you should set another a little more difficult, always having a sidelong glance at your long term goal. If you choose your goals properly they should be enough motivation for practicing.