How Much Should you Practice at Darts?
With televised darts averages seemingly sky rocketing, everyday players could be forgiven for over estimating the sheer number of hours needed to genuinely improve at darts. We’ll discuss the key factors around finding the right amount of time that you need to devote to your game in order to get measurable improvements.
Before taking to the practice board it helps to fully understand how the human mind works around the key element of “Mental Focus” and how long we can actually stay 100% focused for, none focused practice (all sports disciplines) has been proven to cause more harm than good around performance.
The Pomodoro Technique has long been accepted amongst management and production gurus as the gold standard of concentration and maximum work rate efficiency, developed by Francesco Cirillo a leading productivity expert who discovered through extensive research that a human first burst of full concentration lasts approximately 25 minutes, and requires a short break of 3-5 minutes before attempting a second burst of focus - which corresponds with strong statistical significance for the best darts specific practice where 50 minutes of practice is carried out including a break.
It’s no coincidence that further research into this topic (Bath University Biomechanics) highlighted Finland with the world’s best education system for children where classes last just 45 minutes. Whilst Darts is a physical activity and generally played by people above school age, the base to add a short break sets up the perfect frame work for your first fully focused practise session, no more than 45 to 60 minutes.
After your first 45-60 minutes of practice it’s time for a longer break of 15-30 minutes to maintain peak performance.
Naturally, the exact details depend on your age, physical form and health including throwing style, release and follow through so you will have to experiment what suits you.
If we compare time frames to relevant dart competitions, it’s quite rare that any single match (PDC best of 11) lasts any longer than 40 minutes without a break.
The 2018 Final Matchplay decider between Mensur Suljovic and Gary Anderson, had a break at 11-14 and ended 19-21 with a match time of 38 minutes.
So, the best practise sessions are 20-25 minutes in one go, with a short break, then another 20-25 minutes and you’re done.
SESSIONS PER DAY
During recording sessions with top level musicians in the 1980’s, it was proved that there was no benefit for orchestral sessions to run over 200 minutes – the results in accuracy faded hugely after this total time, during which they did have a 10-minute breaks every hour.
The most any practice day should be is 3.5 hours, which equals a maximum of four full sessions with proper breaks. If you are going for a big practice day then you will need to lengthen the breaks in-between each hour, making the actual practice day last almost 5-6 hours.
However, for 99% of us its basically impossible to practise for a whole day over this length of time so to keep your aim 100% focused, enjoyable and interesting with 2-3 sessions of every practice every day.
WHERE TO FIND MORE
In the Winmau Practice Zone we spend all our time working out the very best games you can have the most fun whilst practicing darts and getting better so if you want to learn more please say hello at: