James Hubbard lies on the Red Dragon couch for a quick Q & A
What’s it like to get back winning?
Amazing, I can’t stop smiling - winning titles or pub events no matter what they are gives me a huge confidence boost.
How is the work going with your new coach - what work are you doing?
I’ve been working with Steve Feeney from SightRight for the last 6 months.
He was introduced to me by you guys at Red Dragon as I know how highly you rate his work around eye-dominance and its effect on technique.
Steve’s basically stripped me back to the start by first approaching the mental side of my game that was not in the right place.
He’s helped me accept some things about myself that were not great, and helped me see how I could work in these areas to get the right approach.
Steve’s blend of technical, mental and supportive approach is all about getting the best possible levels of accuracy in my natural game.
He’s not cutting off my arm so to speak and forcing any new technique on me, he’s working with me and my throw making me the best and most accurate I can be.
Has the SightRight coaching genuinely helped you to re-capture your form?
Undoubtedly yes, I was stuck in a viscous circle. I was practicing the wrong way and approaching events in the wrong way.
By working with Steve I’ve had to accept what I’ve been doing is not the way to get the best darts from my game.
His mental support has been superb and I’m really excited about playing again and competing.
You’ve had a spell in the wilderness since your superb 2012 Youth World Championship Title win, how has that been?
Horrible to be honest, winning the 2012 World title against Micheal was amazing, and a fantastic personal achievement. When I played that game I was a relative unknown, as soon as I won I was thrown into the limelight, something which for the first couple of months I dealt with ok. Qualifying for the 2012 world Matchplay quickly came afterwards which again was a great achievement but since then I really have struggled with the pressures and expectation of the game. But that^s all in the past now and looking to the future I^m a lot more positive and excited for my career to progress.
What have you learned about yourself in the time since that title win?
When you’re in a rut with your game it’s very easy to listen to lots of different well-meaning advice, looking for a quick fix.
There is no quick fix, I’ve learned I have to work really hard with just the people that understand my game and personality to keep my game going in the right way.
It’s hard to not listen to everyone but you have to blank out all outside advice to avoid getting back into a bad cycle.
How different is playing darts on the Youth against the Pro Tour Boys?
Some games are no different at all as the standard on the Youth can be just as hard, but there are a few games when you may get an extra dart.
I guess I feel a little bit of a Senior Youth and then back to an apprenticeship on the Pro Tour.
What do you do in practice to keep the game intensity and has this changed in the last year?
I’m not giving away my secrets!! Steve has changed lots of the work I do as we are working on various new routines with specific practice games for accuracy.
It changes depending which area of my game I need to work on and how my current form is.
Steve’s SightRight approach to the game is all about me delivering accuracy and were working on me being in the right place mentally and technically to do this.
Going forward what’s the plan and have you set any goals for 2014?
I’ve got some personal goals that I’ve set and I’m quietly working towards them, I’m going to keep working hard with Steve on getting my approach spot on so my game can deliver.
Thanks James – best of luck for the rest of the season.