Why you could be practicing and not getting any better… by Mikko Laiho
There are many of us who practice darts regularly, but still we don’t seem to improve.
Here we look at what maybe wrong….
Firstly, darts practice should always be focused and with a level of intensity to get the best out of you. Whilst walking maybe a good exercise it doesn’t necessarily make you better at running. You need to develop a hunger for proper practice.
One thing a lot of people forget is that darts practice should be simulating real competition of:
a) Pressure involved,
b) The time you practice should be equal to a normal competition and
c) That you might not want to only measure your form, but actually increase it.
Pressure is very good tool when practicing. There are times that you will not need it as warming up the throw or just getting the feel of the board/venue etc., but solitary home practice should at least 95% of time require some sort of pressure.
When you complete the practice games you’ve given yourself, you should feel that you’ve achieved something, like winning a match. But you need to want this. You need to develop practice hunger, the will to win.
Time is a very important thing. Think about schools in Finland, which is repeatedly considered the best education system in the world: there is a 15 minutes break after every 45 minutes of teaching.
Peter Wright practices two proper hours a day, but a couple of years ago he changed it to two different hours – one in am and one in pm - instead of two consecutive hours of practice and we all can see the results from the Order of Merit.
All the matches played on TV are played with the intervals. So there is no need to ever practice more than 45 minutes in a row, keeping your mind and body fresh.
Measuring your form at practice is a double edged sword. In practice you’re lacking the adrenaline, the testosterone and most importantly the killer instinct. So why play 501’s – which most people play in practice to see how good form they are - at all? You know you need from time to time to be able to squeeze a 15 darter in that deciding leg without practicing it.
Playing only 501’s often builds scar-tissue in your mind if things are not going well. But when on song, when your focused, and the mind is clear then it’s good to do a few 501’s just to show yourself that yes, you can do it! So leave the 501’s just for as a treat, like your dessert at the tail end of a practice session that has gone well.
INTERESTING PRACTICE WITH SUITABLE GOALS – Practice game of the week
So now we know you should be practicing games way more than 501, you can try our amazing game of the week and make sure you let us know how you get on.
We recommend that you try this practice game at least 20 times, but this must be over at least 2 different sessions.
This is a very forward &
simple game. You start from number 11, then 12, 13 etc. until 19.
Try to hit as many points as possible in each number. Treble is worth 3 points, double 2 points and single 1 point, so you can achieve a maximum of 9 points per target.
You need to use three darts per number.
The maximum score in this game is 9x9 =81 points.
A good score is anything over 30, and you’ll see major progress in your game when you can get this score over 40 points….We’ll be testing Snakebite this week so you can compare your scores to his.
Post your scores to us on @dartsgym @reddragondarts
If you want a bespoke 12 week practice schedule check it out here:
Keep an eye out for next week’s article "How to be a Pro?!”