Flight School: A2 – Perfecting Dart Groups
Developing, improving/ maintaining arm, wrist & finger coordination: Your Stroke!
Quote from How to Master the Sport of Darts:
Stroke, when it’s there you don’t even notice it, when it’s not you may not know it, and while it’s being developed can ruin your concentration on the game.
Fluid motion is a description that comes to mind and is something all great players have in common, in any sport.
Description of a preferred dart stroke: The dart is drawn toward your face along a flat plane, not yanked or jerked, then held briefly within your vision range while you focus on your target, then launched (or pushed if you prefer) toward the board along a flat plane and released at what feels like the farthest point of your arm’s length.
The goal here is to learn to shoot each dart exactly the same so when the darts are in the board all three barrels are touching: a group shot.
Above all, darts is a “feel” thing. Whether right or wrong a dart shooter can “feel” the shot before it leaves their hand.
Set aside a length of time you can be alone in front of your dart board. The length of time you choose is up to you. No kids, no spouse, no TV, no music – silence. Silence so you can “hear” your stroke. Silence so you can “feel” your stroke.
Training regimen for your stroke:
You will use frames 15, 17, 16, 18, 20 & 12. Look at the triples but concentrate on repetition more so than target. Keep in mind the object is to draw, pause, launch and release every dart exactly the same. Success is when the second and third dart stick right alongside the first dart. How close to the triple is not as important as the grouping. Your first dart becomes your guidepost and placing each succeeding dart right next to it is your goal. Concentrate on how it feels as your arm, fingers and wrist coordinate. During accuracy practice you can work at getting spot shooting individual darts down pat.
You can use this protocol as a warm up for “Accuracy” practice, or before you begin a league match, or any time you want to “smooth things out,” or get into the “zone.” If you find yourself bored, stop, stop it. You are no longer practicing, you are merely “throwing” darts. You are accomplishing nothing positive and in fact may be doing harm. I suggest that every dart you shoot will either contribute to your consistency or detract from it, it is never neutral. Regroup and use this as practice for focus/concentration.
You’re ready to work on accuracy when you are grouping darts at least within a 3 inch circle. A three inch circle is nothing to write home about but it is a good start. Anything worse than that and practice for accuracy probably will not have much affect, although you’ll get the satisfaction of hitting your target on occasion. You will not really be a player to contend with and certainly will not yet be confused with a dart shooter.
Every practice session should build toward over all consistency and confidence. If you don’t feel like it you probably will not get it done in a positive sense. If you can’t perfect your game in solitude, you will always be limited in what you can achieve.