Peanut butter & jelly in darts

Peanut butter & jelly in darts

 

As usual it was time for lunch. It happened at the same time every day, just part of the routine, but this day brought with it one of those flashes of recognition, of understanding, which comes along every so often.

 

All the guys who worked in the instrument shop; me too, grabbed lunch pails and took seats around the large table at the back of the shop. We were hungry and what there was to be found in that pail amounted to a pleasant surprise, sometimes. I found a thermos of soup, Ritz crackers and squares of cheese with which I could make little accompaniments for the soup. This break from the usual was a nice thing.

 

All except one found nothing remarkable enough to make any comment but this one guy muttered “peanut butter & jelly again,” which caught our attention. Another guy, seizing on an opportunity to bust on someone, as was the case all the time with this bunch, cracked: “Hey, hen pecked; you afraid to tell the little woman to pack something else? We all waited for the reply – it came – “I pack my own lunch.”  A silence fell like a pall. No one found anything to say that would add to how dumb this guy just said he was.

 

So, years and years later, with promotions and stuff, I had moved on and found my self working in Cleveland Ohio in a totally different environment. Not in a plant with regulated start, break, lunch and end times but with a territory to cover and tasks to complete. I’m driving on the Ohio Turnpike, it’s early afternoon, and I’m heading for Youngstown coming from Toledo to which I’d driven early that morning. These cities are at opposite sides of the state. I live in Cleveland, between the two cities? So I can cut down on travel time!? Here is another day which is going to be a long one, two hours to get to Toledo and three hours to get to Youngstown, then another hour to get home, damn, I think. Then, out of nowhere comes this recall of “peanut butter & jelly.” I say to myself – you make your own schedule, you a-hole. What’s the matter with you?? Okay, from that day on I have a category to put things which I do, did, to myself which makes my day worse or better and that category is: “peanut butter & jelly,”

 

What’s this have to do with darts? Distraction is what. I harp on eliminating things which distract from the goal of “put the dart in the hole.” It is part and parcel of Flight School. I read and hear players doing things which fit the peanut butter & jelly description all the time, and it drives me as crazy now as it did when I heard it at the lunch table and in the car in Ohio.

 

There are these folks who can’t leave a good thing alone. They get their stroke defined to the point where all they have to do use it enough, in the right practice scheme, to let it perfect it’s self and so continually improve how accurate they are with sticking the darts into the hole that’s in the target of choice. But do they do that? No, they pay attention to how they are holding the dart, the position of their elbow, how far back they draw the dart, whether the flight is aligned ‘right’, if they are uncurling their fingers enough or too much, are they leaning enough or to much, is their foot in the right position against the oche’ and on and on with the minutia. None of which adds a blasted thing to their consistent accuracy. In fact it distracts from focusing on “putting the dart in the hole” and becomes a peanut butter and jelly thing.

 

These people appear to need to chase some mythical perfection in form which has nothing to do; really, with how well and often they stick a dart into a ‘hole.’ This is just fine and dandy for compulsive obsessive types but does not a whit of good toward being as good as can be at the game of darts.

 

And that’s peanut butter & jelly in darts!!