Category Archives: Ah – Hah Moments

Soft tipper making progress

I would like to thank you for showing me the proper way to practice. I have been trying to find a good practice routine for years now. Nothing i have tried before has worked the way i would have liked it to…UNTIL NOW.
After years of playing in local tournaments I entered my first regional soft-tip tournament this past weekend. I didn’t expect to place in the top 8 in 501, or top 12 in cricket due to the caliber of throwers that were there (around 250 men entered). I have been using the practice tasks you sent me and they worked way better than i could have imagined. I am now able to finish the A3 drill (17 targets total) in just over an hour each day, and those drills helped my confidence in the regional when i really needed to hit.
I would like to get more insight on 501 and cricket strategies, and also have a look at the “perfecting Scoring” drill. I may not be quite ready for the intensity of that drill, but i believe i am extremely close now.
Thank you again for providing me with your insight to the game and bringing my game to a new level i thought i would never reach.

Flight Schooler’s unrecognized progress

To a relatively new Flight Schooler

Do you, have you, found yourself not even thinking about a number or numbers, but just sticking a dart into it, them, to get on to the next one in line? I suspect that might be the case. Just thought I might bring this up so you can think about the positives of your slow, slogging, progress.

Yeah, the ones that take the longest, and last to hit, are the ones where your real learning takes place. It’s where you learn to feel your loss of focus/determination, the most difficult thing to learn.

Congratulations, I can see your improvement without seeing your darts sticking.

Your support network of one, George S.

From: Flight Schooler
Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 4:29 PM
To: George Silberzahn
Subject: Re: Flight School Status

Thanks George! There most certainly progress, and quite often of the slow and slogging kind. That being said I must admit that I have
started to become guilty of competing with myself.  In trying to keep my time for the 7 numbers to something under 40 minutes and the
inevitable disappointment when I go past that mark gives me a ‘I already lost’ feeling even if I had otherwise been shooting well or at least in
a focused manner and what I would have done in 50 minutes ends up taking 60-70 minutes.  I think a simple solution to that would to simply stop looking at the clock.  Maybe I’ll ignore the clock and just put the darts in as I put them in. As far as adding numbers, a that is mostly looking for a bit of variety but also it kind of bugs me I don’t spend a lot of time sticking darts into certain numbers like the double 5.  I suppose I’ll need to finish what’s on my plate first!  Slog slog slog…Also I think maybe I don’t quite understand what you are
actually saying about ‘not even thinking about numbers’. I mean I have to think about it to see what is next on my list..  As for losing
focus/determination I do know I can kick into an elevated level of focus that is almost transcendent and it’s where I am most likely throw a really stray dart, but it also the state where I throw my biggest scores. The only problem is that it is draining in a way or certainly hard to sustain.  If I could click into that and stay there longer I would be very good.  I’m kind hoping of learning that.  It’s hard, especially since  I think the doing well from being so focused creates the euphoria and all the brain chemistry that goes along with it that breaks the focus. Also, sometimes I can just say ‘oh d15?” and zip I throw it in and I haven’t used any kind of spot shooting or anything. Good thing or bad thing in the long run? Ok that is a lot of questions for someone who said they weren’t going to ask any more questions..

On Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 12:39 PM, George Silberzahn <> wrote:

Quotes from your email:

“Also, sometimes I can just say ‘oh d15?” and zip I throw it in and I haven’t used any kind of spot shooting or anything. Good thing or bad thing in the long run?”

Reply from George: Quotes from your email:

“I don’t quite understand what you are actually saying about ‘not even thinking about numbers’”

This, above, is what I’m saying in different words.
Definitely a good thing – it’s ‘taking out the trash,’ and I suggest you are using everything!!

This is the prowess I talk about. It’s knowing something and a lot of the supporting psychobabble without conscious thought.

It’s what leads to truly being “good.”


A major tilt

RNLarry wrote:

George, Thanks sooo much with Flight School! Last night our team won the county champion ship. I give credit to FS , you and hard practice. I won all my matches including the last (deciding game against #1 ranked player) with a 140 check out! And I ened up ranked 3rd in the county btw. FS works if ya work it guys. All the Best, Larry PS I’m 65 years old and my first year playing steel
GeorgeSilberzah wrote:
What a nice thing to start my day – week – rest of my life with.
jakesy wrote:
Sounds like a tilt is in order my friend
Good job Larry. I remember it was not too long ago we you asked for advice and FS was recommended. Things like these are not only a feather in George’s cap but in all of ours that believe in the system and promote the system. George created a wonderful Epiphany and it has since grown legs and keeps walking on it’s own merits effecting more and more darters every day. George, your legacy is assured. Thank you.
GeorgeSilberzah wrote:
Yes, Yes – a tilt for Larry, from all nearly 600 of we Flight Schoolers, and, if he’s allowed to participate at his advanced age, Larry too. And then one more tilt for Flight School itself which, as Jakesy observes, appears to be helping raise the level of darts players we may not even know of. I was checking the clock but decided it’s too impressive an occasion to wait until official cocktail hour so had a salutary tilt of Graham’s 20 port with lunch. Every one hear the resounding ‘clink?’

Flight Schooler’s Confirmation

How I know flight school works and the practice drills contained within do help.

I haven’t practiced accuracy in a couple of months. Not because I’m lazy, well kinda, but just because I’m trying different things and they don’t work. League starts tomorrow. My stroke has sucked for a month; barely winning anything. Normally I carry my partners in blind draws… hasn’t been happening. Getting ousted first and second rounds every time – very frustrating. Not able to play pick up games with some of our best darters and not able to give them my best games. They tell me I’m sucking – that I’m not throwing good darts etc., tell me I need to change darts – more weight etc. I CAN’T STAND IT! Yet I have done nothing about it. I know I know… it’s stupid.

Anyway, I have struggled and struggled lately. My stroke feels a mess. Well I decided to do some accuracy with just 12 targets. It took me 1 hr and 11 some odd minutes. That’s ridiculous! BUT, I found a light at the end of tunnel. Upon practicing accuracy, I found my stroke! I hit 2 or 3 “9 counts” towards the end. Triple 19 which I know I have told you used to be my worst number was the first closed. Double bull was somewhere in the middle. Triple 16 however was the last and it’s normally one of my favs.. weird… I only had one mark on it when I closed everything else out and then I closed it within 2 minutes ….I hit a couple of back to backers… anyway, accuracy found my stroke again..

I have been trying out this dart pro program that everyone talks about but it did nothing but mount frustrations!

Your drills work George…I have to get back to it… for in a couple of weeks, I have to play with a partner who could very well be the best player in the USA if he actually ever played in tournaments…. his dad was a world soft tip champ… even played Bristow in an exhibition.. he even whipped the best in our Premier league final…so anyway, I can’t let him down! I’ve got to get back to flight school … I read some of your latest article in the new ben that arrived today and it clicked… I need GEORGE


From George S.

Sometimes Flight Schoolers remind me of my kids (they’re in their forties now) in this way.
I get a call from one of them and they say, “Hey dad, you know when you told me not to stick my finger in a pencil sharpener? Well, you were right, it hurts.” ShockedRazz

I’m happy that you are back to enjoying the game, now go get the big guns.

Rolling EyesAnd, if you get the chance let some other people benefit from your experience?
Your friend in darts, George S.

Crossing from ‘Player’ to ‘Shooter’

Kevin Friddell wrote:

ugh!!!! the 5’s and 1’s continue. Is it reasonable to expect less than 15% misses out of 100 darts? The best I could do last night was 21 darts and that was with a 152 out.
Back to the practice board.


George Silberzahn wrote:
And so you continue to measure your self against your self and be disappointed in your self.


Kevin Friddell wrote:

Yeah, I don’t know why I do that crap. It sure doesn’t help my darts.


Kevin Friddell wrote:

Something great happened yesterday in league.
First of all I have the #1 spot for wins in our league. Secondly I have the chance for #1 in Quality Points. Right now I am off by 3 putting me in second.

Here is the cool thing that happened.
I started the night well in 501. Me and my teammate did not drop a leg and I personally was averaging in the 70’s. In fact I had my first 13-0 night. In my cricket match I started struggling, but I did something I have never done before. I RELAXED AND THREW MY DARTS! I just pretended I was on my practice board and the darts just seemed to hit their mark. It was quite a relief to be able to gather myself and shoot more like I know I can.

A great night of learning and a great night of darts.


George Silberzahn wrote:
Alright!! I knew you would make that leap I just didn’t know how long it would take.
All three types of practice is what it takes, you are doing them and it is paying off. Now, what about A3?


George Silberzahn wrote:

Flight School people have something of which to take note. You work at practicing all three types of practice and struggle to see the benefit show up in your competitive play. I constantly urge everyone to be patient with themselves; that the work will pay off, but being able to be patient and really learn the lessons that only sound practice habits can teach is difficult and trying.

I stress the difference between being a dart “player” and being a dart “Shooter” but the distinction is not so easily understood. 

We now have a success story with which to relate.

Kevin Friddell has made the leap. He can now consider himself a “Shooter!”

“I RELAXED AND THREW MY DARTS! I just pretended I was on my practice board and the darts just seemed to hit their mark. It was quite a relief to be able to gather myself and shoot more like I know I can.”


This is the break through. This is an accomplishment most worthy of a tilt, a major tilt, from all us around the world.

It is also a warning shot across the bow of those who have been able to be successful in competing against him. Although there is still perfecting to be done, Kevin has increased his prowess at the sport of darts and has reached a level of understanding which can make him very difficult to win against.

Diabolical Perfecting Scoring

From: George Silberzahn
November 10, 2009 6:45 AM

Hello Ken, nice to hear from you. Better still to hear you are doing so well. Here are a couple of things for you. Let me know how you make out with these? If the “Perfecting scoring” is a problem, put it away until you think you are ready.

Your friend in darts, George S.


Hi George,

Thank you for the drill.  I now see why you are so hesitant to give it away too early as it is clearly a diabolical piece of work.  Although I was not as ready as I thought, I am able to complete 5 drill marks on two numbers about half the time.  It takes a great deal of mental toughness to not let it beat you down and I’ve learned a tremendous amount about my reaction to success and adversity after only a couple weeks on the drill.  At one point I was able to come back from -14 on 20’s and complete it which was a real thrill.  I’ve been able to isolate my most common times for lapses in focus and have started working on techniques to shore that up.  The first few times I ran the drill I think I set a new personal best for cursing as I continued to sail my third dart outside the wedge to drop points.  After that experience I don’t think there is any result that will rattle me at the oche.

Cheers, Ken

Davin wrote

I just got through throwing some accuracy!




I just threw 14 targets, in about 33 minutes or so.


I hit 4 “9 counts” some being dbls so not really “9” counts and didn’t keep track of “6” counts.


I started off slowly but it was the most evenly marked accuracy I’ve ever thrown. My last 3 shots were the final 9. 18 17 15!!!


I noticed the only thing i did differently was slow down. I treated almost every dart as if it were my last dart to win the game. It’s how I’ve been winning blind draws with way lesser partners lately. Just knowing I have to do it all, (not being conceited, just honest) I make sure every single dart is huge!


I have a work buddy coming to play tomorrow night and he’s bringing a couple of his buddies. He hears me talking about darts every day and ask me how i did the night before almost everyday so I wanted to have a good practice session. Sure enough I did. Mostly likely the best ever!


I started out and was only going to try for 3 marks each number but i got in a groove and decided lets do it all the way! Glad I did! I prolly won’t be able to go to sleep for awhile now. And i have to be at work at 830. Good thing i had a nice nap!


I’m loving these drills George. I try to do it at least 4 times a week now.”



Reply from George S.

I can’t tell you the sense of satisfaction I get when I learn of some one such as yourself having an Ah-Ha moment with what FS and “Accuracy” is all about.

It’s just fabulous for me to know you’ve “gotten” it, so many do not.

Thanks for keeping me up dated.

Your friend in darts, George S.

Perfecting Scoring- First Be ready

An FS enrollee wrote:



You’re the devil in human disguise aren’t ya George? You don’t like us very much huh? Very freaking humbling. One word: INSANE!


Course I haven’t been throwing very well this week, this drill showed me how fragile my mental state is in darts. I got down to negative 18 and just gave up. I set up jut to hit 7 scoring marks thinking whatever, too easy. Joke was in me. I certainly wasn’t mentally prepared to get a schlacking like that from a drill. No wonder why u emphasize do not attempt if u suck haha. I knew better than to try right now since my darts have nosed died this past week but I just wanted to understand what everyone has been talking about. Frank must be a premier amazing ridiculous shot!



I can’t wait to tackle this when my darts are up to par of how I’ve normally been throwing lately.


Awesome drill though. Oh I will be back! Count on it!”


Response from George S.


Thanks for validating my assessment of “Perfecting Scoring.”


I’m glad you enjoyed the experience – if not the outcome. The occasional eye opener is a good thing. Like playing against Frank when he’s on. Or someone on the pro tour. Gives a person a whole ‘nuther perspective, huh?


I’m trying to get people to understand that FS is a program which helps a person move along a path to being as good as can be and I want folks to understand that there really aren’t any short cuts. Being a top shelf competitor in this game/sport takes years and it takes all three practice types to come along together.

Above all, it takes patience and belief.


You’ll get there – just trust in FS and yourself.


Well, I finally got a good long practice session in last night. I tried the finger flicking practice to perfect my release. Not easy. In fact, kinda painful. I have arthritis in my fingers and what this exercise teaches you is to get your fingers to ‘snap’ the dart at the release point. If you have sore knuckles is there an alternative? Normally when I throw, I have good follow-through but my fingers don’t open up much. My grouping’s good, targets hit isn’t terribly bad, well, my doubles kinda suck…but is this finger release an important requirement? I don’t wanna have to take pain killers just to throw darts.


George S.

The short answer is no, not if it hurts. Shooting darts shouldn’t hurt. Physical ailments such as arthritis, of which I have a mild case, can interfere with a person’s game but it appears that how you do it accommodates the arthritis and you get the groupings you do, so maybe the finger release is not something suited for you. Not everything is best for everyone and the point of it all is that you become satisfied that you are doing as well as you may expect too, which I hope is how you feel and that maybe you find help from some of the other drills and “stuff.” Please get back to me via email and we’ll explore this some more.


Like everyone else I need a little re-enforcement once in a while that Flight School “stuff” helps, and this report and other posts here, helped a bunch. I read so many posts on SEWA from people who are struggling with certain things which I know I talk about in Flight School, I get anxious about why they don’t get the point. Then this post shows up, among with the others here, and I get happy again. I got as much excitement from your experience as you, Wolf, well – maybe a different kind of excitement. I love it when I can think I might have contributed a little to someone’s success, even though all I did was suggest some “stuff” and they did all the work.


George Silberzahn: Wolf wrote Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject:


Please be careful that you don’t compete with yourself? That could be a disaster


Wolf wrote: I’m guessing that’s the whole idea behind Flight School, to keep the practices from being a competition with yourself? I can see how that would have a reverse affect.


George Silberzahn: OK, I can sleep tonight.


I thought I would share a few bits on my progress since really starting on the drills a week ago. I have, where possible, set aside at least one a day for a week to go through the drill that George has sent me. Some of the drills can become extremely tedious; however you must remain focused and commit to hitting the target you have set yourself. Over the last week I have seen a gradual increase in the accuracy with the hitting of trebles and doubles I set each practice session.


My arm action, release and follow through have all been feeling good. Even my focus and concentration feel as though it has been ‘getting’ there. However, last night I played in our regular Wednesday night league and the whole arm action, release, focus etc., all went t!ts up! I lost 2-1 and threw the worst darts I had thrown all season. Why would this happen after all the ‘right’ practice and warm-up before the match everything felt good, I know it wasn’t nerves?


BTW I’m not quitter; I was so disgusted with the way I played last night, that before I set off to work this morning I decided to have 15 mins on the board just to reduce the potential mental damage and guess what, everything was back to normal, even hit a 180! I will be back on the board again tonight, but in the meantime please share your thoughts and progress.


John Part

Sometimes when you practice in a very regimented fashion you develop a comfort factor within that practice format and place. You invest much time on the practice board, and all of a sudden the league match seems like a very foreign place, with none of the comforts of home. Try to play as many real games as you can at the league venue on the night before play to help re-adjust your mindset to the real world.



I will certainly give that a go John.

In between comps, do you find practicing alone or playing 501 with some else best to improve your game and focus?


John Part

I have traditionally found practicing alone very effective. I like to supplement that with sessions against good players to help with the more practical side of playing in the real world.



Well back on the board last night and it was a good practice session, generally hitting all the targets I went for most of the time, grouping and accuracy were also good.

Arm action and release felt good.

Begged the wifey to let me out to the pub tonight so that I can get some ‘valuable’ (that’s how I put it) practice against other players ahead of an important cup match next week.

One thing is sure about darts and that is that 90% of the game is mental, if confidence is low, boy are my darts poor, but these are all areas to work on and using George’s practice routines definitely help with confidence.


George Silberzahn

It’s so good to hear the “stuff” works for you. I can’t tell you how that brightens my day. I hope you get a note from wifey so you can get that ‘valuable’ practice. Have a pint of practice for me?


Just thought I would check-in and share some more progress, because that’s what it is, positive progress – onwards and upwards!


I’ve been concentrating on the drills again this last week and can see a small improvement in the way I play the game.


Certainly from reading the additional information in George’s book (a must for all dart player’s) I now understand and feel when my stroke is good and bad and also I’m in a position where I am able correct it if the first dart thrown is poor. This is definitely slow going but I can feel benefit.


I’ve been concentrating on the drills again this last week and can see a small improvement in the way I play the game.


Don’t get me wrong I won’t be taking on the likes of Phil Taylor and beating him, but my grouping and consistency has without doubt improved in practice, especially if the first dart lands plum in the ‘Lipstick’.


Last night I played in our league in the Cup final, which as a team we won, now although I won my game 2-0 in 34 and 25 darts (50.95avg) which isn’t going to set the world on fire, but both times I set up a 1 dart finish and hit it first dart right in the centre of the double!


To be fair the venue the final was played at was crap and to maintain focus and concentration was a nightmare for all of us, but I think spending the hour’s, and I mean hours, practicing on your drills was what helped me win.


BTW, I did get that ‘valuable’ practice on Friday night, played one guy best of 13 legs, won 7-0 with a 60.12avg and best game I had was 16 darter.


I shall report in again soon!



Hi George, I’m still playing and what a difference I have made to my game since been an original member of flight school.


We have just completed our Winter League for 2007/08 and although we ended up runners-up for the 3rd consecutive year my average has improved.


At the end of our Winter League for 2006/07 I had stats of:

Played 14, Won 7, Legs Played 36, Legs Won 17, Tons 33.74, Tons/Leg 0.93, Highest Finish 93, Fastest Game 18, Overall Average 50.91.


This season:

Played 13, Won 9, Legs Played 32, Legs Won 21, Tons 44.96, Tons/Leg 1.40, Highest Finish 83, Fastest Game 18, Overall Average 57.39.


As you can see a good improvement, but its all down to practice and more importantly the RIGHT type of practice. Thanks for the tips George.