FLIGHTS...What kind to use?
Practice, Practice, Practice practicing is the key point for improving your game. You know the saying among dart players: Athletes may gain muscle power from repeating the same brain-killing exercises over and over, but darts is not some martial art; it's skill and touch that matters.
So dart practice is a different matter, and I want to give you some tips here on how you should do it. This is one of the standard questions I get from players. The general answer is of course not surprising: As often as possible, as much as possible. But how many people have 8 hours or more per day they can use for practicing darts?
Maybe the pros and some of the unemployed, but hardly anyone else. So you get your personal answer - use as much time as you can or are willing to afford. If this is 8 hours per day, great.
If this is 1 hour, okay. However long this time is, you should use it right. And, as in the headline of this paragraph, frequency is more important than quantity.
Player A does 7 or more hours of practicing each Sunday and nothing during the rest of the week. Player B practices half an hour on workdays, 2 hours on Saturday and then enjoys a lazy Sunday. Guess who uses his time better Try to practice each day of the week, with not more than 1 or two days off. Even if you can only spend 20 minutes on workdays this is good practice, although you should then plan at least one longer practice session on weekends, let's say more than 2 hours if you are serious about improving your game.
The frequency postulate can also be used for doing two or more short practice sessions on one day. German top player Andre Welge used to get up 20 minutes earlier in the morning to get some additional practicing before he went to work. Then, not only is frequency better than quantity, intensity also is.
Do your practice sessions on a concentration level similar to your matchplay level. If you find your concentration or motivation dropping during a longer session, go for a pause. Again 15 minutes up to half an hour are okay for such pausing. You can and should also pause if your motivation drops during a practice session, and also when you are unhappy with your game. Better stop and try again a while later with new motivation and awareness. Unconcentrated and unmotivated practice is bad practice.
Pro Rod Harrington told me he doesn't practice when he has no fun doing it. In darts there is no use for forcing oneselve to practicing. If you don't want to, don't do. But of course, if you aren't eaeger to get to the board again after one or two lazy days you will hardly have the personality to become a strong player.
In many other sports self-torment mostly to gain muscle power is a necessity, but not in darts. Darts is touch and coordination, not physical suffering. Mathplay is of course also very important, but if I should give a ratio I'd say a good one is one third matchplay, two thirds or even more solitare.
The reasons behind this are not really obvious, especially because many players experience that they are doing well in solitare and relatively suck in matchplay, so they are thinking it's the lack of matchplay practice that causes that. That is, however, wrong.
As a matter of fact every player plays worse in matchplay than he does in practice. It is of course hard to believe, but even the pros do. And this not only in darts, it is valid for any other sport. And note - if you are one of these rare players who say they do better in matchplay than they do in practice, the reason and the ONLY reason! You don't practice enough, period. But it is still not clear why solitare practicing is that important.
As a personal summary, I'd say this: Practicing alone constantly forces you to raise your limit above yourself, and this limit is higher than you might dream of! No matter how good you are, you can always be better. No friendly or rivalry matchplay practice can do this when your opponents stick to their level. Smith rattled in six in his win over Johnny Clayton.
Michael and Dave are so closely matched in so many departments that I have to think this match will go somewhere near the distance. If it goes as deep as I predict, the maximums could be in before the later stages of the contest if they are both at it. Five of their last six meetings have resulted in the contests going to at least the penultimate leg.
OK, I get it. Will Chizzy serve up an epic? Join today View market. Everything points to a long duel Dave Chisnall v Michael Smith The fifth best hitter in the world takes on the seventh, and the stats suggest there will be a big mound of maximums. Just to give you feel of how closely matches they are, check these figures.
Dave Chisnall 8, Michael Smith 9. Dave Chisnall 6, Michael Smith 7. Recommended bets Back Over Discover the latest articles Wayne Mardle on the World Matchplay: