From the start of these Covid affected times Darts World has sought to give credit to those, within the darts ecosystem who have stepped up to provide players, and fans,, with extra opportunities to help out.
Winmau have put together a threesome of free/trial offers that will boost your practice performances and may improve your game. Amongst them is SwitchBlade, a game which Darts World introduced to the world a few weeks back. Great to see our friends giving it an even wider audience!
With more people playing darts at home right now than at any other time on earth, we want to make sure that your putting your time to good use and progressing as well as you can. This treble of FREE games developed with our amazing partners GoDartsPro will make sure you have the easiest way to play some really exciting practice games that add a real edge to your game and understanding of how to get better – good luck we hope you enjoy them and as ever feedback always really welcome.
Lockdown has given many people the opportunity to practise their darts in new and interesting ways. It has also given some of those who operate online systems a huge amount of information on how people practice and what can help.
Mixing up your practice Darts is all about the right mind-set. That’s why you need to practice games and routines that you enjoy. But they also need to be suitably challenging. Their difficulty-level must be right for your current level and you need to want to do them over and over again. You need to gain some wins under your belt. Might they be just small wins? A win might be just a proper score or getting through your favourite routine swiftly. That’s how you learn to win, because your biggest opponent and nemesis has always been and will forever be yourself.
Practice only fully focused This is easier said than done with family, work, social media fighting for your attention. That’s why your training sessions need to be short to be able to be fully focused. Leading productivity experts discovered through extensive research that a human first burst of full concentration lasts approximately 25 minutes, and requires a short break of 3-5 minutes before attempting a second burst of focus. After your first 45-60 minutes of practice it’s time for a longer break of +30 minutes to maintain peak performance.
Practice needs to be fun After two or three focused practice sessions (2 x 25 min) do a longer break (at least 30 minutes) I suggest you do a round or two of the ongoing challenges on GoDartsPro.These challenges are a fun way to practice and put you under more pressure since you want to score better than the other members. Try to reach the leaderboard and try to stay there until the challenge is ended.
DW Resident Coach – The GDP folk have built a very interesting practice engine that can be both enjoyable and effective.
The tips above align almost perfectly with much of what I have always practiced. The timings are close although, with most players, I would reduce them to 20 mins and not 25 if possible.
Even with elite players I always try to end on good note or a fun game!
Original text by Go Darts Pro: Try their practise games and routine here: Go Darts Pro
The latest edition of Darts World magazine has been made available free of charge during the COVID-19 pandemic period, via our digital platform. Our editorial team has done a superb job in ensuring that our readers, sponsors, advertisers and contributors continue to enjoy Darts World Magazine during these difficult times. We look forward to launching our all-new magazine later this summer!
Highlights (Issue 569) include:
The Crafty Cockney – A Legendary Legacy – JR Lott paints an affectionate picture of Eric Bristow.
Switchblade – A superb new practice routine and how Darts World has boosted its success.
Wizard’s Wizdom – Colin Osborne shares his experiences of virtual darts and introduces The Wizard’s apprentice.
Mic Drop – World Championship official John Fowler illustrates the effects of lockdown on the wider darts family.
Guess Who – Win a signed set of Red Dragon darts if you can name the players in the identikit photo.
Six of the Best – Tartan tungsten titans. James Lincoln and JR Lott look at the oche legends from Scotland and offer their top six.
Mental Health Bullseyes – Darts World sought expert advice to enable us to offer readers some top tips on coping mentally during these tricky times.
The 9 Dart Questions – ‘Hendo’ is the first player to star in our latest feature. His answers will both please and intrigue.
The Devonshire Discussion – Is there a greatest game? Andrew looks at how we all have biases and, perhaps, there is only our favourite game?
Ones to Watch – Darts World reader James Smith offers his choice of six great games from 2020 that you can watch at your leisure.
Unsung Heroes – Lionel Smith. JR Lott looks back at the influence of the Staffordshire legend.
Game On – The Birth of the BDO. Alan Towe looks back to the dawn of the county scene and the beginnings of the BDO.
Player of The Month – Your chance to win a set of Winmau Pro-Line darts. Simply nominate the player you feel is most deserving and tell us why!
The Checkout – An acknowledgement of how our sport has stepped up to play its part in these difficult days! Thank you.
Read the full issue, andover fifty more (free of charge), in our digital archive: here
In response to a Darts World article, and player demand, Go Darts Pro have turned SwitchBlade into a fully fledged part of their training program:
Just because Darts World has been going for almost 48 years does not mean were not bang up to date with what dart players need and want! As soon as Isolation, and LockDown, started to hit home, we asked our resident ‘Coach’ and our friends at A.I.M: to help us with practise tips, structure and some fresh thoughts to keep you all entertained.
Coach has been using a drill, with elite players, for several years but he freshened it up and it seems to have caught on! Players then began to petition Anders. a founder of GDP, to include the game. The Go darts pro guys developed the new game speedily and its now ready to go!
Coach is particularly pleased that the drill proved popular at the current times and that its was GDP who took it on:
Mikko was Unique wonderfully intelligent & passionate, about all things darts, we agreed on almost everything. To have one of Our drills included in Go Darts Pro is extremely rewarding.
Mikko Laiho was the co founder of GDP and one of the best darts practise experts we have known. ‘Coach’ added:
That it was players, and readers of Darts World, who flagged it to Anders is the icing on the cake.
So check out the article that started it all here and then head on over to GoDartsPro.com and play the challenge version. Either way your sure to find your switching fluidity improves and you can add a new drill to your daily routine!
Darts World, and our friends at A.I.M:, have been doing our bit to keep darters occupied in during the Covid-19 Lockdown. Little did we know that one of our, ‘Darting Isolation‘, drills, SwitchBladewould begin to get a life of its own!
After its appearance last week SwitchBlade proved popular with readers who then began requesting that our friends at popular practise platform Go Darts Pro, turn the game into one of their challenges. Site operator (and co-founder) Anders got in touch and sought permission to use the game.
A.I.M: were more than happy to see a drill that they have used, with elite players, for many years gain a new lease of life. After a couple of minor tweaks Go Darts Pro have moved through the development stage and are nearly ready to feature the game.
There is more work to do and perhaps a surprise too for those who have been playing it! DW will keep you posted and let you know when you can play:
If you have been trying, some of the many, new practise drills and games that have been dreamt up, you may be wondering where they came from. SwitchBlade, Middle For Diddle and Sprint (Pro) Half-It were developed by A.I.M:, to assist players they coach,and Kill Bull looks like a Mikko Laiho / Winmau game. Today you can hear, about one of the most famous doubles drills, from the man who invented it!
Now I must own up to a bias, Bob is a man after my own heart in many ways. He was also a seriously good player! As important is his understanding of the game and how to improve and or maintain your performance. It is no accident that Bob had a very long Professional career and still plays to a very high standard, in exhibition and competitive matches, aged over 70.
It may also be significant that Bob was one of the first to have a background in a different (athletic) sport. Gerwyn Price has repeated the trick in this era.
Bob’s first point is one of my favourite rules. Have an aim to your practice, don’t just throw aimlessly at the twenties etc. Bobs next tip is to focus heavily on finishing and hitting that double, his ‘Bob’s 27’ is legendary. Watch it through and give it a few goes. This sets your benchmark and then you should add it to your daily routine. Many players use it as part of their early session or near the start of a longer one.
If you want evidence of how this improves your game check out Bob’s efforts in the 1986 World Masters:
The Limestone Cowboy was as good as they come and, in spells, was outstanding! 151,120,150 & 154! Not often you see that even today. These were hit under serious pressure, on a round wired board, in a major tournament and in quick succession.
So if you want to improve your doubles/finishing listen to Bob Anderson!
This is what ‘Coach’ calls a development (or reset) drill. While high level players will play it as a warm up or settling routine, shorter sharper drills can be better for those at the top. Bob’s 27 gives equal focus to every double, great when your developing, whereas sometimes a sharper focus on those that are used most often is more beneficial.
Darts World will show you a few of these over the coming days and weeks.
Those of you that find yourself in isolation in the current time will no doubt feel like pounding your dartboard during this period. While the extra time will result in improvements to your game, and keep you moving a little, if you really want to gain maximum benefit you should institute some structure and possible some aims/goals.
The article below was written by Finnish practise expert Mikko Laiho who sadly passed away last year. Whilst some of the exact details are debated by other coaches, and academics, the template structure and the other information should prove very useful:
Practice Makes Perfect – How much should you practice at darts?
25 January, 2019
With televised darts averages seemingly sky rocketing, everyday players could question the hours needed to genuinely improve. It’s actually not rocket science, and is it really as hard as everyone seems to think? We’ll discuss the key factors around finding the right amount of time that you need to devote to your game in order to get measurable improvements.
100 % focused training
Before taking to the practice board it helps to fully understand how the human mind works around the key element of “Mental Focus” and how long we can actually stay 100% focused for, non-focused practice (all sports disciplines) has been proven to cause more harm than good around performance.
Two mini-sessions means a session
The Pomodoro Technique has long been accepted amongst management and production gurus as the gold standard of concentration and maximum work rate efficiency. Developed by Francesco Cirillo, a leading productivity expert, who discovered through extensive research that a human first burst of full concentration lasts approximately 25 minutes, and requires a short break of 3-5 minutes before attempting a second burst of focus – which corresponds with strong statistical significance for the best darts specific practice where 50 minutes of practice is carried out including a break.
Best education is given in 45 minutes
A well-known fact is that Finland has one of the best education systems in the world, one of the main reasons being the length of the classes, which lasts 45 minutes. Whilst Darts is a physical activity and generally played by people above school age, the base to add a short break sets up the perfect frame work for your total practise session, no more than 45 to 55 minutes.
A break is as important as the practice
After your first 45-60 minutes of practice it’s time for a longer break of 30+ minutes to maintain peak performance And also the body, brain, nerves and especially hand needs to “cool down” fully. Naturally, the exact details depend on your age, physical form and health including throwing style, release and follow through so you will have to experiment what suits you.
If we compare time frames to relevant dart competitions, it’s quite rare that any single match (PDC best of 11) lasts any longer than 40 minutes without a break.
So, the best practice sessions are 20-25 minutes in one go, with a short break, then another 20-25 minutes and you’re done.
Time per day
During recording sessions with top level orchestral musicians in the 1980’s, it was proven that there was no benefit for sessions to run over 200 minutes – the results in accuracy faded hugely after this total time, during which they did have a 10-minute breaks every hour.
The most any practice day should be is 3.5 hours, which equals a maximum of four full sessions with proper breaks. If you are going for a big practice day then you will need to lengthen the breaks in-between each hour, making the actual practice day last almost 5-6 hours.
However, for vast majority of us it’s basically impossible to practice for a whole day over this length of time so to keep your aim 100% focused, enjoyable and interesting with 2-3 sessions of practice.
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At godartspro.com we spend all our time working out how you can have the most fun whilst practicing darts and getting better so if you want to learn more please say hello at: www.godartspro.com
Mikko Laiho (R.I.P – 29/4/2019) – World No.1 darts practice expert.
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