Weoften ask ‘Coach’, or our friends at A.I.M:, for ideas for your home practice, sometimes others come along that are too good to miss.
The Kill Bull Game from Winmau.tv is one of them. This one has been featured on social media so we had a look. Its a nice, quick, game to work on your bull hitting.
Coach says: “This is nice simple game that can be scaled up or down depending on ability/experience. This means different players can race to their own target while playing together”.
Our resident ‘Coach’ commented:
Downsides: “Often those who try to devise games make then two hard or the consequences of a missed dart/s too great. This is one of those“.
Play the game two ways: “First play it as simply a chase the target or opponent game.” If your doing well, add in the penalty for missing. “When you first add the extra penalty in reduce your target.”
Overall though, its a good drill,if kept within a wider setting. The DW staff had a go and managed the 300 level reasonably soon even with the penalty. The higher levels were indeed tough and frustrating!
“Too much time spent on one drill leads to complacency and or frustration. Neither of these is good within a practise session”.
During 2019 word reached my ear that Winmau were making a major move in the ‘transfer market’. This came as somewhat of a relief as they had seemed in danger of becoming a shadow of their former selves. Upon discovering it was MVG, who was joining, the potential seemed obvious.
Winmau’s greatest asset was their board manufacture and reputation. Their player roster seemed a little stale and unexciting, times were about to change. It seemed to me that the tie up with the biggest name in professional darts opened doors to a style of sponsorship more like that of Eric Bristow, with Harrows, many years ago. Multiple products bearing Winmau and MVG logo’s and a much deeper tie-in across Winmau’s range of ‘your darts space’ items.
The following mini article appeared at winmau.com yesterday and gives some clue to how the long term operation may work:
Michael van Gerwen Talks Blade
13 March, 2020 Without the dartboard there is no darts, and this is the most essential part that affects the game whether it’s on TV, at your local pub or at home.
So, we asked World no.1 Michael van Gerwen about his earliest memories of Winmau dartboards, his experiences and the Blade in particular.
Michael said “As a youngster coming through the system in the Netherlands, then the Netherlands Darts Federation, I was just surrounded by Winmau boards all the time. There were other dartboards but we didn’t seem to notice them as much as every major event we played on was a Winmau board”
Michael’s career blossomed from the age of 14-15 as he began to take the game more seriously. It was not long afterwards that Michael thrust himself into the spotlight at the 2006 Winmau World Masters, becoming the youngest ever winner and claiming his first ever major title, played on a Winmau Blade 3.
“Yeah my first ever major was won on a Winmau Blade 3, although at the time you didn’t notice what version of the dartboard you played on,” said Michael “You just knew that if it was a Winmau dartboard there was that feeling of reliability and quality, like a great car such as a BMW or Ferrari.”
“Everyone who played knew Winmau and the brand name was so strong and synonymous with the game, so to fast forward 15 years and to have signed with such an iconic brand really is amazing.”
Winmau’s Blade journey has taken shape over 25 years and the company has invested heavily in the research and development of the Blade concept, which has delivered some huge benefits to the game of darts.
With the current evolution of the Blade, the dartboard has got to a point where dart-on-dart bounce-outs far out-weigh rejections from the dartboard.
Michael has now seen first-hand the production process which Winmau work to and said “Having been and witnessed how much effort, skill and obsession goes into creating such a fantastic board, it really is fascinating.”
“This obsession to be the best is probably one of the biggest factors that makes myself and Winmau a perfect match, I have an almost identical desire and drive to produce the best in my game”
Michael’s journey with Winmau began at the start of this year and Mighty Mike has hit the ground running, lifting the UK Open title last weekend in dominant fashion.
This is just the beginning of Michael’s story with his new Winmau darts and we are very much looking forward being part of the journey as he continues to hunt down major trophies at the top of World darts.
It seems obvious that Micheal’s deal will include a certain amount of cross pollination and it would not surprise if there were not many other original promotion methods used to tell a story in a more complete and varied way. You Tube, social media and many other assets will be leveraged to spread the word about the “World Best” combination.
The MVG / Winmau relationship may prove a model for marque signings in the future. Although darts often sees itself as following golf, in its development, it often mirrors tennis in many ways. It does not take much to recall how Bjorn Borg broke the mold with sponsorship deals and packages with Fila & Donnay and how this was elevated by Adidas with Ivan Lendl and then Nike with Andre Agassi. Darts is now a global game and, much like 1970’s/80s tennis, its stars will be rewarded at a higher rate. It will be for major darts (and other companies) to learn how to extract maximum value in exchange for their increased investment.
Multiple major winner Daryl Gurney recently discussed a wide variety of topics for winmau.tv. Superchin covers a raft of areas:
When questioned, on how he puts together his throw, Gurney stresses the importance of being centred, on the oche, in order to keep equal distance for all areas. Once he locates the centre, Daryl allows instinct to guide his body into position. When discussing his grip the thrty-three year old describes a pencil style hold, with two fingers and a thumb on the dart, as well as how he uses the differing grip area mainly as a guide to where he is holding the dart.
Gurney seems to use the front finger to generate some of the power to allow for his shorter backswing. The key seems to be a balance of the dart on the thumb in order to not over grip the dart.
Unusually, Daryl discusses his routine between throwing and how to vary your approach according to the pace of the opponent. Many players could pay attention to this in order to help with their routine and concentration.
His preference for the longer format is quite clear as he feels that other players can shoot their bolt when asked to compete over first to ten rather than best of eleven used on the Pro Tour. This makes sense for a player not dependent on rhythm and who does not depend upon streaks of exceptional performance.
When discussing how he goes through a process, in different circumstances, Gurney reveals himself to be far more thoughtful and considered than, perhaps, he initially appears. His thoughts on patience and taking an extra breath are ones that should be considered by all players.
Daryl’s general practise discussion is good, he does not try to over present it, he uses the round the board in doubles excersize before hitting up to 20 legs of 501 before working on finishes of 121- 135 or so. He adjusts this to include 40 – 120 practise before a big event.
DW Coach:This is a very smart adjustment, every time I have worked with a player, in major event prep, they have been surprised that we focus a great deal on the lower 2 dart finishes. Yet they have always been grateful afterwards!
It’s possible that he over does the practise now. Perhaps he needs to do more smart work instead of hardwork. The practise needed to get to the top is somtimes different to that needed to stay there or win majors?
Daryl views his major triumphs have been good for handling his nerves but thinks its less relevant as each game is different and varies from match to match and day to day.
Winning the Grad Prix seems to have passed him by in blur. But his victory over Micheal van Gerwen in the Players Championship seems more satisfying although it is a less prestigeous title.
As an Irishman he loves to play in Dublin and to be back enjoying the atmosphere of the Premier League and hopes to get back to “kicking everyone’s arse” soon.
DW Comment:This interview seems to fall into two parts, the section covering technical and process matters are very interesting and could be very useful to other players. Daryl’s comments on his own play etc seem to be a bit muted and it may be he is not at his confident best.
It would be good to see the Irishman back on the top of his game as he provides passion and variety of style and personality at the top of the game. He is an awkward opponent at his best and ensures that the rhythm kings don’t have it all their own way.
The interview appears on the YouTube Channel winmau.tv
Former major finalist Vincent Van de Voort has been talking about the refresh his career seems to have undergone in recent months. The 44-year-old Dutchman sat down with for Winmau.tv and covered all kinds of topics:
New Sponsor New Kit:
Despite always using a simple ring gripped, straight barrelled, dart Vincent seems keen to make a few changes while his whole kit is undergoing a relaunch. He is aiming to get more weight to the front of the dart in order to increase the visible space in the treble. It seems that they may yet be a tweek or two until the perfect VVV dart is finalised.
Practice and Performance:
One of the better things about being as experienced as Vincent is the self awareness. In the conversation he acknowledges that his rhythm must be right and that too much thinking leads to disaster. He also knows that he must get his enegy level right in order to maintain his performance.
His injury issues over the years have resulted in a stance and posture change, he is located much further to the right then previously, this seems to be working and is causing much less pain.
Form and Confidence:
Vincent seems very comfortable with his form in general but stresses that the confidence component needs to be there also. Although he is keen not to set too many targets, too soon, to gain access to the big TV events seems to be high on the VVV agenda. His current aim is to secure qualification for the World Matchplay. He is on course but there is a very competitive field just behind him!
The motivation to redicover his best form, and to return to the elite level, following such a tough times, is born out of a hugely competitive spirit. Vincent sees his life as a battle and his is not prepared to quit this stage of it just yet! He feels that the ability to practice more now that he is fitter, and healthier, will put him back on a level playing field with the other top players.
Outside The Tour:
Vincent has his own dart store , run by his wife, and seems to be enjoying another side to the sport. The store is a real family enterprise with Vincent’s son also helping make it a success. It seems to be improving year on year and providing a distraction from the grind of the life of a professional player.
DW Coach Comment: “Looking at this interview a few things stand out. It is clear that Vincent was very badly affected, both physically and psychologically, by his long term injury. But it is also clear that he has developed a greater self awareness and is willing to make changes that will help him sustain his career. His attitude is good and it would not be surpring if he threatened at the top level again.“
Original video and interview are presented on winmau.tv on YouTube.
The 5TH edition of the ROMANIAN DARTS FESTIVAL, 2020 will take place between January 24th and January 26th, at the Intercontinental Hotel 5* in Bucharest. The events will award over 18,000 euro in prize money.
Two WDF SILVER ranking tournaments will be played at the Romanian Darts Festival!
RIDO 2020 – Romanian International Darts Open RCDO 2020 and RCDO 2020 – Romanian Classic Darts Open will be the first two WDF SILVER men and ladies events in Europe of the 2020 WDF season and also two of the most important events for WDF East Europe region.
The first event of the weekend is RIDO PAIRS Tournament that starts Friday 24th January at 17:00. Saturday 25th January is time for RCDO and Sunday 26Th January the biggest event RIDO (Men winner will win a prize of 2500 Euro and Ladies winner 500 Euro). To sum it up, the weekend will see two singles men events, two singles ladies events, one men pairs tournament and one ladies pairs tournament.
For registration and players information visit www.federatiedarts.ro . Please note that there are two different registration sections, one for each event.
Last day for registration is Wednesday 22nd January 2020! The organizers recommend you to pay the entry fees by PayPal or bank transfer. A last minute cash payment will be available at the venue but will cost every player an extra 5 euro/ tournament. A great news for all the participants and for the fans from all over the world is that this edition of Romanian Darts Festival will include also the DartConnect system for all the 40 boards! And that the most important matches played on the stage will be on Winmau.tv platform, Sunday from 17:00 (RO time).
Special accommodation prices at Intercontinental Hotel 5* are available: 94 euro/ dbl room and 84 euro/single room with breakfast and internet included. If you want to book a room at special price please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , this is the only way to benefit the offer. Two chances, one flight, one accommodation and a lot of fun in a 5 star venue that hosted WDF Europe Cup 2014!
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