I had never really heard of this until a couple of weeks ago. What a gruelling yet ultimately rewarding competition for the top players who secure a tour card. I am on the hunt to have a couple of training sessions with the likes of Connie Finnan and Paddy Meaney!
In the last blog, I posted a picture of my brand new home set up, a lovely new Blade 4 with tyre and all. Now that I have moved from the stand on to the wall, I have noticed a huge difference in my game. Consistency rates are good, doubles are improving dramatically and overall I am relatively happy with my game.
A huge problem I have been suffering was the relentless altering of something in my throw. I was spinning the dart, and then I wasn’t. I had a four finger grip, then a three finger grip, then an appalling two finger grip before settling on the three. I was leaning forward, and then my back would get sore so I started standing straight. Catch my drift??
The problem was I couldn’t develop unless I was consistent. If the routine was changing all the time, how am I meant to get better? For the last few weeks, everything has been the same. I haven’t changed a thing! My head is in a good place too, I am not over thinking the game. Keep my routine solid and just repeat my little mantra before I throw:
'Relax… This is going in.'
Missed out by one leg!
I played in a tournament last week with 32 players. A very good standard of darts were on show in the club, with seven boards up. My board had five players, you played the best of three legs against four players, and the top two from each board who accumulated the most legs progressed to the last 16.
I was covering a match for the Kildare Nationalist and ended up rushing to the venue, leaving myself no time to warm up – I literally walked in the door and on to the oche. I lost 3-0 in my first outing, and while my opponent was decent, I should have done better. My hands were cold, I was rushing and hungry! Missed 12 darts at doubles in the first leg, 5 in the second and my head was completely shattered by the third.
On to my second opponent and I had assigned myself to defeat before a dart had been thrown, which is not good. He was wearing a Unicorn shirt, and that had me nervous! I know, stupid! And I went and took the first leg in 18 darts, before he stormed home with 16 and 13 dart legs to beat me 2-1.
Winning my third game 2-1, I was left with a slimmer of a chance of qualifying for the last 16. I needed to beat my opponent 3-0, something no one else had done in the group. At this stage, I was very confident, and walked up to the oche full sure that I was winning this match. AND I DID… 3-0!
At this point, qualifying didn’t matter to me. Well… it did, but I was a happy man. I had won two matches, with ample opportunities to have taken more from the other two. This is development. Although I missed out on getting to the last 16 by one leg, I had a very encouraging night.
I learned that no matter what, the warm up is crucial. You can’t expect to hop on the oche and throw well. In my opinion, you need between 45 minutes to an hour just to give the arm a chance to warm up. It’s only then will you start to see some consistent results.
Had a practice during the week, with six legs against the Computer. In those six legs; 6x100s, 3x140s and 1x180. I’m getting there!