Darts: a game where participants compete with one another by throwing small arrow like devices at a target that is round and has numbers and sections and an inner bull with an outer bull and so on. Darts now refer to the standard game with a specific bristle board design and a set of rules. Rules that are general to the game and rules that govern games like, “501,” “301,” and “Cricket.”

Darts is a traditional pub game that was and is commonly played in the United Kingdom as well as other places in Europe and across the pond here in the America’s.

Wikipedia tells hits history in a terse form, i.e., “The dartboard may have its origins in the cross-section of a tree. An old name for a dartboard is "butt"; the word comes from the French word but, meaning "target". In particular, the Yorkshire and Manchester Log End boards differ from the standard board in that they have no treble, only double and bullseye, the Manchester board being of a smaller diameter, with a playing area of only 25 cm across with double and bull areas measuring just 4 mm. The London Fives board is another variation. This has only 12 equal segments numbered 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10 with the doubles and triples being a quarter of an inch wide.”

There have been a variety of darts created over the years but the most common today is the tungsten dart. There are electronic darts but for this blog and for my efforts in tossing darts I remain a steel dart fan and enthusiast. I am recommending a book for novice darters but only because it appealed to me and my studies and rest assured most of the dart books out there are outstanding. In short, find one if this one does not fit your needs and get it. I can tell you when I started to play over twenty years ago, before I laid down my darts in 96, I tossed darts for several years without knowing some very important and critical mechanics, etc., of the dart game. As I take up once again my steel darts I have found a fountain of information to help make the game both enjoyable and competitive. Enjoy, diddle for the middle and let the darts fly!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dart Tricks

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Not really tricks but processes one would use to achieve the consistent dart throw a person seeks to master the dart arts. I use the term tricks because it tends to resonate with folks and that is important that what I try to provide is a resonance that helps me and other master the ability to throw consistent darts.

Visualization is one of those tricks, processes, that all disciplines use successfully to achieve goals. I use it all the time in other disciplines such as my practice of martial arts and karate, etc. Just google sports and visualization and the list will be endless. 

No, my goal here is to speak to a couple of tricks I am trying out because, at the start, they SEEM proficient in reaching my goal of a consistent-accurate dart toss. The first is to extend my arm completely in the aim at my target phase while the second is to consciously cock my arm for the throw so the dart comes all the way back into a full cocked position, i.e., the dart by my cheek then a third one is to make sure my aiming position is to hold the dart such as the shaft and barrel are vertical with the point directed at the floor. Then I add in the fourth trick to make sure the dart is pointing directly at the target and the entire dart remains in that position throughout the entire throw. 

Now, I don’t expect the reader to gleam the tricks by reading because that is not the point of the article, to teach you the tricks to throwing good darts but it is a way to convey the idea and process using a term that means something to you, dart tricks. I want to convey a means that you can associate with visualization that may provide you a means to achieve your consistent-accurate dart throw. 

You have to find your own dart toss, you have to find those tricks the get you there and you have to do your own practice, practice and practice. It may  be that these three things will lead you down the right path to mastering the dart arts. Also, this type of trick, if it succeeds, is also a physical means that creates a pattern and rhythm that reinforces your perfect dart throw. 

One of the other non-physical tricks I gleamed by playing is that most of the best shooters have a system of patterned moves, etc., they use to throw solid-consistent darts and that is to aim physically, feel the relaxed muscles for a relaxed throw, feeling the movement of a complete throwing arm and so on. You know, the mental gymnastics that triggers the mind to pull up the persons perfect throw.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

DART ARTS: Primal Conditioned Response

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

What some refer incorrectly or inaccurately as “muscle control.” Primal conditioned response is a state of mind and body achieved through deliberate conscious repetitive practice and training.

Now, that being said, as long as each person fully and completely understands what they perceive and insinuate regarding the phrase, “Muscle Memory,” there is no reason to not use it. It is necessary and incumbent on sensei to make sure when using it in the dojo that the practitioners and student body do understand what it is when you say, “Developing muscle memory through deliberate conscious repetitive practice and training.” 

In truth, a lot of reality-based adrenal stress-conditioned practice and training is often best to encode our primal conditioned response systems so that when chaos of violence hits we can trigger the appropriate responses, etc., to achieve our goals, strategies and tactics. 

As one relatively unknown arthur stated, “It is not easy for some men to know they have done evil, for reasoning and honor are often clouded by pride.” - Jessica Entiedy

Set aside pride and allow our logical reasoning and honor to get-r-done. 

 More on the subject:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Classical Darts vs. Techno-Darts

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Caveat: I do have a bias and agenda on this article, I am old school steel darts and even tho the advent of techno-darts has a place in the dart community, I still feel it is a detriment to the longevity to the classic dart arts - sigh!

What is classical darts? When I think of classical darts, the Dart Arts, I think of steel tips; I think of strategy; I think of the tactics; think of fluid mathematics; I think of physiokinetics; I think of consistency of action; I think of the OODA; I think of the social interactions; I the of the competitive spirit; I think of the brotherhood of darters; and many other complementary traits that make classical darts, traditional.

What is techno-darts? Modern technically driven darts first instituted in electronic "Soft-tip darts" where a good portion of classical darts is taken away from the darter and provided by the electronic dart board - in short, lazy-darts.

Now, with the tech-revolution the classic steel tip darts world is being absorbed into aversion of electronic darts. The cell phone and its apps are being developed that literally play the best part of the game for you where the darter has to do nothing more then the mechanical part of the dart 🎯 arts. 

It recommends to you choices as you throw each dart and all you do is choose and throw. It even has an on-line community that removes the social aspects and the challenge of competition against a live person is removed so you throw to your home practice board, enter your scores and someone, somewhere in the world, then throws his or her darts and enters their score and whalla, you have a game, a game far removed from the challenges incurred in a live game that make classical darts a challenge. 

It seems that our society is falling off the edge of the social spectrum and that people for one reason or another simply don’t want all the stresses that come with social interactions. They fail to understand that for our species to survive we have to have personal contact at least on the level of the tribe or family and that families survive by their association with other families. Social media allows us to do things, things we normally in social interactions would never do, without the repercussions of close social proximity. There are other more social and critical meanings involved especially in regard to species or social survival, ours. 

Anyway, the process of going techno-darting is going to be a winner in these more social media endeavors and popularity, ease of use and convenience let alone the instant gratifications involved with minimal effort of the mind and body will mean this techno-dart thing will catch on and grow - IT TAKES no REAL EFFORT!

It seems that steel classic dart arts may end up being a small dart art where only the few, often older darters, will gather together, play local games, do the local league darts and not much else. One area that will be missed is the addition to the Olympic Games but as the game is watered down and the effort and challenge is removed for ease of use through technology that dream will die if it has not died already. It would be like making the game of “Clue” an Olympic Sport, NOT!

What's next, a virtual dart board and virtual darts?
Goodbye both steel and soft tip darts?

Monday, December 12, 2016

DART ARTS: Getting Perspective

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Progress in the dart arts can be troublesome especially if a newbie has not yet gotten proper perspective to his or her ability as related to others. It comes down to getting a perspective but to do so means you have to experience and witness other darters from the very novice levels all the way up to the most proficient. 

It would be a very large mistake to simply take the top players as a litmus test to one’s ability in tossing a few arrows. I mean, you have to gain a perspective as to the darter, their level and their status as player being once agin the novice to the middle level to the top players. 

It came to me when viewing the various stages of one particular top player. We of the social media and Internet tech-revolution era that most of the great players are recorded and available on media outlets like Youtube. When you get the opportunity you should collect a wide range of play for those top players so that you can see how they play the dart arts over time. 

In one video, a novice player of young years, the player thows some darts and it becomes obvious when the hit their targets yet sill drift off into side scores such as either a “1” or a “5” when going for the twenty that compared to your own throws seems close or similar then you begin to get a better picture or perspective as to how well you shoot.

I say this simply because, I have and have witnessed, others get so frustrated and angry when the darts fail to cooperate and hit the intended targets. Yes, this is the art of the dart, the chaos and art of tossing darts as so many variables are involved that on occasion you may not see, feel or realize what exactly happens when the dart thrown goes awry, i.e., misses the target by a millimeter or a mile. 

Finding perspective to your dart arts vs. all those other players of various levels helps you find that level and gives you hope that you to have the ability and the possibility of becoming a top player in the world of dart sports. It is a reminder that even the very best fall off the mark and score low scores. It is the mark of a professional to see it when it happens, to remain in control and to then pull yourself back into proper form and execution to be the dart, to be the target and to hit it consistently. 

Get some perspective, view the best and the worst and find your place in comparison to gain a perspective, a realistic perspective, of your ability and potential. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why 501/301 vs. 500/300

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I thought the answer was going to be complicated but in truth it isn’t and the “01” games, as they are often referred to by the dart arts, got its start from another game. The game of Cribbage played on olod English pubs, a card game, that scores from the value in the cards and scored by the peg holes in a “Crib board.” 

It is the crib board that hints at the “01” aspect rather than just picking an even number like 300 or 500, etc. There are thirty holes on each side of the crib board … wait for it … plus one extra hole per side called the “Home” making the score sixty-one.

I quote, “In the early days of modern darts the score, to enable scores to be fairly recorded, was defined as 'five times round' the crib board, that is a total of 300 (60 x 5) plus 1 - 301. At every stage of play the players could see where they were in terms of score by looking at the crib board.”

Then chalking was introduced and to change the already established rule of the “01” games was not needed because, as you know, history and heritage often keep things the same such as, “If it works, don’t change it” attitude. 

“When chalking was introduced and as more people began to play, later versions of the game were anything - 01, (601, 701, 1001, 1,000,001 etc) but this is how it all started. Also, if the - 01 wasn't there it would make darts terribly boring as good players would just keep hitting 20s. With the - 01 it means that players have to move away from the 20 bed - at least for a short while - in order to win the game.”

This is why I use golf, a common well-known game to everyone, as an analogy to playing dart “01” games where the long game is to bring the score down as quick as possible to at least 170 or less, then the short game is working to get the “double-out” in the least amount of throw darts as humanly possible. 

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Patrick Chaplin: Darts History> as the inspiration for this post.

Note: the above hat tip link takes you to a site that has a lot of historical information about the dart arts. Interesting stuff to say the least, soooo, “Game On!”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mastering the Dart Arts

I recently came across something that hit me like a ton of bricks causing a paradigm shift about learning and applying such things as the dart arts, i.e., how to stand, throw, score and master darts. It may not come to you when you play the video but contemplate what is being said and taught because it is the very secret to the performance in the dart arts.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Perspective: Reference Points

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

When I started back up in the dart arts I still held no real perspective as to my abilities, i.e., in those days with no Youtube you only saw Darts played on certain sports channels or you observed players at local and intermediate tournaments. If you didn’t play well and were taken out early you often, as I did, left and headed home. 

Sometimes you become frustrated especially when three darts hit hight scores and the immediate followup three hit something like 44 points, i.e., one twenty, one trip one and a single one. I can’t tell you how many times I got angry with myself and could not figure out the why to how the darts would fly.

Well, today, as a newbie boot darter I have way more reference points to observe in order to get a better perspective on my dart ability as it stands with other players and especially the professional top dart artists in the world. How you might say? Well, as we are all aware there is way more material and references out there due to the techno-revolution we live in at this time, this moment. 

As a part of my practice I put my highest dart score in a picture, thank you for cell camera’s, and put it on my cell phone desktop to see every time I answer my phone then I put my email in to the PDC site to receive notification of top player youtube video’s so I can watch how the top players actually toss darts.

One guy many years ago said the sports folks often cut out the bad dart throws and only presented the best but today the full video’s are presented for our viewing pleasure and you can readily see those top ten players throw awesome darts interspersed every now and then with some really low scoring poor darts. In short, they are pretty much just like me and my fellow dart artists but with two distinct differences, i.e., first, they have developed greater consistency in throwing great throws with the fewest bad darts; two, they are able to demonstrate both a math ability and a set of steel nerves playing tournaments to include those played in front of hundreds in the audience and millions via media like television.

Yes, there are some other traits they develop that put them at the master dart arts levels but these two stand out for me. When I now throw good ones then some bad ones I have heart and confidence that what I am doing is normal and along with integrity, discipline and hard practice those darts are normal and I will improve, etc. 

In short, the frustration and disappointment now are so low, and mostly rare in expression, feeling and stresses, that I throw, ignore the bad and then come back and throw good again. It allows me a certain mind-state that lessons the stress-conditions of my throws in competition and allows me a calmer dart attitude, a good start. 

Being able to see that your darts are not all that far away from what is normal darts for everyone at every level then you can focus on achieving a mastery level that puts you up there with the few who achieve such goals, i.e., all things are possible; all players endure the same things; all players have the same potential. 

Use the material you have available to see, feel and toss good darts so you can understand that things are not even close to being as bad as they use to seem - to me and my mind anyway. 

Get some perspective from reference points of fellow players, others and the professionals/master darters. All part of getting the game on!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Maddening Dart Arts (Where is darts today)

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

It is maddening and complex and simple and just plain frustrating but it is the dart arts. Darts in America are often thought of as a “game” played by lower class manual labor types who use it as a means or excuse to drink, smoke and haphazardly play a simple child’s game. Alas, this is so far off the mark that it is … wait for it … MaddenING!

Darts are considered a Olympic Qualified Sport, i.e., possibly able to get the Olympic Committee to consider it as an Olympic Sport in 2024 … but until then, what?

Lets get back to basics, darts can be maddening and frustrating because to play the sport requires so many variables that just one can throw off one’s aim to miss a high score for a low score of say one point or five points vs. twenty. I can tell you, personally, that one of my greatest frustrations is when I practice and score high then transition to a game or competition then end up throwing really bad darts with intermittent good ones. Grrrrrr, maddening!

If you take the time to read some of the other articles in this blog you can get a sense of the complexities and strategies and tactics involved in the dart arts. To give an example an article long ago tried to explain this concept in the dart arts, I quote, “Darts players face strategic decisions on virtually every throw, and they need to subtract with calculator quickness to determine the proper number to aim for. Beyond that, each championship-level match is psychological, as in tennis or golf, in which the one who succumbs to pressure first usually loses.” - NYTimes, dtd February 1, 1985

Today, American Darts seems to me to be stagnate and possibly in decline. In Europe, where darts attract a large audience and provide large purses, darts is on sport television and the game of choice is 501, both single-on and double-on games. Here in the U.S. the game of choice seems to be Cricket with 301 being a kind of middle game where Americans play all three - best two out of three - for tournament and league competition. The Europeans play much longer and more legs and matches/sets (player must win a number of sets composed of a number of legs, to win a match) to win place as to what the consider “World Champion Darts.” 

I actually watch the matches from sky-sport television when they are released on PDC’s Youtube site. One winner, after twelve hours of play, finally won the competition with first place. Now, that is twelve hours of play with appropriate breaks between either matches or a set of legs, etc. That is a physical and psychological challenge to say the least.

Then as the quote describes, a player must not just master the art of the dart throw but develop and implement proper strategic abilities and decisions on the fly, i.e., at every dart thrown, mathematically calculate also on the fly and then remain accurate in the throw while dealing with adrenal stress-conditions and effects (explained in other articles on this blog). 

The real challenge is for an observer to perceive the challenge and difficulty of the dart arts because, on the surface, it seems easy enough. After all, the made a game for kids. Note: that game never caught on because it was never accepted that the game is difficult so when kids fail to do well even after playing for a while and practicing is because they could NOT hit the target. 

Even adults will scoff until they actually pick up a set of darts, stand at the oche line and toss them at a target. They assume that it is just about hitting the bulls but fail to see that if so why have all those pies and scores and both the double and triple rings, etc. If it were like archery then you have the rings and bull with a goal of hitting as close to the bull as possible BUT in the dart arts you have to play the long game, score high points, then the short game, hit a three dart out combination or close out the 20’s, 19’s, 18’s, 17’s, 16’s and 15’s by hitting three darts in the pie or one dart in the triple or one dart in the double and one in the pie. Oh, and remember that until closed either darter can hit a closed score area to earn points that an opponent must exceed while closing out that number, etc. See, even this terse and simplistic explanation of the games gives the impression that it is not just a kids game, it is a sport and an art.

Oh, add in also that in 301, and some 501 games, you have to ‘double in score’ to start scoring, i.e., to begin scoring you first have to hit a double ring score to start. Double out is standard in all 501 and 301 games. It creates a great deal of adrenal-stress-conditioned effects that overall change the way the game is played.

So, you see, at least initially and fundamentally, that the sport/art of darts takes a lot of training, practice and playing to achieve some semblance of expertise that leads to winning. It takes a consistent, disciplined and psychological toughness to play well, to throw well and to score well enough to place let alone win league and tournament competitions. 

I spent some time recently returning to the game and with the evolution of the Internet I found it disturbing and disappointing that the dart arts here in the America’s has lost ground and interest. I am witnessing more and more loss of players with no potential new players taking up the game. I also feel that the techno-evolution that is happening today is taking away the challenges of darts for the more exciting and satisfying and gratifying video games played on TV’s, Computers, iPads, Laptops, and cell phones. The only redeeming quality is perceived as the actual gathering together of real human beings, in person, standing up and playing the sport of darts but then the convenience of playing some video game alone or on-line against others seems gratifying yet there is seldom a gathering of actual humans who can see one another, talk with one another, get a social connection with one another and then communicating at a level still unobtainable through technology, i.e., facebook, twitter and other social media software systems. 

There is something, to me, more tactile and visceral that one gets from close social human contact even in the type of dart arts played, i.e., steel tip darts vs. soft tip electronic games. Hmmm, another article on the steel vs. soft-tip?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Mental Strength

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

In recent reviews of the best of darts matches for 2016 it has become clear just how much mental strength is to the dart arts. Yes, strength is not exactly the best term to describe the mind-state and mind-set necessary to achieve great darts so I will try to describe what it is that makes for, “Mental strength.”

The greatest obstacle that the dart artists must train for is, “Adrenal triggered stress-conditions of competition.” Lets face it, most who throw darts can achieve a relatively good throw but what happens when the pressure is applied in competitions, especially against strangers and especially against known pro’s who have held high levels of darts then the stress builds and effects how we throw.

What are the effects of such mind stresses, “Loss of fine motor skills, anxiety, fear, palpitations or increased heart rates, sweating, nausea and possible vomiting, dizziness and tremors,” to name a few (spacial issues, auditory exclusion, etc.). They are the flight or fight get-r-done chemicals for human survival and they don’t help even a little when you play darts. 

When you get stressed the major adrenal stress condition in darts is loss of fine motor skills causing darts to fly off into the five or one pie. This brings us back to mind strength. Learning to overcome such stressors from the adrenal or chemical dump can be most difficult. It takes a certain mind-set or attitude of confidence to make it go away or at least manageable. To achieve a level of experience to achieve this goal means you need to practice a lot and you need to compete a lot in all sorts of venues from local pubs to larger sanctioned contests.  

It is also wise to remember that experience overcoming the effects of the chemical dump from other sources or triggers such as sport competitions does not mean that when you enter the arena and approach the ockey line you won’t still succumb to the dump, those are different triggers. Yes, it will help you to achieve that gaol faster but not as fast as flooding yourself with competitive experiences. It helps explain why some go through a long period of competitions to reach the majors, so to speak, of the dart arts. 

The Throw: (more … II) Arm, Elbow and Release

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

At throw set up make sure the dart is set at the same position every time, this is how to attain consistent throws. Top of the index finger is on the triple twenty much like the front site blade of a rifle. The circle formed by the thumb on the opposite of the dart can also be a rear sight aperture allowing you to perceive/see the dart board. 

The elbow must not drop and it must not rise up high, that changes the darts trajectory. The elbow also has to stay vertical, i.e., the forearm is vertical so that the hand and elbow are directly vertical to one another with the elbow stationary and pointing directly to the ground. 

The body and arm and elbow once in position should not move down or up, it remains stationary and the same each and every throw. Now, the release of the dart.

Once you throw, you must get a good extension with a follow through so the arm remains at the level of the elbow and the forearm extends completely while the hand also extends allowing the fingers to release at the appropriate apex of the throw and then the hand, fingers, etc., follow through toward the dart board target, in this example the triple twenty. 

Follow through requires the full extension of the arm, the hand and wrist my flow out toward the target, the fingers must release at the point or apex of the throw and then the hands and fingers follow through pointing to the target or continue, if that helps, till the fingers and hand rotate out to the target and slightly downward to complete the extension and follow through. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Throw - more

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

There are all kinds of principles involved in the dart arts but it might be that the actual throw holds high importance in the overall way a game is played. The following are provided as a general guide to what you want to look at and for in developing and maintaining your dart arts throw.
  • Grip
  • Straight barrel dart
  • Thumb and forefinger last to leave dart at end of throw to follow through.
  • Common stance, foot just off a side-position, i.e., abut thirty degrees between a side stance and toe-on.
  • Don’t lean forward much, keep body over knee and ankle (see the consistency article)
  • All about a rhythm, consistent smooth rhythm and cadence from aim, retraction and then throw with follow through.
  • Elbow once set in the aim - DOES NOT DROP. 
  • Elbow remains pointing vertically down to the ground and then rises up to the arm aim level as you reach the follow through, extension of hand, fingers, etc., as the dart leaves the hand and arcs to the target.
GRIP: Find your grip, one that provides you an important trait of throwing good darts. Once you find that most excellent of grips make sure you use it in every throw; make sure you feel the grip each throw when your grasp the next dart; make sure the grip and dart are situated to maximize the throw from start to follow through. Remember, the more fingers you involve in the grip the greater chance of missthrows, etc. 

STRAIGHT BARREL DART: Just a preferred barrel for, I feel, most good dart players. I like the narrow one provided by the company who makes the piranha darts with the razor grip barrel. Yes, there are other types of barrels that are good and it is best to find the one that suits your throwing style best. 

THUMB & FOREFINGER: To my throw, these two fingers dominate, i.e., are the control of my throw. It dictates how I hold the dart and it positions the dart in the place I need to throw using fingers, joints, the hand/palm, the wrist flex and extension along with other factors that make my throw a good one. As the checks above insinuate the thumb and forefinger are the last part of your hand on the dart as you enter your follow through. 

COMMONALITIES INVOLVED: Body balance and stability are paramount; how you lean at the ockey line determines these two body states; the rhythm of your throw remains steady with proper cadence when the body does NOT move, even a smidgeon. Watch yourself throw by suing your cell to take a video from the side and then note those aspects of the perfect throw that need to be improved, adjusted or kept stable and proper for the sake of continuity. The extension of the arm, hand and dart to start; the retraction and where it cycles into the forward momentum of your throw, the attitude and energy in the entire throw; and the follow through where you will actually see the hand, wrist and fingers flop out and down in the follow through, after the dart leaves the forefinger and thumb. Watch the pro’s and you will see how relaxed and flexible they are at that point. 

BODY MECHANICS OF STANCE: Read the stance and throw articles here: 

CREATION; RHYTHM & CADENCE: Like music, you have actual notes that can be heard then you have natural voids or empty timings and spaces that contribute to the overall sound of the music. Notes that run together tend to make for chaos in the sound we hear but appropriate spaces or pauses between the notes can make for a simple tune to an actual opera of sound. How you approach the line, assume the stance, prepare the throw and set the mind state all lead to that actual throw and when the throw begins it is an opera of movement toward a sound, “thunk”, when the dart hits the intended target - there is little like that moment in the dart arts except achieving good darts in competition with dart-ists of like mind. 

THE ELBOW: The check explains this well as does the basics of the throw linked above but physiokinetics and other principles and sub-principles are how we learn the importance of the elbow as to both positioning and movement when the throw is performed. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

First Dart

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

First dart, is the first dart of three thrown at every turn. It is a pivotal dart to the three and often influences the second and third dart in the first up at the ockey line as well as the subsequent turns of the game. Since professionally driven tournaments tend to be about several games in what is termed, a leg, where a darter may play for hours and win only by accumulated wins of games, etc.

Even in local games, that first dart really should be the perfect dart. Humans tend to be effected by things first. It is not to say that even a bad first dart is overcome through perseverance but often it fails simply because the darter failed to learn, understand and train to the understanding of the first dart effects. 

When that first dart hits the board, using all the other aspects of dart physiokinetics, it will often lead the mind that leads the body toward how the second dart flies. Training and practice, lots of it along with hands-on live experience in locals, regional and professional darts is how one achieves a good, solid, first dart. 

All the other four of the five principles of good darting are how we achieve a good first dart. Having a good comfortable properly weighted dart; assuming a consistent solid, stable and comfortable stance while achieving also a consistently rhythmic cadence in your throw is setting up the good first dart. The fourth principle is about clothing with emphasis on shoes. We all have to be grounded to throw good darts

Grounding is about setting a stance that does not strain or exhaust the player especially when throwing darts over long tournament time spans as well as long arduous movement and stances in the game. Then there is the mind-set and mind-state necessary to overcome those mental issues that effect your dart, your stance, your rhythm and cadence and that first dart - the one that sets the stage for dart two and three. 

If a darter takes the time and puts in the sweat equity through effort, dedication and perseverance they will achieve a dart discipline that will carry them progressively toward dart mastery and that means achieving dart game successes taking them up to the professional levels of the dart arts. 

Now, ain’t darts fun?

Note: Aside of the first dart is the, “Third Dart.” The first dart often when done well immediately leads to the second dart of awesomeness but sometimes when the mind perceives the potential of that third dart can often cause some form of change in the dart discipline such as a bit more tensing of the shoulder or a slight shift in some aspect of the stance and/or throw that will cause that third dart to sail off into the one or five cut of the pie. In my way, if you feel that slight change and if your mind is properly set into a darter state of mind you will feel that change. When you do  then your discipline is to sometimes STOP your third throw to reset yourself for a solid third dart. This is often a part of the stages of achieving mastery in the dart arts. The goal is to achieve a great first dart and great successive darts, i.e., two and three, where such hesitations in throwing the third are eliminated. 

Take time to watch a few of the high-end professional matches and observe how they throw the three darts. The variety is astounding and the goal is to find your own way and make it work, for you. View the pro’s; analyze the various methods and principles; hypothesize how all of them can work for you; sort out the chaff from the wheat; synthesize a way of dart discipline, i.e., dart, stance, throw and consistency, etc., and then make it your own each time, every time and every dart. 

Tips on Darting

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

In a nutshell there is no excuse for a darter to throw bad darts. Unlike over twenty years ago, there are way to many professionals out there putting out advice on throwing good darts that one cannot miss learning appropriate tips to achieve good dart arts. There is one source, Rod Harrington, who created five youtube video’s for five tips on darting (see link that follows). The five are as follows with just a bit of a tweak to add in my feelings on darting, the dart arts. 

  1. Dart - for every grip there is a dart and weight that fits it. 
  2. Stance - Comfort, stability, balance and rhythm-cadence with consistency.
  3. Rhythm - one of the most important aspects of darts using the first two, i.e., a good comfortable dart and having an adequate stable comfortable balanced stance. The rhythm must be consistent in all darts but especially from the first dart to the second and then the third for a consistent rhythmic three darts to target. 
  4. Shoes - Nice solid thick sole with a decent heel. The comfort, especially over long periods of time walking to the ockey line, to the board for dart retrieval and then back behind your opponent to await your turn. Personally, the athletic shoe works well as long as you find one that supports and does not result in strain once you assume your stance and when you assume the stance multiple times over a long match period. 
  5. First Dart - The first dart has to be in a solid advantageous position, i.e., take your time with the dart because in most cases how that dart flies and lands will influence and effect the second and third dart. If you miss the treble 20 how that shaft and flight sit will block or allow another chance at the treble but if your first dart flies off to the five or one you chances of getting back on target diminish, i.e., often the second and third will fly badly. If your first dart is bad, take a moment and step back if you wish from the ockey line, get your mind back in the dart then step up as if the second were the first dart and visualize quickly how it flies and strikes the target then let it fly. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Diddle for the Middle

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Diddling is how the dart artists determine who throws first in a match. What I find different from the European way of diddling is this, i.e., “Europeans determine who goes first by throwing and hitting the double bull or the single bull or as close to the single bull as possible, etc.,” and “Americans determine who goes first by throwing to the double bull but even if both hit the double bull they measure who comes closest to the absolute center of that double bull.” Hmmmm …

I like the European way, i.e., toss the bull and if both hit the double bull they re-throw until one or the other goes outside the double bull. This also applies if both hit the single bull, they re-throw until either one or the other hits the double or either one or the other misses the bull while the other hits the bull - single or double. Make sense?

Doing it this way, the European way, leaves no room for contesting just how close one is compared to the other especially when it is so very, very close. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

In the Money

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Last nights local game turned out pretty good for me, I was in the money as they say, i.e., I finished well enough to get some mony - $7 ;-) Now, you might be thinking (and laughing your keister off to boot), seven bucks, are you serious? Yea, it isn’t the amount that matters to me but that I improved my game and got to the finals where I placed. 

Since my darts have been gone for well over twenty years, since I have not been back in the game at the local level just as long and since this is only my fourth outing at a local doubles blind draw I feel pretty good about the improvement of my dart arts.

My first three outings showed consistent moderate improvement. My fourth outing was a dump, I won only one game and that was mostly due to my partner in that game. Then, last night, I had a hit and miss set of games with most excellent partners but I hit some decent darts to carry my weight - mostly. 

At first, warming up before the night of darts began, I played 301 with another darter and my shots were crap. She’s a good player but regardless, my darts pretty much sucked and got worse up to the last five minutes before the games began. I had five minutes to get some semblance of my throw back on. 

Game ON! Started off a bit rough then I got in some decent darts. Can’t remember when, but I hit a few three dart higher scores, for me they were higher, where at least twice I hit 100 points or a bit more. Felt really good. 

The best part of the night, while practicing a bit before pairing up for the finals, a solid darter sitting behind me spoke up and complemented me on my form and such. He did say that I had this tendency to cut off my throw, not following through. Yes, a very bad habit from the old days that I am trying to overcome. He also had some cool advice on overcoming and reprogramming my throw for more consistency in the follow through. 

Ball up a piece of paper and throw it at the wall from the proper distance. The lightness of the paper makes it hard to reach and hit the wall solid, solid as balled up paper can, unless you follow through. I practice on a dart board but at work this could be great for practice during my two daily breaks and my lunch hour - very cool and very nice of him to chime it and help me and my game out. 

When the final rounds began I was a bit pumped and made some decent and beneficial throws to carry, support and win the round that put us in the money, so to speak ;-). Really decent improved night of darts, makes for a positive reinforcement toward continued improvement and makes for something positive to work on in practice. 

Game On, the Boot!!!

Hat tip (Ritsu-rei) to <Ray, my partner at the Paddock Bowl Local Dart Tourney ;-) > as the inspiration for this post.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

GAME: Psych Tricks in Darts

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

I remember the last time I played in any tournament a person, who played really well too boot, tried to psych out his opponents through his body language but mostly by the things he would say around those he played. I often wondered why, is it just because winning was so darn important to him he felt he had to use whatever method he could to win, Win, WIN!

What it meant to me, later because I tried that for a while too, was I had a lack of confidence in my abilities in darts that I would resort to such tactics to win. It meant that when I would or did win by such means, I won not by my ability but by using tricks. Compliance professionals abound in this world whose goals are always to get something from others often to their benefit financial and sometimes to their benefit of other resources. 

In a perfect world two darters will step up to the ocky line, throw their throws and win on dart skills without resorting to tricks or games of psych-means. This may sound a bit naive but to me, winning a dart game and tournament means winning on my skills throwing darts and playing the strategies and tactics of the game to achieve that goal while using other means is just not how I wish to go. 

It is like a world class darter playing against  a relatively inexperienced darter going for massive points in cricket to not just win but to win by such a margin that the inexperienced player is beaten down both mentally as well as proficiency in the dart arts. Yes, I know they frown on that but it does happen often in a malicious mean self-serving, to the player doing it, way that it can be a detriment to the game and gamesmanship itself. 

I assume it is a lack of self-esteem and a means to make the person feel good about themselves at the expense of others - I call them bullies. Make your dart arts yours first and foremost, make your proficiency and expertise about your skills in throwing and don’t resort to bully tactics because that is, in my view, the wrong way to win. 

If I were to one day win a world class level tournament, I would hope, want and expect that win to come from within me and against another darter of equal or greater skills without resorting to some trick to win. For me, it is about honor and sportsmanship and gamesmanship and to win outside that would be to lessen myself and my dart arts. 

Let me try to explain it this way, “Ruthlessness,” there is a ruthlessness necessary to get and hold a world level professionalism and proficiency. One is to use whatever means necessary and the other is to use those inherent skills of the professional to reach the same level. Using my marital background as an example: “I will be ruthless in the methodologies I implement in a self-defense situation; I will be ruthless at the force levels appropriate to achieve those goals; I will be ruthless in stopping a predatory attack; I will be ruthless in this while maintaining honor and dignity. I will NOT be ruthless to the point where I violate the social constructs of the legal and moral laws, requirements and social conditions necessary for society and societies/group survival. I will cause no grave harm or death unless justified in the arena of conflict and violence as directed, dictated and mandated by society and the various groups that make up our way of life. 

In the Dart Arts: I will be ruthless in my training; I will be ruthless in my practice; I will be ruthless in throwing darts in every game and in every tournament; I will NOT sacrifice my honor or my dignity or my social position in society or the game or the dart arts to win; I will win in a way that is appropriate and beneficial to me, my opponent, and to the dart arts and dart game. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Does Dart Equipment …

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

For your entertainment,
not a meaningful any-
Does the dart equipment one uses provide significant improvement in the person’s dart game? I am a new-novice player, i.e., my two or so years in darts was over twenty years ago so I put myself back in the novice arena until I can build my prowess in my throw up to an acceptable level along with some more and significant competitive status, so I tend to think that the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes-n-No.”

Yes, at a fundamental level the equipment does make a difference and No, it is not the end all to the perfect throw that some tend to assume when their actual throw is and stays questionable, inconsistent and just off. I am a firm believer that your throw and your game come from deep down inside yourself, your mind; mind-set; mind-state and competitive ability. The equipment is a necessity because there is a point where the out of the box toy-like darts. Those types of darts give the most professional world dart leaders some difficulties in throwing and hitting the targets. 

This presents a conundrum to the entry-level novice player, choosing the right equipment that will help you achieve your dart prowess while not creating a dependency on that equipment and using it as an excuse when things don’t go well. I advocate and firmly believe that using the middle of the road tungsten darts to find your fundamental throw is more important than finding what others might recommend as the best dart for you.

You have to find the best dart for you, no one else can do that due to too many personal individual unique physical and mental states. You are unique and an individual who has to find, understand then accept your physical and mental traits, etc. and then find the best equipment to supplement and enhance our innate ability in the dart arts. 

For me, with my past experience, I know that I need a longer, slimmer and textured dart set so I chose a 90% tungsten steel tip dart set with a medium shaft and a stand set of flights. I keep those pieces of equipment standard and in a parts box along with a case for carrying safely. Everything else beyond that as equipment to my mind is merely sales-oriented profit gathering stuff that one who becomes dependent on equipment to make their darts fly type thing. The stuff is fun and I tend to like buying what appeals to me but I DO NOT assume or allow those things to dictate how I throw darts. 

So, in a nutshell, just because someone throws well and has chosen the most advantageous equipment, for themselves, does not mean that if a player buys the same that they will become professional world class dart players themselves. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Two of the Best in the World

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Take a look:

When you begin to feel like your darts are crap just remember what one most excellent dart player once said to me, “We all choke at one time or another.” This goes for the worlds best players as well. There are a group of video’s titled, “Darts Fails ?” and I am only up to #8 so far. Watch them when you feel really bad about how your darts fly and remember, everyone goes through such disappointments even the pro’s. 

Just remember, perspective is important in the dart arts. How you perceive yourself and your darts matters for if you are too hard on yourself and you assume something inappropriate then you lose. Seeing the best in the world drop their proficiency to, for example, having to hit a double one to win then missing it over and over and over again is a way to let yourself know that bad darts are normal and you WILL experience them regardless of the level of play you reach. 

Dart Arts Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)