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!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Special Exercises for Dart Arts Throwing

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

As a lead off, I had the privilege to toss a few darts with a couple of competitors this weekend in a place called Markleeville California. Since I had not tossed against others in over twenty years I was a bit tense, at first, but glad for the opportunity to practice, train and compete even if not actually a full fledged tournament. One of the players turned out to be pretty darn good so it gave me some realistic competition and that means I get to learn and grow as a dart artist. I considered it a good start back into a competitive environment. 

Since I had tossed a lot of darts of two nights for about two to three hours where I stepped up to the ocher line frequently I felt a considerable stress and strain of my right arm and shoulder girdle. It reminded me that to really compete, as is relevant in almost all disciplines of a sporting nature, you must get into, remain and maintain a fitness level of both mind and body. 

In this I came to remember a means of toughening up and strengthening the body and especially the throwing arm that I have started up the first day after such an eventful and teaching/learning weekend of darts. 

There are two ways to achieve this goal and both may be used if you desire. One, is with a boxer’s weighted gloves and the second is with the heaviest darts possible, i.e., I believe 30 grams. With the heavy darts you toss/throw in practice. I advocate using the heavy darts on days separated by other days using your normal weighted darts. In my particular case that is not possible so I tend to use the boxer’s gloves.

The boxer gloves are weighted, about one or two pounds maximum. The gloves are fingerless and the weights sit on the backside or the back of the hand. I use my typical stance, position and throw as described in other articles but no darts. I take hourly breaks at work to stretch and flex because I work a desk and computer. I also walks a few flights of stairs to get movement and invigorate the mind. Whenever I reach the bottom of the stairs, wearing the gloves, I assume a dart kamae and visualize while air-tossing darts at fixed targets in my vision, etc. Focusing on proper posture, positioning and the throw, etc., wearing the weighted gloves it gives me the feeling of dart weight in my hand and since the weights shift at the end of the throw it gives the arm and shoulder the feel of a dart in motion. This will and has strengthened my throwing shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist and hand - especially in the follow through - so that my body and mind get healthier, more fit and capable of tossing darts well over a longer period of time and competitive stresses. 

Wearing the weighted gloves puts a weight in the act of air-throwing darts that are lighter when actual darts are used in  practice against the dartboard without competitors as well as in a competitive environment. Add in other healthy and fitness exercises like pushups, etc. as well as general calisthenics to remain fit goes a long way to throwing good darts competitively. Don’t assume that throwing darts takes only such physical fitness and remember that there are other things to practice doing this exercise such as aiming, peripheral vision in the throw to remain in proper throwing position and process, the follow through and the actual target acquisitioning process - all visualized in the air-dart throw with weights exercise and practice. 

Good darts!

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

No comments:

Post a Comment