Beware of Perfection!
In the previous post I talked about the importance of knowing how to get the most out of your practice sessions. I explained the 5 characteristics that need to be included in your practice, and I explained the difference between matchplay and practice – both of which are very important.
If you haven’t already seen What makes a good practice routine, you can find it HERE:
In the next series of posts, I will go over several practice routines that are proven to work. Every one of them include all 5 of the vital criteria required, and all of them will push you to make improvements in your game.
They are all adaptable to whatever level you are at, so they work equally well for beginners as they do for the very skilled player. They are scalable up or down, so they never become obsolete – which is another important consideration to keep in mind when choosing the right practice routines.
There is one danger sign to be aware of before you begin ANY practice session – beware of perfection!!
As you progress, it’s easy to become caught up in the pursuit of perfection. Here’s an example of what I mean:
You have adapted the warm up routine to become a practice routine by itself. Rather than going around the board with no penalty for missing (as you would in the warm up to get your arm loose), you are now drilling down and getting serious.
If you haven’t seen the Warm Up routine, you can read it HERE:
You decide that you won’t settle for anything less than perfection, because that’s what we are all after, right? So, you can’t move on until you have hit 3 doubles with 3 darts.
You set off with the intention of hitting D20, D10, D10 without missing, and you can’t move on until you hit them. Then you go to the next step, which is D20, D19, D19 and so on.
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What happens here is that you quickly become frustrated, and the game will drag on for hours if you are not careful. Invariably, you will throw your darts down in anger and frustration and walk away feeling like a failure.
Perfection doesn’t happen very often, and NEVER on a consistent basis. We are all human beings, and as such we are not perfect.
If you follow tennis, Roger Federer is a great example. Is he perfect? Far from it – but he has been consistently brilliant throughout his career – and his record of 20 Grand Slam titles will be very hard to match in the future.
The same can be said for Phil Taylor, who is widely accepted to be the greatest darts player of all time. He doesn’t get anywhere near complete perfection. He may have hit a lot of perfect 9 dart games during his amazing career, but he wasn’t even close to doing it all the time. Nobody is, and nobody ever will be.
Instead, he worked hard at raising his base levels of accuracy and consistency. He settled for a level below perfection, and instead kept trying to raise his average level.
If you are to have any longevity in this game, you must aim for the same. Whatever your base level is at right now, your aim must be to slowly but surely improve on that. If perfection arrives on any set of 3 darts, accept it, revel in it, be pleased with it, and allow it to increase your confidence.
But don’t chase it.
Every practice session I advocate is scalable. In the warm up routine for example, if you adapt it into a practice session session by itself, new players can aim for getting 1 dart out of 6, 9, or even 12 or more darts. Where you start doesn’t matter – it’s where you end up that’s important.
As you improve, drop the number of darts required to hit 1 double. So for example, once you can comfortably hit 1 double out of 9 darts, reduce it to 6, and then penultimately down to 3.
You will see rapid improvement, and you will avoid the pitfalls of perfection. This is what you are aiming for, and your confidence will grow exponentially as you see the progress you are making.
The ultimate goal with this routine is to hit 2 doubles with each set of 3 darts. This is difficult, but very doable for capable players. It is a level below perfection, although you will hit 3/3 on many occasions. It gives a small margin of error, and it makes you try with each and every dart.
This is how you practice.
In the following posts I will add more routines that will keep your intensity levels up, and will rapidly improve your darting skills…
Darts Finishing Mastery: How to Master the Art of Finishing is chock full of useful, usable information that rapidly improves your game. Every page contains easy to understand, and yet very powerful strategies that will lock down your knowledge of the dartboard and give you a blue print to skyrocket your game to levels you didn't think possible.
If you don’t already have it, click on the picture below for details on how to obtain a copy: