We know, we know. You’re thinking to yourself: “I take the pointy thing and throw it at the wall. What could I possibly need to practice?” Watch this video of reigning world #1 Michael van Gerwen hit not one but two perfect 9 dart finishes in a single match. MVG’s excellence takes unbelievable natural talent and hand-eye coordination, of course, but he also practices 2-3 hours a day improving his craft when he’s not travelling, playing in exhibitions, or winning tournaments. On match day, he arrives at the facility 3-4 hours before start time to prepare on the practice board. Ask the pros, and they’ll tell you if you perform better in a match than in practice, you’re not practicing enough.
What’s the difference between an effective practice routine and just aimlessly throwing darts at the board? Let’s dive in.
A good practicing routine should…
…Improve Accuracy All Over the Board
Hitting bullseye after bullseye is great…but it won’t do you a lick of good in a tournament match playing 501 or cricket. Can you hit a triple reliably without clanging it off the spider? Are you comfortable everywhere on the board or do you gravitate to a certain quadrant as a crutch? Do you have the same routine to checkout every time, or are you confident no matter where the game takes you? The entire board is at your disposal – use it.
…Be Played Alone
Darts is a social game, but ultimately it’s just about you, the board, and the dart. Even though you’ll be competing against other people whether you play in amateur leagues or pro tournaments, practicing solo will better help you refine your game and mechanics. Use solo practice time to perfect your aim, of course, but also your throw mechanics and mental focus. It’s not about winning or outperforming an opponent, it’s about improving your game.
…Be Challenging, But Not Impossible
If you set out to hit a 167 out 10 times in a row, you’re going to have a miserable time. If you set to hit three darts into the bullseye on three consecutive shots, you’ll rip down the dartboard in frustration before you get it. Don’t set impressive feats as your standards, just set out to get better each time.
…Don’t Worry About Scoring
Fun little challenges and out achievements can be good practice routines, just make sure scoring isn’t the end all and be all. It’s more important to test out new patterns and to refine your mechanics. Your practice nine-dart outshot won’t count for anything, after all, so don’t let it distract you from the real benefits of practice.
Darts should be fun, after all. If you’re tense, nervous, or just plain bored in practice, wind it back. Yes, you’ll be challenged, you’ll fail sometimes, and you might even look silly. But it’s a game, so remind yourself to enjoy it and have fun with it. Take your cue from some of darts most legendary players, and they’re having the time of their lives.
At Purewater, we have everything you need to perfect your darts game in the comfort of your own home. Visit our Ottawa darts store to shop dart boards, darts, flights, shafts, accessories, and much more! Or, just come chat with our staff darts gurus about your shared love of the game.