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How to make your darts training more effective

There are several things you can do to make your darts training more effective but many beginners neglect some of the most important keys just because they are too eager to get started, throw darts and improve. Here are some areas you really should pay attention to, to boost your training sessions.

Warm up properly

Before an intense training session, play in the league or a tournament you need a proper warm up. Not just routines to use with your darts to loosen up and get dialled in on the board. Many players neglect the importance of a proper physical warm up. To get your arm and the mechanics prepared for throwing darts. If you warm up properly and also add a bit of stretching after your darts sessions, you also minimize the risk to get shoulder/arm/neck injuries.

With the first few minutes when you start throwing darts, focus on the mechanics and the follow through rather than what you aim at or what you hit.
Make sure your throw is as smooth and relaxed as possible. Don’t stress this phase to try out a new fun game or start hunting the trebles.

When your arm feels relaxed and ready to start throwing there are many ideas and suggestions for best warming up routines. If you for example check the Playlists feature on GoDartsPro you’ll find many different warming up routines shared by other members. You need to find what works best for you but to give you some ideas, here’s a few you can try:

– Around the board (three darts at every single/double/treble – no pressure, just get ready for business)
– 20 – BULL – 3 (get your arm dialled in verically)

You can also try different switching routines to warm up on different important targets such as the SwitchBlade, PowerSwitch or Switching Doubles.

Focus on every dart

A common mistake is to neglect the importance of focusing on every dart. Never throw a dart if you don’t really mean it. If you don’t get a good score with your first two darts, it doesn’t make it better by throwing away the last dart without full focus and intention. That’s also one reason several games on GoDartsPro got a feature to ”Save the throw” with last dart in different ways (like ”Save score with bull” as in the game 501 O’Clock).

Play short effective games

Another common misstake is to play too long sessions too often. Of course you need to mix up your training and being able to stay focused during longer sessions but it is easier to keep focus if you have short effective games with some fun gamification/challenge to it.
Most of the MICO-factor games are short and effective and got a decent amount of pressure added to it to make it more challenging. The Exponential Bundle and the Pivot bundle for example.

Practise with the Virtual Coach

The Virtual Coach is designed and developed to challenge you to perform just on top of your average. If you do that regularly your average will increase and you will improve. Sounds easy but of course it gets harder and harder. The Virtual Coach also compares your stats with thousands of other members stats to see where your flaws are and what kind of games and task will be suitable for you.

The Virtual Coach will suggest different challenging tasks for you to finish and will inspire you to practise more structured.

Set short and long goals

Short-term goals help you stay motivated and focused since you can see results more quickly.
Long-term goals may feel a bit far away in the future, making it harder to stay motivated while working on them. But they’ll give you direction, purpose, and a roadmap for your future success.

You might have heard about the SMART goals method, but what are SMART goals? The SMART in stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

As your goals are being developed and phases of different goals are being accomplished, it is good practice to reevaluate each goal and make sure they are still relevant and achievable. Once any of your goals have been accomplished, make sure to celebrate the success and start setting up new SMART goals.
You might have set a goal to reach 25 180’s during the year, but also to reach a certain average in the High-Score game for a month for example. If you haven’t got any specific goals yet, pick a few favourite games on GoDartsPro and set some Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals for them.

Quick pause after 20-30 minutes

If you’ve recently started to play darts it is so easy to just spend hour after hour at the board throwing thousands of darts each day. It is so much fun and you are so inspired and dedicated to improve faster than your friends and opponents.
But if you don’t take pauses about every 20-30 minutes or so, you run a risk of reinforcing bad habits. Bad habits can lead to bad practise which could only hold you back from achieving your goals. Take breaks and make sure to skip darts completely a day or two every now and then. It will build up your hunger again and can do wonders to your game play.

Plan your training

It might sound boring to plan your practice when you just want to throw darts all the time.
But it can be very beneficial to divide your training info several specific sessions where you focus on different areas to improve. It can be focusing on groupings, power-scoring, doubles, finishing etc. It can also be very beneficial to adapt some kind of periodization to your training. That means to not practise the same lengths of sessions with the same kind of intensity every time. There’s a concept called periodizational training that can be very positive also for darts training, to plan your training to reach peak performance for an important tournament.

The Olympian archerer Jake Kaminsky has written an interesting book about adapting this concept for arhery (”Training for archery” – thanks Łukasz Wacławski for suggesting me reading this book!)

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