Thursday, 4 February 2016

Practice session: 4th February 2016, 180!!!!

Hi guys

Had a cracking practice tonight.

Just around the board on singles and then again finished with a cracking 180!

Im now getting that confidence that those 180s are going to come each session.

Finished witha  succession of 3 100s to round off a cracking 45 minutes!

My current darts setup

Hi guys

This is my current setup:

22g Andy Fordham gold titanium, customised.

Unicorn machina alu stem (short)

Harrows retina small standard

World Watch: Kevin Munch, Hitting Gold in Germany!

Hi Guys

I haven't done a world watch for a while so for my German followers i have decided to highlight 'The Banana' Kevin Munch.

Munch is currently ranked 164 in the BDO world rankings and has played in the PDC World championship, making the second round in 2012.

Proving that Max Hopp isn't the only top class German Player, Munch has won:

German Gold Cup: 2009,2015
Gemran National Championship 2010
PDC World German Qualifying Event in 2011.

As he gets more experience playing in the PDC and BDO European events, look for Munch to start making a name for himself soon.

Watch him in action below:

Take Care


Why i use an older style dartboard!

Hi Guys

I received an email asking what kind of board i play on, so thought i would share en-masse.

I have used them all, Unicorn HD,  Winmau Blade 3 and 4 etc

and the borrd i use is...................................:

That's right a Winmau Masters board with with thicker wire and staples.

Now you may ask "why" i use one of these when there are new boards out with super fine razor wire??

The answer: Because this is the type of board the Legends used.

Think about it. The wire is thicker and inclusion of staples reduces the target area.  This means that you have to be more accurate and more focused about the target area.

Now come match time, when your playing on a blade 4 or Unicorn HD or other high end board with a technically larger target area it is going to pay dividends as your accuracy should be better and you have a bigger space to hit = win/win.

I have attached a link below to John Lowe discussing today's boards which inspired my decision:

Take care


Make it fun!

Hi Guys

Just a quick one, that i kind of touched on, on a previous blog but didn't elaborate.

Whilst practice is essential and needs to be focused, it is also incredibly essential to 'mix it up' and throw some fun things in there as otherwise it can become a nightly repetition that gets stale, leads to apathy and then equals wasted time with nothing gained.

I like to throw some fun stuff in there each week as abit of a challenge, and you'd be surprised how effective it can be to your overall game.

I will share one for you now.

As you will remember, last (November 15) i decided to throw some random practice in and 1 such bit of fun was the 1 hour 1000 darts at bull challenge:

abit of madness but ended up with my first ever triple bull (no easy feat with 25g Ton Machines) and i found as soon as i switched to T20, i hit 180 straight away and my focus on trebles was greatly improved.

I would advise those just starting to start with a 100 and work up e.g. 250,500,750 etc as it can be quite tiring and draining, and i wouldn't attempt this myself until a few months times.

I will throw a few more novelty games in at various points

Take care


Fitness for darts: 2016

Hi Guys

as part of my preparation this year i have altered my training routine to keep me fit, and in decent condition, but without fatiguing the muscles or altering muscle memory.

I have been guilty in the past of way over-training in the past and it has affected my darts.

Example: Hit the weights super heavy on Sunday and come Monday's match i was lucky to hit the board let alone what iw as aiming for.

I believe in training specifically for the chosen sport. In the same way that a shot putter would train differently to a boxer.

I use a resistance band (Bodylastics are the best), and no weights

Currently i am doing this:

Sessions: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Band Colour: Orange (unless stated otherwise), for those below 200lbs i would recommend a blue,or black band.

Reps: 12
Sets 1

Back extensions (no resistance)
Wide Grip Pulldowns
Bent Rows
Bicep Curls
Chest Press
Tricep Pushdowns
Military press
Front Raise (Red band)
Side Raise (Red Band)
Lunges (each leg)
Side bends (each side)
Incline crunces: 50 reps
Leg Raises
Laying side leg raises (each leg)
Abb Roller

Rowing machine: 10 minutes (optional)

This whole routine (excluding rowing) should only take 15 minutes and each rep should be done slowly with a full range of motion. Remember the aim here is stretch, and contract the muscle in the correct manner and not build muscle or fatigue them. A good full-body workout is great for overall fitness and your general well-being.

Give it a go, it saves on gym fee's and whats more you wont risk affecting your darts.

Hope this helps

Kind Regards


Practice sessions: Back to basics!

Hi Guys

My practice at the moment is VERY 'back to basic'. Literally just around the board in singles 3 in a bed.

Now, this may sound boring however if you cant hit the 'single' digit under pressure then your going to lose your 'setup' shots and at a high level likely the the match

I am literally 're-tooling' my play from the ground up almost as if a completely new player to darts. I think this is essential as areas can decline, or be focused on to much (how many times do you see a guy destroy the 20's but cant hit a double at all and lose). Darts for me is like an apprenticeship. You have to work your way up:

  • singles
  • triples
  • doubles
  • Bulls
  • Outs
  • Counting

so that the whole board is familiar and this in turns builds confidence. Ending up on D7 when you've never practiced it will always lead to trouble.

You should i think never be afraid to do this. It is better to start afresh rather than continue on with bad habits or lackluster practice that adds nothing except time killing.

Go on Youtube and you will find most pro's advocate this. I have spoken with Andy Fordham, Steve Beaton and Darryl Fitton and they all say the same thing.

Take last night for example, my practice session was not as fluid as a few days previous. Now this is the same for all players, just because you went around in doubles in 10 minutes the night before doesn't mean that you will every time. Again, many pro's will attest to this. watch the below:

Phil Taylor, the greatest player who there will ever be in darts even experiences and attest to this. If the greatest player ever can say it can take him 1 hour or 3 hours to complete his routine, you should stop pressuring yourself!

I am currently taking it like i am starting to train for a contest . Doing 1 hour every other day.  Not doing too much too soon, as it is demanding, and does require alot of concentration.  Going from not playing to trying to cram in 4 hours every day will only lead to fatigue and wasted time.  I have done this before, and the last 2-3 hours are usually spent throwing rubbish darts with a tired arm and frustration. Its a waste and unproductive (unless you have worked up to it).

I always follow what Bobby George. told me.  He said when practice sees you hitting 100's  lovely, stop and leave on good form. Don't go off form and leave on 26's as this will leave the memory of playing poorly in your head and body. Makes sense when you think about it.
The BIG thing though is to enjoy it and not get frustrated. If every practice session see's you lobbing the last 2 darts in anger as you slammed one in 5 or 1 by accident then 'stop'.  You are getting nothing from this. Darts is to be enjoyed and if you don't enjoy it i would argue (unless its paying your living) that you should stop and find something you do enjoy. Time is too precious to be spent wasting it on something you hate.

All the best


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

How to Chalk at Darts

Picture the scene:

It’s your first darts tournament. You have been playing at home, and using that electronic scorer on your phone or tablet, and you know some ‘out’’.  You have arrived, paid your fee, ordered a beer and you’re preparing to join a practice board. Al is well, and then you hear your name over the microphone “xxxx to chalk board xxxx”. Suddenly it hits you like a thunderbolt ‘they don’t use electronic scorers’, its manual chalking.  ‘Hang on a minute’ you think to yourself, ‘this isn’t how they do it on TV’. No its not, this is the ‘real’ way. Your stomach turns and all of a sudden you don’t fancy that pint anymore, you look around as suddenly it all starts to slowdown like you’re in the Matrix. The pulse increases rapidly and suddenly despite it being the coldest month of December on record you start to sweat profusely! No your drink has not been spiked, this is reality. You’re going to have to score a game!

At this point you have a number of choices:

1. Run out of the venue

2. Fein a heart attack

3. Go and hide in the toilet


4.  Go through with it

If you are brave enough and choose number 4, then unless you are a mathematical genius it will go something like this:
  •       Your mind will go blank and you will drop to infant school maths ability

  • ·     You will make mistakes

You will get some derision, moans, and maybe accused of ruining someone’s match (usually the loser).  I know this because that’s exactly what I did in January 2014 and it was a horrible experience.

The problem was that in my dart league it was all ‘electronic’ scorers and so there was no practice required. It left me hideously unprepared for ‘proper’ tournaments.

I have found that if you explain the situation to the players, then 99% of them are fine, and will even help you (as they were there once themselves). Hell I chalked twice for PDC pro  Arron Monk twice and he was fantastic about it, and would have had room to be annoyed with me (as made a mistake a few times which could have cost him).

Chalking is a key part of darts if you want to progress, and most people can do basic math, however doing it front of a crowd in a pressured environment can suddenly make 401- 80 a difficult task (its 321 by the way).

Here are some tips:

1. Know the board trebles and doubles and what the add up to.

2. If the score is near 100, round up to 100 and then subtract the difference. For example, if a player has 336 points and hits 93, just subtract 100 and then add 7 (100 minus 7 is 93). 336 minus 100 is 236. 236 plus 7 is 243. Simple.

3. Round up or down to the nearest "10" and either add or subtract points as need be. 53 points is the same as 50 plus 3 or 60 minus 7, right? If a player has 162 points and hits 53, subtract 50 and then another 3. 162 minus 50 is 112 and 112 minus 3 is 109.

The key is to practice, practice, and practice!  Get a chalk or whiteboard and mark your practice matches. Throw away the scorer and mark the scores manually. Yes it takes longer and therefore the scorer looks like the better option however you’ll be all the better for it and what’s more it will ingrain where you are in your own matches so that you don’t even need to look at the board.

Good luck


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Check out this classic from 1999. Chris Mason vs Martin Adams

Hi Guys

Check out this classic from 1999. Chris Mason vs Martin Adams

A fantastic match!

Monday, 1 February 2016

1st February 2016: First practice session goes great!

Hi Guys

Just a quick one. Practice today went great.

Just a simple 1 hr of around the board on singles (3 in each single).

Rounded off by a nice 180!

The Countdown Begins: BDO Here i come!

Hi Guys

its the first of February 2015.

I've spent the last month getting healthy (no alcohol + lots of exercise) so now it is time to get ready and prepare.

I have set my sights on appearing at the BDO Mill Rythe Darts Festival Event:

This is the BIGGEST BDO event in my area and is run is Spring and Autumn. I am aiming for the Autumn one on 13/11/16.

This event has been run in recent years by professionals such as:

Arron Monk
Andy Jenkins
Colin Monk
Les Wallace

and features a whose who of County, BDO, PDC and Super League Players and is incredibly well attended with a high standard.

So i have 9 months to get ready!

The journey starts here!