Darts coach: are you sure?
In light of the last session, players may believe they can achieve success if “my technique works like player A, with the consistency of player B”, or if I throw like player A “I think that is how I will reach the goals I want”.
I ask why they think it will work and how much effort they think it would take to implement. But going one step further, do you think throwing like another player will make your game better?
Replicate Successful Techniques = Success?
In my time, everyone wanted to throw like Phil Taylor. Every league night, there would be several players changing their stance to side on and tried throwing from a left-eye dominant position.
Today, there are a lot of players trying to throw faster, like Michael Smith or MVG, even though their technique, muscle control and eye can’t support a faster tempo.
Consider the following;
- If your natural technique could get you to the top 32 in the world, would you still try to change it to look like another pro?
- If you were in the top 32, how many players would try to throw like you?
- How many of the top 32 players in the world have the exact same technique?
Considering what I think to be the top 5 players in history.
Compare the techniques of John Lowe to Eric Bristow, Leighton Rees and Jocky Wilson, to the likes of Phil Taylor, MVG, John Part, Barney and Gary Anderson. The variations are many, and each has their strengths.
Imagine if you were the next John Lowe trying to throw as fast as MVG?
John Lowe was slower, more deliberate, but I could watch him play for days.
What if you threw like Eric Bristow and coaches tried to coach the movements out of your technique?
I tried in vain to throw something that resembled Bristow’s throw and just marveled at his control and power through the throw.
Let’s throw in Peter Manly for a bit of variety. Nothing is supposed to move on the oche; however, his whole body moved at the release point.
If you were in any of those players, in your first years as a player…would you still want to change your throw?
Be comfortable within yourself and having faith in your technique is what makes great players great. It is the ability to perfect imperfections and tightening techniques to eliminate margins of error.
Change that comes naturally, be it through development, understanding or weight of practice will be easy to replicate. Why is this more important than manufacturing a technique of a professional player?
You may recall a post where we discussed the fight or flight response to pressure, where your body will revert to a natural state as a protective measure. A manufactured technique requires conscious thought to control and maintain the throw. When the resources are tapped in order to manage the fight or flight response, your technique will try to revert back to a natural state, causing the confusion in control.
I have never seen a player achieve more than they did via their natural technique, more they were more likely to accept limitations or felt better about their throw and lost sight of progression.
Raymond "Guru" Smith
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