Darting Isolation – Warming Up and Putting The Lights Out!

If, as a result of Covid-19, you are going to be able to practise more, it is important to get the most out of it. Yesterday’s article talked about the right amount of time to practise for. At dartsworld.com we asked our resident coach for more suggestions:

A.I.M: Help players to reach their potential.

Coach: The most important thing about darts practice is to treat it more like training for any other sport or physical task. If you are increasing, your practice efforts, you may well be playing at times of the day you are not used to. The bits of you that get used in playing darts usually have hours doing other daily jobs beforehand, this leads us to the (false) sense that we don’t need to warm up.

Those self isolating might be playing much earlier in the day and before you are loose and fluid. Therefor a Warm-Up is more important. Warming up has different purposes, but when at home its mainly to the loosen the limbs and tighten the mind!

A Full Warm Up:

If you are planning a decent practise session (40 mins or more) then you please take 10 mins, or so, to warm-up. Initially, just throw toward the twenties in a very relaxed way, just go through the motions, without any explosive type effort, concentrate on your action and follow through and not the result of the individual darts.

Frankie Dean profile
Start by loosening up your throw. Use the popular areas but with no pressure. Photo: Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Once you feel that your your body is relaxed, and your throw is smooth and fluid, start moving to the different areas of the board. A few darts at D20, D10, D16 and the Bullseye will get your body, & eyes, coordinated with the more subtle movements which seem almost automatic normally. As long as the darts are going in the correct general area do not be too hard on yourself just yet!

Lights Out:

A good drill/game to, bring your warm-up to a close and, begin to narrow your focus is one I call Lights-Out. Simply throw three darts (1 visit) at the 20, 19, 18, 17 & Bullseye segments in turn. If you score 4* or more, of the target number, then it’s knocked out.

So a perfect drill is to take five turns to eliminate the 5 areas. To do this you must score 80+ (20’s), 76+(19s), 72+(18s), 68+(17s) for the Bullseye we half the requirement so two darts within the outer bull completes the set.

After this first go around you will, hopefully have hit the 4* and knocked out one, or more, segments. On round two you may only have 17s and Bullseye left. If you knock them out with your next turn, say 5 17s and two in the ’25’, you will have put the ‘Lights-Out’.

Lights-Out can be played in any and all circumstances, alone or even with a group on an event practice board at the PDC!

Keep a mental note of how many turns it takes to do this. If you begin to knock the ‘Lights-Out‘ in five or six turns regularly then its time to step to 5* darts in the numbered segments and a total of three in the bull ring ( 3 x 25, 2 x 25 & a Bull or better!).

If you are at a newer stage, in your development, then start with 3* in the 20-17 sections and 1 dart in the outer or inner bull.

Lastly when your using this game as a warm up to do not chase it, give your self of limit of say, ten visits. Used in this way ‘Lights-Out‘ is simply the transition between warm up and real practise!

Hopefully you are now relaxed, warmed up and enjoying throwing? Time to get stuck in!