It’s no secret that Peter “Snakebite” Wright is one of darts most prolific practisers and throw perfectionists, leaving no stone unturned in his quest for playing perfect darts.
Red Dragon Darts asked Peter to share his thoughts around practice and specifically how you can benefit from his extensive knowledge, just as it would seem Dimitri van den Bergh did following his 20-week sabbatical in the Wright household.
Focused Objective Practice
Peter said “Before every practice session I simply pick up any set of darts and literally throw anywhere round the board seemingly not aiming at anything letting my mind drift and my arm relax to a point I’ll stop and know the warm-up is complete.
“The reason for this is that to get the most out of practice you have to be in a focused, relaxed mindset that can let you feel what it is you really need to work on.”
After Peter’s first seemingly untargeted practice, he returns to the board with a more heightened feel of what it is he’d like to achieve in the next session.
Peter told us “So many times I have no idea what my second session will look like, and it’s quite often over 20 minutes since the first session and I’ve had maybe a coffee and something to eat.
“But when I return for the second session my subconscious guides me into what I’ll practice next, for example I may end up doing single doubles round the board or trying to get back-to-back 180s, but the one thing that is always the same is that this second session is also very short and never over 20 minutes.”
The Best Practice Session is Maximum 45 minutes
Quite often Peter will return for a third session that again is always at least 20 minutes after the second session, where Peter now comes to the board with real specifics in mind and this third session is quite often where Peter’s hardest and best work is done.
Peter said of this third session “When I get to the third session of practice my mind is crystal clear what I’m going to be working on and how many sets I’ll be working with.
“No session at this stage is ever the same as I have many go-to games that enable me to fine tune where I need my throw to be, but there is always the same principle of this session that it is targeted and as focused as if in a televised game.”
Asking performance coaching expert Stephen Feeney about the patterns of Peter’s practice, he said “This gradual building of focus and intensity is an excellent mimic of what Peter could face on any given day on tour, his ability to feel what he needs to do with his game has developed over 20 years playing at the top.”
Time Scaling your Practice
To get the best out of your darts practice it makes sense to try and sync up your form to the times you need it, as opposed to trying to be brilliant and feeling great every day, which we all know is impossible.
Peter’s approach to practice is extremely cyclical around key televised majors and the demands on his time of being a modern darts professional.
Peter explained “When big events are approaching it’s very important to have a clear approach to the practice needed and when you need to get your throw in peak feel, this is really hard to do as the natural approach is often to over practice and burn yourself out, which I’ve learnt the hard way.
“However, this does not mean you don’t put in some serious hours,
it just means serious hours are more focused and require more effort.”
Following many bio-mechanical studies around other sports and even including musical performance, it is widely concluded that anything over three and a half hours of practice can be detrimental to performance.