"But That's My Favorite Number"
Laurence Kent

Recently, I was chitchatting with several of my friends at the local Friday night Luck Of The Draw tournament. We were discussing different strategies and philosophies of both x01 as well as Cricket. After someone explained what they would do in a certain Cricket scenario, another person stated that he wouldn't have done it the way it was suggested because "x" was his favorite number. Then the conversation evolved into what was a person's favorite number to shoot. When that question was posed to me, I plainly said "The one I'm aiming at". My response got a couple of chuckles from several of the people sitting around us, but I was as serious as I could be.

I, like most of every darter out there, have specific numbers that we would rather shoot at. Triple 20's and Double 16's are usually at the top of the list. However, developing a strategy revolving around one or two specific numbers is nothing less than suicidal. This is the very trap I was stuck in for many years. I was fairly consistent in hitting Triple 20's and Double 16's, but if I needed something else, I was in big trouble. In order to improve your game, you need to practice not only your favorite numbers, but ALL numbers on the board.

Here is a practice routine that I have developed that helped me improve my accuracy:
  • Starting at 1 and ending at 20 then bulls, I throw all 3 darts at the fat single portion of the number. To move on the next number, all 3 darts must be in the target number.
  • After I complete the singles, I move on to the doubles. Once again, start at 1 and end at 20's, then shoot for double bull. When the target double is hit, add one tally to the number. When 3 tallies are scored, move on to the next number.
  • After I complete the doubles, I move on to the triples, but this time starting at 10 and ending at 20. Once again, for every triple of the target hit, add one tally to that number. When 3 tallies are scored, move on to the next number.

The above practice routine take me between 45 and 60 minutes to complete. This routine has helped me in the following 2 ways:
  • The obvious is that I'm practicing all the numbers (Singles, Doubles, and Triples) that will usually come into play.
  • The second isn't so obvious, but it just as important as accuracy. This practice routine also helps with maintaining focus. Let's face it. Practicing by yourself is very, very boring. When boredom starts setting in, the focus aspect of the game begins to wane. When the focus goes, so does the quality of your throwing ability.

The purpose of this practice routine is to develop confidence in using the entire board, not just certain numbers of it. I've been using this practice routine for about 7 months and it has improved my accuracy on all numbers. Also, it has helped me maintain the focus required to throw my darts the best that I can. I firmly believe that if you can use the entire board to your advantage, then you will win more games. And when asked, "What is your favorite number", then you can reply "The one I'm aiming at" as well.

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