Welcome to The Best Lack All Conviction Blog
This blog is not about anything other than the things I want to write about.
For a long time this blog tried to be about darts and may yet again talk about darts
but for now it is about whatever suits my fancy.
If that entertains, engages or inspires you, then I guess we are in good company.
My sister also has a blog that is written by her pet border collie
Callum the Border Collie ands his Autistic Human
Please follow her page and show her some support. She has been having a tough time living alone since our mother passed from cancer.
Darts: One for all..
Seems I am running late as far as getting anything posted and I am not sure I have anything in particular to post about! I could easily skip a week (or two) and think that would be a legitimate option.
Except that I am here now and typing and so I may as well subject you to some of my ramblings. (maybe take a moment to brace yourself? Take a seat? Maybe a little Gravol?)
I suppose I can talk a little bit about some thoughts about not being simply a dart player, but being a dart player on a team of other dart players.
I am not sure if I have mentioned it or not, but I really like my current team. I like it a lot. After the summer season a core of us are going to go on to form the foundation of a team for the Fall.
So what makes for a good team? That is an interesting question and maybe a better question to ask is what DO I want out of a team? Is it a group of experienced veterans with a track record of winning big games, or maybe a group of fun people with darts as an excuse to joke around and throw a few darts?
Or maybe you get a team like ours, that maybe doesn't have the experience, but shows a bit of talent, a huge love of darts and a 'go for it' attitude?
As you all know I am developing as a player and hungry to develop. Perhaps hungry enough that at times I have hurt myself for wanting what I wasn't ready for yet, rather than letting it happen. (as I am doing now).
I have some notion that I have a 'somewhere' to go and I'm really amazed that I have found a team that isn't either 'already there' or ' just don't really care'.
I wonder how it is for most people as they progress through league darts? Certainly some good teams and some bad teams, some motivated teams and some unmotivated teams? Is it normal as a developing player to be on a team of people on the same page as you and have a winning attitude? (and the willingness to put some work into it!) I suspect to some degree, but overall not so much.
A positive attitude is worth tons. perhaps more than you suspect and it can be a big lift to your team mates as well. Two weeks ago my team mate Jason and I were in a cricket game against an A team. So far early on this season Jason has maybe been the better shooter of the two of us. Well moot point arguing who is the better of us, as we get our rear end handed to us in the first of a three leg set. Ouch! I look over at Jason and I see a flicker of something, frustration, or doubt or some other negative emotion and I tell him "It's alright. It's always alright" From there we both threw great darts, and I threw possibly the best darts of my life in a game of 'need it got it' that ended with us taking the next two legs and a W for the team.
The point here, and I know it is a cliche but the saying 'it aint over till it's over maybe applies more to darts than it does to other things. Or maybe a better question to ask is what what you rather have, a team of players that never quit and fight hard to the end or a group of pessimistic fatalists that buckle at the first sign that it isnt going to be an easy run? I know my answer!
Darts can be such an individual game I dont always think about it from a team dynamic, but as a league player the team dynamic is a big part of it, isn't it?
Speaking of good attitudes and positive messages one of the readers of this blog sent me one that I think really sums up a great attitude to bring into things, especially when it looks like the going might be on the tough side. I hope you all like it too. Makes some good sense I think!
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
What do you think about that quote? How would you sum up your thoughts and values in regards to competition? Perhaps it is not something you have given thought to before?
Ok, well that's it. I know a bit of a rip off but it's been a busy time at work so maybe a little less head space to come up with ideas. Just know I'll do my best to churn some sort of pap out on a regular basis whenever possible.
Just as long as you all keep reading, I'm there!
Oh, and don't forget to check out the contest! I should have been giving out prizes by now!
See you all next time!
David 'The Abominable Throw Man' Sproull
OK, it's still early going but I think it's safe to tell you right now that I'm not the top shooter on my summer darts team. Fact is, I'm somewhere in the middle, quite possibly upper middle but middle nonetheless.
I'll let you in on a secret; I am perfectly fine with that. I'll do my best to shoot as well as i can of course and if I come out on top, so be it. I am just feeling lucky to have good team mates to make that a tough proposition for me. It is an easier ride though being middle of the pack on a team with some talent (if not so much experience) than being the top shooter on a team that struggles a little.
What can be said for both scenarios however, is in each i can feel confident that I am not only contributing, but contributing on a equal or better footing.
What about being a part of a team and feeling outclassed, like everyone is so much better than what you feel you are able to provide except for in sporadic bursts?
Some people are very intensely competitive in darts and some people are very casually nonchalant about darts. What if you know you aren't going to be one of the super intensely into it people, but also know that you have more fire in your belly than to be satisfied with throwing a dart and saying 'oh oopsie' as it lands, well god knows where?
What do you do if you are that person, and what do you do if you are the team mate of that person?
As you may well have guesseed by now that while I am speaking in the general i am referencing a specific situation, but think there is a utility in discussing it in the general as I suspect there are elements of universality here that we can all share and learn from.
Since we are dealing with human beings here, and human needs and wants that the path to dealing with it will vary from situation to situation.
First of all I think we should define the team sitation. If the team is purely about putting up wins, then it could simply eb a matter of making the tough choice of deciding whether that member is ready to be playing at that level. That is a tough choice, but perhaps one that can make itself clear (albeit disappointing)
When you are in a team liek I am in now, one that is self branded as a 'developmental team' you have a different kettle of fish.
Ostensibly, since the team isn't so much about winning that member shouldn't have to worry at all how they do, should they?
perhaps, but I think if that were the case they'd respond more favorably to being told 'just relax and enjoy it'.
While winning may not be the be all and end all purpose of the team, I don't think there is a single one of us that doesn't step up to the oche without thinking about getting the job done.
Maybe that's it? Maybe the anxiety and stress that someone might feel isn't so much about hitting and missing ? Maybe it is about seeing and recognizing that competitive spirit?
I am so new to all of this that I am really out of my element. How do you be a good team mate to someone who is in that situation? How do you make them feel relaxed, and thus able to contribute the best they possibly can? How do you encourage them without making them feel patronized? What can they be doing to help themselves?
It's all about perspectives isn't it? I find that a lot in darts. You can learn a lot about yourself throwing a pointy object at a board...
The Road Ahead
Summer darts are short but provide some tough competition and the next game for the Stagger ins dart team looks to be one of our toughest matches of the season. Can we win? The sensible answer, quite plainly is no. It is not unreasonable to assume that we wont win a single game.
That being said, I have no doubt the team will put the effort in, and you just never know! I think that even if history and results wont bear testimony to it, our can do team will acquit itself with customary aplomb.
Of course it is easy to be positive when you are getting positive results. Will a loss, possibly one the might resemble a bit of a beating bring us back down to earth?
That is something that we cant know until after the fact, but I think it can be helpful to reflect on this if done in a positive light. The only problem,is how do you get a positive light on losing? Losing sucks, we all know it, right?
Well losing and winning have one important thing in common. They are an indicator that when the proverbial bell was rung you were there to answer the call. Nobody starts out great. Everyone crawls before they can walk. Maybe there is work that needs to be done before a likely loss can be turned into a likely win, and each of us will relate in a different way, but to never lose is to never try, and we really aren't a never try team. At least that's what I'm hoping.
What all of this makes me think about is that Micheal Jordan quote on failure. I think I have posted it here before, and maybe not all that long ago, but I really do think it is excellent so I will post it here again.
I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Let's see how we do and how we come out on the other end! I really do like that quote. Maybe you have heard or thought of something that inspires you in darts? If you're willing to share I'd love to hear them!
Ask The Darts Nutz!
This time around I went and asked the Darts Nutz community their thoughts on how best to approach developing and refining ones skills. Is it something you build up bit by bit and a continuous series of tweaks until you force yourself to learn the correct way to throw a dart, or is the answer something a little more organic?
Click here to see what the Dart Nutz had to say on the topic and maybe jump in yourself!
You Win Some You Lose Some...
Thanks for sticking around! See you all next time!
-Dave 'The Abominable Throw man' Sproull
Darts: A Matter of Trust
I almost wanted to wait before posting as I have some possibly very exciting news in the works. It may all come to nothing, so I'll have to keep you all in the dark just for now.
In the meantime the Summer dart team, The Stagger Ins have had our first game of the season, and what do you know, but we actually managed a win! We have tougher battles to come, and I dont think it is selling ourselves short to say that some of these battles will be realistically beyond our reach, and yet there is something I really like about this team. A certain hint of talent, and of potential, very much of potential and a willingness.
For my own part of it all I played in two games and won both of them, and you know the weirdest thing happened. Somehow despite my success I felt my confidence waver a little. No doubt my commitment to practice and the progress I see from that helps my overall confidence, but I think the more I am able to execute, then whether conciously and explicitly or not, the more I am expected to execute and of course that is where those tiny gremlins of doubt start to creep in.
Luckily as a Flight Schooler I have access to a fair bit of darts wisdom in George Silberzahn (a hall of famer at that! ) he helped me put things in perspective and so I am not sure i can explain this to those who are not there yet (or not bore those who are past this point) but I am right now learning to trust my stroke and to let it do what I have been developing it to do. I don't think I am quite there yet, but I think it is also another aspect, a very important one of not getting in ones own way. Getting in your own way is something that is very easy to do in darts. For those of us darters that have a little fire in our belly for the sport I suspect that at the end of the day it is indeed ourselves that can most often and most dramatically get in the way of our own progress.
When things are going well, a lot of this stuff is easy to understand and easy to do, but not so much so on days where things just dont seem to go right. Some days when I step up to the oche I feel discombobulayed, like I am not even put together right. What do I do then? That is what I am working on now, well that and maybe just about everything.
As always I am learning and growing. Let's see how I progress as we go along through the season. maybe it wont seem like I've progressed at all, or maybe I'll improve in leaps and bounds (although less likely), but I do know that the learning is happening.
Hope this offers a little perspective to maybe help you along on your own journey!
Ask the Darts Nutz!
Last episode I talked a little about the pros and cons of using paper targets as a practice and training aid. I went over to get a few second and third opinions from the good folk over at the Darts Nutz forums, which is one of my favourite places to find friendly people to chat about darts..
Take a look at what the Darts Nutz had to say about paper practice targets.
You can even join in on the conversation if you like! Hmm, now I just need to think of the next topic!
The 'did Phil Taylor cheat?' one is too obvious ...OK maybe I'll have a topic next time!
Thanks again for reading!! See you all next time!