Andrew Devonshire’s Game Shot: Does practice make perfect?


As the world’s top 16 dart players gather to battle it out for the ITV4 televised Unibet Masters this weekend, we ask ourselves: is talent enough on its own to make it to the very top of the PDC tree?

In every sport practice plays a huge part, but do all dart players take it seriously?

There are players who regularly practice up to five hours a day, and more often than not, these same players are usually at the business end of tournaments.

On the other hand, there are those players who are just naturally gifted and can play the game to the very highest standard with only a little practice here and there. We all know who these players are.

But what about the players who moan about a disastrous run of form? ‘I’m not getting any luck’ they stress, or ‘it was just a bad day at the office.’

When we look deeper, it is a common occurrence that they have not been putting in the hours on the practice board.

In some cases, it has been known for players to take a holiday prior to a major tournament.

Michael van Gerwen revealed he went away before the start of the William Hill World Championship, and taking nothing away from Raymond van Barneveld’s win over him in the last 16, but did that break take away a bit of MVG’s sharpness that night?

In my opinion it is a recipe for a disaster. The old saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ rings out loud and clear.

I believe the practice time that a player sets aside reflect his ambitions, and what he’s happy to achieve in the game.

If you never want to win a major event, or even a tour event for that matter, then keep enjoying your holidays in the run up to the important competitions.

Those players with high ambitions are busy walking back and forth along the oche for hours on end, and reaping the rewards for their efforts.

So it’s fair to say that talent alone isn’t enough. You have to work at your game and 16-time world champion Phil Taylor is a prime example of this.

Throughout his career, Phil’s attitude to the game and the all-important practice board is the perfect example for those young, up and coming players that want to make a successful career in the sport.

For all you youngsters out there, male and female, set your ambitions and sights high.

With hard work you can achieve your goals and remember to practice, practice, practice and take your holidays after you’ve won events.

The world is your oyster!


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