Darts History from the Clydeside K.9’S a Dog Walker’s story,

Lawrence Kelman with how it all started! (Thank you)

Lockdown Darts I’m not a competitive darts player these days. I was many years ago, albeit a very average one, but nowadays I support my daughter as she participates in competitive disability darts. That said when lockdown started and the disability darts group allowed family members to play I thought ‘why not’ and signed up. I started out averaging roughly 45 which, if I’m honest, was about what I averaged 30 years ago in the Edinburgh leagues when I played. That was about my level and again if I’m honest I was quite happy with that. I and Jenna have played at home for a few years and that was a fair representation of how I played. But...... I kept getting beat and I didn’t like it. Granted, many of the people I played I considered better than me but that was down to my attitude. I wasn’t always losing by much and felt that if I improved by just a few points per dart I might be able to beat a few of them or at least compete. So I started to play a lot of webcam darts against strangers and the more I played the better my average became. I’d still have some stinkers, very low 40’s, but I’d have some decent games with averages in the high 50’s and low 60’s. I played in some leagues with players who averaged about 10 more than me and as time went on I started to win some games and eventually made the semi finals of a 60 average tournament. I also played in a league with some of the best disability darts players who absolutely slaughtered me most games but I learned a lot from that. The biggest lesson I took from these games was I needed to enjoy them. I learned that’s what I can get from darts. Any pressure I ever felt was self-inflicted. Darts is a pastime for me and I needed to relax. So, taking that into account, I now felt confident enough to play my friends in the disability darts group and for me that’s been a revelation. People I’ve known for less than a year and considered almost strangers have actually turned out to be fantastic friends. And I’ve managed to compete against them! Some who hammered me back in March have had to dig deep to beat me and have, as I’d hope they’d admit, been taken by surprise by my improvement. I put this all down to having the time during lockdown to practice but also to have the opportunity to play people a lot better than me. As it stands my webcam average is 54.45 which, for me, is a massive improvement and which without lockdown but most importantly without playing my friends in the disability darts group would never have happened. As we emerge from lockdown my focus will revert to Jenna again and if I’m honest I’m looking forward to that. Seeing her compete means more to me than me playing but if I can take anything from this lockdown experience that will help her it’s that at our level darts is a sport to be enjoyed and, cliché time here, whatever will be will be. Some you’ll win, some you’ll lose. We’re not professionals, we’re amateurs, and the most important thing is to enjoy ourselves.

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