Thursday, February 23, 2006

Shanghai: The Practice Quickie

We all have our favorite practice routines. Usually they are quite long and involved. Maybe you warm up with a round of doubles, then throw four or five games of 501 against DartPro, and then finish off with a round of triples and say, I don't know, 25 bulls? Sound familiar? I can't shake a stick at the number of times I have read descriptions of peoples practice routines on the forums and they are always complicated. And usually then indicate it will last them a good two or three hours. That's not always the best way to go about it. Sometimes three darts is all you have time for, or sometimes just ten or so minutes.

What about when you are waiting for your wife to finish her hair, or waiting for your eggs to boil, or waiting for anything? What about when you are just in the mood to goof off? What do you do?

This is what I do:

It is a practice routine I call Shanghai. In the pic above you can see a (rare) successful round. The first dart was aimed at the bull, and I missed into the single 11. Then I went for the trip and the double of that wedge, and what a surprise, I hit them! Usually I do not. The idea of the game is to have a carefree and fun practice session that takes exactly long as you want it to. You practice bulls triples and doubles, in random segments. Here are the rules:

First dart: When you first start the game there are two options. Open trying to shanghai the 20s or open with a toss at the bull to see which wedge you go after first. I usually chuck on at the bull but not always.

If you hit the bull continue trying for the trick. If not the wedge you miss into first is the target for the next round. Say I chuck at the bull and hit the 3 segment. Next round I aim for the triple three. if I miss into the single (or god forbid the double) then I am still on track for a shanghai. I simply try for the trip again. If I hit it I go for the double for the shanghai. If I miss then I go back to the bull to see where I aim next.

Situation: I have three darts in hand and I am targeting the 5 wedge. First dart misses into the single 12! Did I die already? No. I am on track to shanghai the 12s now. So I go for the trip 12 and hopefully the double if I hit the trip. Otherwise back to bull for next target!

Situation: I am targeting the 13 wedge. First darts slope sinto the treble 4! Bonus. Now I have two chance at the double 4, I just need to make sure that if I miss I miss inside (turns out I missed into single and nailed the double with the third dart for Shanghai-4!).

Sometimes when you play this you are hot on bulls, and it ends up just being bulls practice. but thats okay. Hitting lots and lots of bulls builds confidence and is an excellent way to calibrate between dart sets. When you are in a bull slump it is good to put that miss to good use. There are loads of variations available with this game. So have fun!!


Tommo said...

Good idea, and simple too. I'll try it tonight, but I think when I miss the treble I'll stay with the segment and still go for the double.

Zeeple said...

I stay with the double sometimes too. The only way this can be a varied and well rounded practice is if you hit the trip sometimes and so actually get some shots at the double. So, like I said, lots of variations.

Anonymous said...

You can add another wrinkle to your shanghai by going for a bowtie. Start with the Bull, and if you hit the bull (double or single) then pick a wedge (doesn't matter where) and hit it. Now you choose the wedge directly opposite to that one. Voila, you've completed your bowtie. You can be as specific as you like depending on your skill when aiming for the wedge. Pick the doubles or trebles of whichever pie you like if you wish to make it harder.

Whatever warm up you choose, I highly reccomend including doubles as part of your routine just as you did with Shanghai. There's nothing like having the confidence during a match to hit the double you are looking at. Especially if you've already shot and hit the double during practice.

Zeeple said...

Thanks for this great suggestion. I have been using it and I blogged a post about it on Mar 22.