Frank plays in our team and unfortunately seems to concentrate more on how the rest of us are doing rather than his own game. Frank is quite an accomplished player, but after a session looking at the weekly statistics sheet for averages, checkouts etc. he seems to have an attack of the 26's and 41's during his game. We can mostly associate this with Frank's intense rivalry with team mate, Mick, who happens to be leading the statistical race and let's everybody know it! This is quiet a common syndrome in a darts team, but how do you overcome it? Everybody wants everybody else to do well of course, for the good of the team, but individuals also like to know that they are performing well as individuals. Rivalry is a good and healthy state if it kept under control but in Frank and Mick's case it can become an all consuming passion and affect the rest of the team.
What do you do about it? ...This is what I did...
I produce the stats you see...and after consultation with our team captain I proceeded to fiddle the stats, or apply a bit of creative accounting if you like. Over a period of a few weeks Frank's stats were adjusted to show an increased number of ton pluses, a falsely higher 3 dart average, and a higher checkout rate, until Frank took his place at the top of the performance league, where Frank thought he belonged. After a couple of weeks Frank did start to perform better and started hitting his usual average of 65-70 3 dart average per game and checking out much quicker overall.
You might ask "What about Mick in all this"... well that's the point, because Mick could handle being second in the stats as he considered Frank to be a better player anyway. Result : The team performed better overall and Frank stated winning again and did in reality eventually take up the position of best player.
At the end of the season though when the false stats were presented to Frank and Mick I was chased around the games room followed by two irate team members after my blood. It was only after plying them with copious amounts of alcohol did they see the funny side of the situation and start speaking to me again. Now neither of them pay much attention to the stats anymore and just get on with their game!
If in your league you have a break for a bite to eat during the evening (as in most English leagues there may be domino games to get through as well), do you sometimes feel sabotaged by the food!
There is one particular pub, the Royal Oak, who serve up the usual sandwiches and sausage rolls, but also on the menu are items such as curry, chilli and garlic bread. Nothing wrong with that but I can visibly see our team members eyes light up as they approach the food table!
Now the particular curry and chilli at this pub are heavily laden with some unusual and abnormal spices, and can necessitate the need for a toilet roll to be placed in the freezer for the following morning!
As somebody mentioned.. "My backside was like the beginning of Bonanza!" (where the hole burns through the map in the opening credits). The other effect of this sabotage is the sudden attack of rampant wind during a match, which is when we realised that the home team never went near the offending delicacies and stuck to the more traditional food. The last few players matches more often than not involved two darts at the twenty followed by a "Bbrraaaaaphh!"... then a final dart in the 1 bed. Revenge is sweet though...it is amazing the effect that a generous sprinkling of laxative powders can have on egg mayonnaise sandwiches during the return match.
It has amazed me the gamesmanship that goes on at this level of darts by your opponents. You may recognise some of the behaviours below, and any hints on how to handle them are more than welcome.
Throws his darts then goes to retrieve them whilst you are stepping up to the hoche. When he is walking back from the board he will go to the left then other times to the right. Quite often he will walk straight towards you. This behaviour is sometimes accompanied by a "Sorry" but too late, you have to reposition and promptly throw a 26!
Retrieves his darts and always seems to drop one on the floor, which has the same effect as above and means you will have to step back and reposition.
Slams his darts down on the table behind you after his bad shot, just as you are about to release your first dart. This can also be accompanied by an expletive!
After a good shot of a ton or more he will shout "YEEEAASS" and punch the air in an effort to intimidate you.
The Spring Chicken
No springs or flight retainers on his darts and he will spend an inordinate amount of time retrieving flights from all round the board area while you are waiting to throw.
This player will leave you a nice aroma on the Hoche for you to stand in during your following throw. There is a drawback to this though ...it may still be hanging around for his throw and you may have had the chilli also! Does tend to affect the chalkers and scorers as well, and may lead to a temporary abandonment of the game till the air has cleared, especially if you get into the "Duelling Banjos" scenario.
More strange behaviours next time.
Throw where you Look, and Look where you Throw, Rockford
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