My trip to the oche (a whole Journey)
As we all know it's so common to get so frustrated and stressed while playing darts, like hitting an occasional 26 exactly where you don't need it Big Grin
Then you are confident that you' re going to apply a fine practice performance of hitting a fair amount of tons on the 20 section right to a 501 game. But you can't hit, you are scoring 26s, 22s, 45s etc, frustration takes its toll to your mood to the point you ends up feeling like vacation is so much needed! First thought: it's the darts i'm using. They're the wrong darts for me, they are not fine tuned, the flights, the grip, my throw, etc. 
Then you realize it's way more than that. It's just a personal battle with yourself. Battling with thoughts, ideas that come to mind, off-the shelve "universally"-applied word-of-mouth "dos and don'ts", things you read, things you hear you have to challenge, your responses to them, your knowledge of your body, the coordination of eyes with the arm, sight with the body, arm with the brain, mathematics Big Grin, well anyone can tell how hard the whole process of setting up for just a round of 3 darts to the board could ever be. 
So after a long period of frustration over my inconsistency issues all over the sport, i've started realize what everybody used to talk about being in a better position: make your throw a repetitive routine process. So i started to focus on observing my whole body and brain experience while practicing: trying different grips, different stances, etc until i reached a standard level of comfort and also learnt to reproduce it every time i'm preparing for a game.
If anybody asks me about my experience in Darts for that 1,5 year, the real answer would be like:
1st. Great sport to watch on TV, so emotional, so random, so unexpected, anyone could beat anyone on his day in a single leg of 501 
2nd. A hobby that i love. Great pub darts & game memories, new friends, trips, jokes etc 
3rd. (and most important) What A PAIN IN THE A** that is to do "well", what amount of detail and preparation is behind that "simple throwing move" from your hand to the board. 
So it was about time to write down my whole "trip to the oche" process as a mean to understand details, rectify weaknesses, apply myself to new ideas and now, hopefully within the fellow community of online darts players, to share and talk about arguably what is the center of my attention when i play darts: myself! (sounds egocentric, but you should everyone know i mean the sport's character being an individual-based process). I will therefore share it with you, hoping that it could spark an idea that could attribute to any further improvement for each one of us.
Preparation routine for a 501 game
Pregame 9-dart routine: choose your personal 9-darts pregame routine you should always follow every time before games. Use it to create a level of alertness and be game-ready if needed. The goal is to establish a personal pregame routine to get used to.
Before setting up for a shot: always know your score left, either by subtracting your own score from 501, either by looking at the scoreboard right after your previous rounds. Do it as earlier as possible. It saves you some much time for preparation for other things.
Preparing for the trip to the oche: knowing your score gets you better prepared by visualizing the score you want to get to. E.g. When I have 261 left, I say to myself "261 minus 60 for 201, then if it's a s20 I'm thinking again 60 for 181 etc". Using mathematics for scoring visualization before i throw, i found to be such an ease. Then it works like a routine. I'm doing this when i know i have 310 left on the board.
Aiming (part 1): the aiming lasts for some moments, while doing other steps of the ritual. It starts for me when i go to the oche and look at the section/point i am about to aim. At this stage It's more a pre-aiming process: it's the moments where I have decided where to aim to and i'm preparing to "lock" to the target later (see part 2 later)
Feet stance position: the body slightly to the right side of the middle oche line, right foot on the center line of the oche. Let your heel feels like it's planted because if it's not it's very possible that you left foot could be in the air after each dart throw.
Right foot (i'm right-handed and right-eye dominant): the right foot feels right about at 40-45 degrees to the direction of the board, not too forward and not too sideways.
Plant-the-feet point: I usually make 2-3 lil swings with the front part of the right foot (like killing a cigarette on the road) to allow the heel and the front part of the foot to tune in for the most comfortable position. Like this i'm setting up the planting point. I find it good for my left foot then, to set up accordingly as well.
Right knee feel: very important. If my knee feels like I'm loading its muscles, I know I'm wrong there. My experience shows that this test can prevent from being over-fatigued over the course of a long practice/set of games. This is where I have a mental interrelation between the feel of the knee and the heel position. A good heel planting tells if the knee is bending comfortable. Sometimes i require to adjust where in-between throws, as the hand-off arm move to pick up the dart from the left had occasionally relocates the weight balance point, so i'm finding useful to move my right foot fingers so that they contribute in not letting the whole body lean towards right or left. It's a very useful in-game foot adjustment.
Left foot: it follows the planted foot with some distance so its big toe holds the whole left foot to the ground and support the overall lower section balance.
Body position: i'm trying to keep an upright body position with the chest and shoulders as wide open possible.
Breathing: natural. Do not hold air inside the lungs, better if you breathe out with a steady rhythm (equal amounts of air out of your mouth over the breathe out)
Aiming (part 2): for me is very important at the time of the breathing out process to lock the target you are aiming to. It's when I "lock" the target with my eyes and mind. Then it comes to the body to run the movement.
Left to right arm hand-off: i'm taking the dart with the right thumb by making two spins a-la-Suljovic with the minigrip section on the rear part of the barrel, then apply it to the thumb and index finger with a loose grip.
Dart weighting/balance: while the dart is loose, low in your right hand, make a Van Gerwen-like shake towards while bringing it up to prepare for the elbow move next.
Right hand pre-grip ritual: now i apply the middle finger on the dart point, where it makes a comfortable distance between the fingers feel (not too close, not too distant), while i lift the right arm.
Right hand lift: it's the part where I need to be comfortable with the dart balance feel and the middle finger grip. When I'm not I lower the right arm and prepare again the movement.
Elbow movement: In conjunction with the right hand lift, I am focused to set the elbow vertically to the dartboard but not too "locked". I'm trying not to bend the elbow much.
Grip: now after I feel good about the overall grip, I'm preparing for the final aiming.
Aiming (part 3): now that I have locked with my eyes and mind the target and I feel the comfortable grip in my right hand, I'm prepared to execute the final movement by bringing the dart near the head with that elbow movement.
Back-swing: very important for my throw as I feel like I want to have a continuous movement in my throwing routine to be aligned with the most important process for me, which is the dart weighting stage. By bringing the dart slightly backwards near the ear, I make a small movement forwards preparing for the throw, and then i propel the dart with a forward movement towards the target.
Release the dart: just do it and let your instincts tell when it's the right moment to let it go.
Follow through/ snap wrist: follow through is very important, I'm doing it naturally as i find it quite easy from previous my basketball experience. Wrist snap and follow through until the right hand finishes its natural movement.
(where needed) Readjust: be alert to adjust your aiming target for each dart, especially where vision is not possible of a dart blocks the area. Reset your feet if necessary, lower your body if necessary.
Final step: An 180 appears right front your eyes!!! Big Grin 
(Sorry for being too detailed and thank you for letting me share. There are so many things that comes to my attention while playing darts)
*couldn't make an edit for the paragraphs Sad If anyone could help i would appreciate 
Enjoyed that story, and to think that all that usually happens in a couple of secconds...
That's an awful lot of thinking for this old guy. I just stand at the oche, throw, look, swear, retrieve, have a sip of beer, and repeat.  Lol
If you know what I'm doing, don't tell me .... I find bliss in my confusion.
I am with you Borisbbadd only I add a deep sigh between swear and retrieve.

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