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Brand new player here (2 weeks). So far, I'm have occasional flashes of competence with lots of periods of poor play.  My question is: What's a reasonable trajectory/time frame to be a pub team player?  Weeks? Months? Years?  Are there benchmarks to make sure I'm progressing OK?
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That is such an individual process that it is hard to put a time line on it. Some folks take to darts like a duck to water and some like a brick to water, so your progress depends on your competency at the beginner level and how you develop from there.

If I were you, I wouldn't put any expectations on developing into a pub team player just yet but rather concentrate on becoming consistent with your form and throw and being comfortable doing it. Playing on a team puts another whole dimension with you having expectations, probably a bit of nerves going in, possible performance anxiety to not look like a doofus your first dart season, etc.

Here's what I tell anyone going into league play for the first time. Just go have fun. Don't worry about results and putting extra pressure on yourself. Play on a team in a division that is close to your ability as a player--as in--don't try to play with the top players with beginner skills or that can erode any confidence you may have going in.

With this whole Covid thing going on it may be hard to get to bars that have dart teams that you can walk in and try your hand against league players. When I first got started in darts I would do this on Friday afternoons and on League Night to throw against them in pick-up games and that is how I gauged my level of play. That way you are playing people with some skills but not in the actual league setting where an individual win or loss may put the team in a win or lose situation for the night.

Can't stress it enough to just have fun and see where the journey takes you.
gumbo2176
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I'll add to gumbo's point, which is a very great piece of advice that I wish I followed in my days with league.

In my first 2 1/2 years of league, I was a competitive beast. I wanted to win and dominate, but I was still a beginner trying to understand how league works. I had potential, but it came in brief flashes and I was always changing equipment as insane as Peter Wright would. After winning the first 2 trophies, I saw my skill become more stable, I was rising fast. My friends saw me as nigh invulnerable in practice and league, and started getting some nasty looks from some players who accused me of sandbagging. I then made a decision, I would skip 3 levels in the league divisions from the low level S5 group, to the advanced S2 group in Dartslive league. I thought I could hang with the players in there. I was mistaken. My competitive nature and expectations got the best of me. Instead of enjoying it, I got angry, and after getting angry, I became frustrated and I lost some love in the game.

1 fateful league game changed me, I joined a new team, and I faced a team made up of my ex-teammates. That's when dartitis set in. For almost an entire league, my yips would takeover when a league or competitive game was on. I couldn't explain why I had that yips onset happen on that game, was I expecting myself to show them I could do it? Was the expectation that I must win this, ruined my game? It would be probably, a year before I found my game back.

I would battle dartitis, and in the league before Covid stopped everything, I joined another team with a different goal. Instead of goals like winning overall in group stage or scraping to the finals, our goal is to better each other and help cope through each of our issues with dartitis.

3 of my teammates have different issues, the oldest, a long time mentor of the game, is coming out of a health scare, and after a recent stint in the hospital, lost his game. The other 2 are younger, were competitive in previous leagues, but lost direction and pretty much faced what I faced. We relate to one another in our deficiencies, and revel in coaching, motivating and finding ways to ease our minds and enjoy the game. It gave me my throw back, and I started enjoying darts again.

When you have a good group of people with you, the game can become beautiful. So, take it slow, have good people, and don't think of winning, think of how it will make you and the people around you better players and friends.
Current Dart in Use: Quantum Darts Paradox 17.5gm
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(10-23-2020, 04:33 AM)Clint Bowers Wrote: Brand new player here (2 weeks). So far, I'm have occasional flashes of competence with lots of periods of poor play.  My question is: What's a reasonable trajectory/time frame to be a pub team player?  Weeks? Months? Years?  Are there benchmarks to make sure I'm progressing OK?

First off, hello and welcome.

I personally think the most important thing is to get enjoyment (of some sort, or, other, from your darts)  you dont have to pressurise yourself to improve (as this can detract  from some of the fun to be had).

Also, adding extra stress and pressure I think, is likely to have a negative impact on your actual game, as well as your enjoyment of it.

When you look properly, most dart players even at the top of the game, go through bad spells, or, loose sometimes unexpectedly, apart from maybe a very small amount of players, commonly known as a slump, or, just a bad day.

When you watch the pros for example, who can regularly hit huge scores (on a regular basis) I for one have no pretentions what ever of emulating that, of course, it would be nice to do so, but, most mere mortals cannot do that, at least not regularly, if at all.

The other thing is, things arent as they normally would be right now due to this pandemic thing (shh (trying to not mention it)).

Maybe find someone to play with close by, or, play against the board for now, until you can hit what you are aiming at, with at least some consistency (which isnt always as easy as it sounds).

But, in any case carry on, carrying on, first and formost and take it from there and remember to have fun and to try and enjoy your darts, the rest will follow.
Yes its me, I checked in the mirror. 

Current throwing weights of 18 to 24 grams.

Current darts set up :- 23 gram, darts clearance (no name scalloped darts) with a 50 mm barrel, 41 mm nylon shafts + standard flights.
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Welcome to the forum and as stated have fun. Isn't that what it's all about?
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Enjoying it is the main thing. It depends what division your pub team play in. Though if you can consistently hit 60 in 3 throws and the occasional double you will do alright.
For some people that may take very little practice, some people may never be able to do that regardless of how much practice they have.
Good luck.
Darts:One80 R2 rebel, harrows atomic or designa dark thunder 24g
Stems: harrows supergrip 
Flights: harrows marathon
Board: blade 5
Lighting: unicorn solar flare
Highest out:158
Best leg: 13
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Try not to over think it, and put undue pressure on yourself.
If you keep it fun, and not turn it into job, you will be a lot better off, and make study progress.
If you know what I'm doing, don't tell me .... I find bliss in my confusion.
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Hey Clint, I am a Nascar fan, your name sounds familiar  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

I will take a slightly different tack from the other replies. If you stand at your practice board and shoot at the triple 20 most of the time, the chances are that you will be good on that number and will hit some good scores when you play in real matches. Will you be able to nail the double 16 to win a match? That depends on how much time you spend there. 

There are a lot of good practice routines here that will help you develop your skill on the whole board. I usually shoot the doubles starting at one, and hitting them all in sequence then finishing on the bull, plus many other drills. Also, it is very important to know your finishing combinations. There are reasons why pros start on a certain number for a certain combination.

Anyway, good luck with the practice. There really is nothing like playing against a real opponent though, if it is possible in these crazy times.

Cheers!!!
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