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     David Kirby: The Definitive Darts Coaching Manual: Your pathway to success

    Darts & Stuff of InterestCharis writes ""The Definitive Darts Coaching Manual"is a thin booklet of 70 pages which was published in 2012 by Anchorprint Group Limited. By now the second edition is on the market and a Kindle edition is available too. One can buy it at, the price is 5 pound. The book come with a recommendation by Jamie Caven, just now David Kirby writes a book over Caven.

    David Kirby was so kind to give me a copy to write a review.

    David Kirby has a lot of experience as a coach for athletics and martial arts. He plays darts himself and manages County and Super league teams, which connected him to Jamie Caven. To background knowledge is important to really understand the book. Kirby writes that the book is aimed at the majority of players, but I doubt it really helps an absolute beginner or that an experienced professional will find a lot of really new ideas in it.

    In many parts the suggestions are - as it almost can be expected with such a "slim" book - kept rather short. Kirby certainly is right when he writes how important it is to keep the emotions under control in competition and not to give away anything by body language, but he doesn't elaborate the necessary: "How do I manage that?" Kirby's assessment that it needs 9000 hours of meaningful practice over 6 years to give you the chance to become a good player is interesting but again you can't find a real explanation why that is the case and what meaningful practice would be.

    In some parts the approach looks promising but the development is not convincing. Goal setting really is big points in darts but what Kirby suggests are out-coming goals one shouldn't set because they only lead to frustration and tend to dispirit and they are in no way helpful planning a practice strategy either. That of course then drops in into Kirby's detailed practice sessions. Planned practice sessions are not only useful but necessary but should include more then Kirby's attractive switch and hours of not performance enhancing throwing at the triple 20 or the Bullseye.

    Really good is Kirby's extensive finishing chapter which includes his "Infamous Ten". And it's very welcome he covers the know-how of chalking in his book, probably he his experience in league showed him some tutoring would be a good idea.

    It's very positive to see more and more people try to help dart players along now-a-days. Each new release brings new impulses and new points of view. It's not different with David Kirby's book. It wouldn't be fair to compare such a thin "first work" with the matured concept of the American "Flight School" by George Silberzahn, who like Kirby came from league play and his work with league players, or the convincing coherent work of the Darts Performance Centre which is based on the latest perceptions of sports science and sports psychology, which both have the additional advantage of interactivity. Kirby had announced he'll publish a series of books on the same subject and I am curious to find out where his path will lead him.
    "The Definitive Darts Coaching Manual" alone offers no real alternative.

    Note: Excellent Review Charis, thanks.
    For those interested, Charis writes for us from Germany where she lives and plays darts.

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    "David Kirby: The Definitive Darts Coaching Manual: Your pathway to success" | Login/Create an Account | 3 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: David Kirby: The Definitive Darts Coaching Manual: Your pathway to success (Score: 1)
    by Dart_talker on Friday, October 26 @ 12:31:21 UTC
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    Good straight forward review on the book, while it does not seem to be a very "in depth" work on the benefits of coaching in darts, it could be the first step towards more works being done in the future.

    Thanks for the review Charis!


    Re: David Kirby: The Definitive Darts Coaching Manual: Your pathway to success (Score: 1)
    by DKDARTS on Sunday, November 18 @ 14:22:18 UTC
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    A very well written review of book one in the series, balanced and evocative.

    To allow an understanding of my approach to further works I have jotted some notes in reply……

    Why a series

    Initially I started with the idea of writing one book to fit all sizes, hence the name 'The Definitive Darts Coaching Manual’ I quickly concluded that it may be easier to digest the wide array of topics into a series of shorter booklets.

    The first book really sets down a bedrock of knowledge. It is aimed to take a starting player through to semi-professional status. Whilst there are areas you could delve further into at this stage the aim is to read and digest the book a number of times. This followed by a period of experimenting and developing a process that works for you.

    The hope is that you are receptive to new ideas and have a progressive attitude.

    The second book 'Darting Essays - A Coaching Critique' is a series of short pieces that explore further the foundation structure as laid down in book one. You will be able to choose from a variety of subjects that again will stimulate the ability to question and develop your game.

    Neither of the first two books are designed to work as an A to Z recipe for becoming a great dart player. They are both catalysts that will allow you to unlock your potential. All this said it will only work if you are prepared to embrace new ideas and experiment accordingly.

    Book three is yet to gain a title. This is because I wish to keep it under wraps until later in 2013 just before release. The book will be radical in the approach it takes. It will certainly appeal to readers looking for an alternative coaching and training methodology.

    I do appreciate that there will be a split in this adoption of the book. The attraction will be to offer a fundamental new approach which I believe has not been tried in this arena before.

    Book four will bring together the coaching principles explored in the first three books. However these techniques will be woven into a subtle story line. You will not have to be a practitioner of darts to enjoy this book. It is designed to stand alone as a teaching instrument in that when you have finished the story you will be able to appreciate how the full spectrum of coaching techniques has been totally articulated within the story.

    The last in the series book five will be a very analytical approach to the science of finishing. The idea will be to explore in detail the statistical execution of all the finishing combinations. This will allow the reader the opportunity to review existing ideas and perhaps challenge long standing approaches to the end game. Where such fine margins are involved a small percentage uplift will only serve the players game.

    In conclusion the series will give the reader over a period of four years a structured approach to maximising an individual’s potential. Starting with game fundamentals, then stimulating debate, alternative methods, consolidation within an imaginative story line and finally an analytical approach to finishing

    I hope now this goes some way in explaining why I have broken the series down into five manageable publications.


    Re: David Kirby: The Definitive Darts Coaching Manual: Your pathway to success (Score: 1)
    by rickstr on Monday, March 11 @ 07:00:42 UTC
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    it certainly can not be fully copied to the brain, and recent findings immediately become a great player. But this lack of useful tips. not only in terms of the proper mental attitude and behavior during the tournament. I had a list of tips that I wrote down just flipping through the book. Yes - it is a thin book, but .. I do not know. All full of the correct approach to motivating moments. In any case - I think it's useful.

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