Did you travel yourself to Britain for tournaments and with what kind of success?
Unfortunately no. I made a choice between the demands of a sponsorship and working the seven day, swing shift requirements of my employment. Darts came in second. The times I got to play against the guys from the UK I did pretty well. I didn't keep a record or anything but a lot of them bit the dust during tournaments. The guys I knew from Philly and S. New Jersey, were every bit as good as they but they had so many good players, one after another, and one of them would get us somewhere along the line.
We are in some way compared to you then "spoiled", we can see darts on TV or the internet, there exist dart sites, we've got some books including your great "How to Master the Sport of Darts", we still moan, but all this certainly helps us to learn the sport. How did you learn it?
To use a cliché' - I learned the hard way, and by myself, although a couple of my team mates and I would talk darts constantly and pick up tips along the way.
And would you say it's really something to learn?
Things I've discovered from contact with those who have read my book and Flight School enrolees tell me darts is certainly something to learn.
And can one learn it by reading about it or will you have all to experience yourself?
Here's my thing. No teacher can really get a person to learn, all the teacher can do is explain to the student what must be learned and give them some tools to use in the learning. Then give the student a means to know that they have learned. Reading is a way for a student to know what they have to learn. In darts, knowing that a stroke must be felt, is not the same as experiencing the feeling of your stroke. That discovery has to be the student's experience. I'm convinced that reading is an important part of learning for most people.
Would you say when learning by reading you'll only always understand what you did already experience and that by reading it again after some time you'll learn totally different things?
Oh, no. My point here is that when a person's mind is on a specific issue, say - thinking about which out shot combination to try for, that is not the time to talk about the concept of pattern play. They are not ready to absorb that concept, but if it is in a book they can use as a reference manual, they can go to that when they are ready, and read the words which can help them learn the concept. More to your point. I find no problem with exploring different view points on any subject. But as far as learning a specific concept or issue in a book, such as "How To Master The Sport Of Darts," a person may think a passage has said one thing but upon re-reading that passage they arrive at a wholly different understanding of what was intended. That's the wonder of practice and study and having a manual at hand.