John Part looked unbeatable in his first round Alexandra Palace match against Tone Greebe. Could a fourth world title be on the cards for the Canadian. No!
Why? Because he went home for Christmas. Flew back to Canada. And returned to London yesterday. He then played and lost by 4 sets to 1 to Kirk Shepherd, with a heavy case of jet-lag.
No wonder he played so badly. Yet the jet-lag itself is not the reason for the defeat. John Part is a very experienced player. He would have backed himself to handle the inevitable tiredness.
When your mind and body is out of sync, its easy to lose your rhythm. And even harder to find it, when you have lost it. And that’s the tricky bit.
When you lose your rhythm, you must not get frustrated. Must not start beating yourself up. And that is what John Part did today. Muttering to himself out loud. Letting everyone know, that he was unhappy with his game.
The trick when rhythm goes, is to have a simple and clear plan. A plan that means slowing down if necessary. And just aiming at finding some rhythm. Any rhythm. That’s all. Reduce expectations. Dont expect to play at 8/10.
Try 5/10 to start with. Then build from there. What’s 5/10? It means being consistent. Not even 180’s. But maybe throwing consistent 60’s for a few darts. Then up to tons, and build from there.
Take the pressure off yourself. Stop getting anxious if you don’t hit the big scores. They will come.
That’s the only way to find rhythm. Its probably what the experienced John Part intended to do. But today, his frustrations got the better of him. He wanted more than his mind and body could give him.
Christmas in London next year, John?