George Silberzahn is not the best known of US darts player here in the UK but his influence on darters ‘across the pond’ in terms of darts training is undeniable.
George started playing darts in 1962 and retired from the sport in 1982 and began to concentrate on writing about the sport he loved. He published two darts booklets during the 1980s and the contents of these (and much more) were finally produced in book form in 2004.
When I reviewed the first edition of George Silberzahn’s book in Darts World, I praised his work for the clarity of its messages and for its originality in providing advice from and mini-biographies of some of the top US darts names. In my review I criticised the book on three grounds. Firstly, I was confused by the chapter order (alternative games appearing before the business of tutoring had been completed), secondly, some of his material transferred to his book from the earlier booklets had not been properly updated and, thirdly, the book totally lacked illustrations.
Now the Second Edition has been published, I have, once again, a mixture of praise and criticism for the work. The new edition has been considerably updated and George has revised the text where I suggested it needed it and added substantially more material. Fifty pages of quality advice and guidance in the first edition have increased to ninety pages with many chapters expanded and improved and a new chapter included on ‘Soft-tip Specifics’.
Sadly though, no illustrations have been included which are essential, especially for players taking up an interest in darts for the first time. Also George was gracious enough to send me some images to assist the review process and to point out to me that the soft-tip out shot chart referred to in Chapter Seven had regrettably been omitted. In addition, the chapter on standard and other games still precedes chapters on grip, stance, etc. and is, in my opinion, still in the wrong place.
Despite these criticisms, How to Master the Sport of Darts is a book packed full of advice and guidance for both the aspiring and experienced dart player.
How to Master the Sport of Darts (Second Edition) by George Silberzahn is published by Totem Pointe Books Inc., Columbia, Missouri and priced at $16.95. It is available through Amazon.com. Also check out George’s website www.howtodarts.com
© 2008 Patrick Chaplin
HOW TO MASTER THE SPORT OF DARTS (Second edition)
I’ve just read your review of my second edition of How To Master The Sport Of Darts and wish to thank you for your frank reaction.
I regret not having depictions in the book but that was not my decision.
I’ll take this opportunity to explain the placement of “Games” so you’ll understand my thinking. I mention in the book that because I think purchasers will want to “get right to it” before taking the time to read how to get to it, I put the games in ahead of that instruction.
I’m attaching a piece which will appear on my website [see below]. The first paragraph explains another reason for the placement of games before instruction.
Again, thank you for your kind review.
15th November 2008
‘Throwing a dart, driving a car, riding a bike, playing a piano or any other skill one would care to mention all seem to work the same way. Information about how to do a skill is only understandable after we acquire the experience of doing the skill. We actually have to begin doing it before we can ever understand it.’ (Karl Hartman)
This being a given how does this book fit in? Reading the information in “How To Master The Sport Of Darts” puts a proven way to accomplish the skill of darts into a person’s mind (whether beginning or having been at the game a while) so a person may return to the written words as often as desired in an attempt to better understand and perfect their own way of doing it.
What’s in the book?
- What the dart world is: The people, organizations, competition, tournaments, leagues, and such.
- Explanation of the three distinct styles of darts: American, soft tip and steel tip.
- Which equipment a person needs to play each of the styles and how & where to get it.
- Games played and/or used for practice.
- Ways in which enjoyment is experienced beyond the act of competing.
- You don’t have to want to be a super star to have fun at darts.
- The hidden costs of a career.
- Discussion beyond explaining what a person needs to know.
- The theme is ‘How to do it’ after you know what “it” is.
- The emotional side of the sport. What does being “good” mean and how does a person “know” they are “good”. Never play for nothing; commit to hit; your natural drift; spot shooting, planning shots and more.
- The finer points to becoming accurate and consistent.
- When & when not and how to practice for what you want from the game.
- Most defeat their purpose without knowing it.
- The mechanics of physical form and how to do it your way.
- (It’s probably more involved than you think).
- A physical practice method which will have the most positive affect.
- The intricacies of arithmetic and strategies of the games played.
- The specifics of the soft tip game where they are different than the other two.
- Dealing with the different mindsets required for higher levels of competition.
- How to enjoy the tournament world and deal with the rigors.
- The ways many years of competition affects a person.
- Nine of the best darts shooters America ever produced talk to you about their experiences, approaches and techniques.
- There is information which covers every facet from “this is a dart” to “how to deal with the end of a career.”
© 2008 George Silberzahn