James Wade is responding to some fine tuning after positive start to 2023
I have spoken enough about my desire to find my proper game in 2023 and to start achieving what I am capable of, and the biggest part of that has been dedication to practice.
While I am committed, it always helps when you see some real results from your hard work so it is with pleasure, I can report there has been some definite signs that the Machine’s engine is responding to the fine tuning!
It is funny because my practice room sits right alongside my garage at home, and when I walk across from my house I and am putting time into one of the two things that have always dominated my life – darts and cars (or motorbikes!).
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In some ways the principles are very similar. Some fine tweaks and a bit of TLC can make a massive difference and that is what I am seeing the early signs of in my game.
Last week we were all at the Players’ Championships (PC) in Barnsley for PC1 and PC2 of the year, and they are quite brutal events. You are planning matches back-to-back, and a few off minutes and you lose a first to six match and you are at a loose end for the rest of the day.
I was actually the last player to win a PC in 2022, but was nowhere near consistent enough up to that point. With that in mind, it was very heartening to have a good start, reaching the last 32 on Saturday (beaten by a very good Danny Noppert performance) and the last eight on Sunday (beaten 6-5 by Luke Humphries).
Along the way I beat Peter Wright and Dirk van Duijvenbode and the only disappointment was missing match darts against Luke (Humphries) for a place in the semi because, at that point, I was in a real groove and think I would have been hard to beat.
My second task for the weekend was qualifying for the two opening Euro events (the qualifying for this takes place on the Monday following the PC weekend) and I was unbeaten on that day, playing well and securing spots in both those first two events and giving myself the chance to climb the rankings.
So, with nine games played of the weekend and seven victories it was definite forward momentum. We are back in Barnsley this weekend for PC3 and PC4 and I am hoping to build on that form and start really getting my confidence back ahead of the UK Open which is the first major ranking event of the year in just a month or so time.
Away from the dart board I have had some good planning meetings with my sponsors and am looking forward to doing some real fun stuff this year (again) which will combine me promoting their brands with supporting mental health and speak up for some of the people that might not feel confident enough to do so.
I am talking to Falken Tyres about another nationwide Bipolar UK rally or sort (with a twist this year) and Wienerberger have an idea that will allow me to do some fishing whilst I visit their amazing sites! (Nice work if you can get it).
Talking of fishing, I have continued getting my son Arthur into the hobby by taking him when we get an opportunity, and he really enjoys it. We went out this week when I got back from Barnsley (he is on half-term break) and he was delighted to catch what his mum (my wife Samantha) referred to as a ‘Giant Goldfish’! (As you can tell she is not passionate about fishing!)
In the words of Arnie, ‘I’ll be back’ to report on this weekend’s progress.
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