Brendan Dolan is convinced his time spent in pandemic lockdown at his Belcoo home in Co Fermanagh can act as a launching pad back to the top of the darts world - along with a little help from basketball legend Michael Jordan.
Dolan, who takes on arrows superstar and top seed Michael van Gerwen when big-time darts returns to television tonight with the World Matchplay from Milton Keynes, spent his spare time constructing a practice room in his home and is sure the new set-up can help him get back among the world's elite, having once been a top-10 hit.
"I can be a special player if I put in the work. Most of the top players have their own practice room but it's something I've never had and I'm convinced it will make all the difference," said the man known as the History Maker, for throwing the first ever televised double-in nine darter en route to the final of the 2011 World Grand Prix in Dublin where he was edged out by the great Phil Taylor, the World Matchplay trophy named in honour of the 16-time world champion.
"I used to have a board hanging up in the living room - I don't think it helped my ma's enjoyment of the television! You would get people calling to visit her and I would stop practising to have a yarn. That could be practice over for the day!" added Dolan.
"So this new room will be a great help. My wife has been very supportive of the idea, she knows this could make all the difference.
"If I'm being honest, I never fully committed to being a darts player. I left my job as a painter and decorator in 2011 and that's when I should have started treating darts like a job, I should have dedicated myself to it. In truth I was kidding myself.
"I was maybe practising for four hours, four or five days a week. But that's simply not enough. I know of players who put in eight hours a day, seven days a week when not playing in tournaments.
"I watched 'The Last Dance' documentary about Michael Jordan and it showed what dedication and commitment is all about. You have to be prepared to dedicate your life to something in order to be a success."
Dolan travelled on the ferry from Belfast to Liverpool last week before the three-hour drive to Milton Keynes to play in a minor tournament ahead of the showpiece World Matchplay, all darts - as well as snooker - so far taking place at the same Marshall Arena venue.
Dolan has therefore been through all the protocols and admitted: "Covid testing wouldn't be the most pleasant experience but at least it's over quickly.
"My sister lives about half an hour from Milton Keynes so I was able to go and see her but it does mean re-testing when you return to the venue. But it's a small price to pay to get back playing again.
"I really didn't fancy flying across. I just felt it was more of a risk. It would be difficult to maintain social distancing on planes and in airports.
"There has been a lot of talk about a second wave of the virus so the future is uncertain for everyone and darts is very minor in terms of the bigger picture. Of course, a vaccine could change everything.
"Beyond the World Matchplay we haven't been told how the rest of the season might pan out."
And Dolan feels, even at 46, his new approach can give him a good few years at the top of the game.
"I have never really busted a gut in terms of practice, I tended to rely on my ability to see me through. I would have tended to step things up for a month before a tournament but that's not good enough," he said.
"I suppose I had a happy-go-lucky approach to darts. But I am determined to see how far I can really go and when I do eventually finish at least I can say I gave it my best shot.
"I simply haven't practised hard enough over the years to be as consistent as I need to be. More practice gives you more confidence as you know you have put the work in. Your concentration improves. I have done okay over the years - but not as well as I could have done.
"But things are changing. Over the last 18 months I have dragged myself back into the world top 32 and when I am on top of my game any player in the world would find it hard to get the better of me."
And he is hopeful that will be the case against three-time world champion Van Gerwen when the pair clash behind-closed-doors in the £700,000 tournament, in which Dolan's fellow Ulsterman Daryl Gurney takes on Ricky Evans on Monday night.
"If I perform well, I am good enough to win. I feel the fact that there will be no crowd there can work in my favour," said Dolan.
"Van Gerwen really feeds off the crowd, when he is having a dip he can use the noise to give him a lift and next thing he is firing in 180s. If he struggles at all he will find it tougher without a crowd but I will have to produce my best darts.
"But I have a decent record against him so I don't fear him. I played him early this year and beat him and faced him three times last year, winning one. I have beaten him in big matches so facing him doesn't bother me.
"He's a top, top player but the fact there is no crowd evens things up and could work in my favour. He's expected to win but I have nothing to lose and I'm looking forward to it. I'm delighted to be in the World Matchplay and didn't really care who I got. It's going to be an unusual experience. The arena is going to be very quiet."
And Dolan is confident Van Gerwen won't enjoy the silent treatment.