Darts is as much a game of the mind as it is physical (perhaps more so). There are many mental qualities that all of the best dart players have in common and mastering these can help improve your game as well.
Darts has its ups in downs. Sometimes you’re on-point other times not so much. The slumps can last anywhere from just a game to months. But there’s no denying it. When you’re hot you’re hot!
Whether you are a veteran player or new to the sport, you have to have the proper mindset. There are several mental traits that I have listed here that will improve your dart game once mastered.
Any little change in your mental process can affect your game and the cause may not always be apparent.
Well, there is some overlap here each is it’s own and improving one may help with some of the others. Let’s take a look at getting into the right mindset to improve our darts.
If you have a big game, be prepared. Make sure you are well-rested and well prepared mentally (whatever that means for you), and it will mean different things to different people.
You should treat the big day just like any other. Arrive early so you have plenty of time to practice and get settled in and comfortable before your match.
Planning ahead in such a way can help to relieve stress. It can also be helpful in case something does go wrong. Traffic jam? That’s ok, you left early. Broken dart? That’s ok, you have your spare.
Not being prepared for little things like this will throw you off and it can be easily avoided.
Staying calm is one thing, staying calm under pressure is another. While being prepared will greatly help your ability to stay calm, it is a mindset that requires much discipline.
Some people are just naturally calm, others employe techniques such as breathing or meditation. As you play more, everything will feel more natural and any feelings of anxiety should pass.
Understand this, you are going to miss. It is going to happen, and it happens to everyone. Don’t get mad. Don’t get frustrated. Anger, angst, frustration are not going to help you shoot better.
Keep moving forward and don’t dwell on mistakes. If you miss, focus on what next, not what if.
Just like you are going to miss, you are going to lose. No, I am not being negative, this is a fact. Everyone loses. It is how you think and act on the loss that matters.
Nobody likes a sore loser and you don’t want that reputation.
Maintaining a positive attitude will help you to stay calm and confident and can even throw off your opponent if they see you are not phased by a streak of misfortune.
Confidence is one of the key factors to success, not just in darts but in life. There is a difference between thinking you can do something and knowing you can. That confidence, along with staying calm and positive is what will help propel you forward and ensure continued victories.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.“― Henry Ford
Concentration And Focus
Concentration or focus is the ability to shut out distractions and direct your mental attention to one specific task.
Unless you are playing alone, at home, there will be distractions, and you have to play through them. Clear your mind, ignore distractions, and fixate on your target.
Professional darts players demonstrate some of the highest levels of concentration in any sports today, especially when you consider the environments in which they play.
In other sports where extreme concentration is required, athletes often are allowed silence. In sports like golf, spectators get bad looks for just clearing their throats. Could you imagine 1000 drunkards hooting at Tiger Woods when he makes a putt?
We will be going over goal-setting in another article but staying dedicated to those goals is just as important as setting them.
Dedication to not just playing, but improvement is required. You have to play often and play with your goals in mind to see an improvement.
If you play once a week you will not improve as much as if you played twice. If you are weak at doubles, playing baseball will not help you get better. If you want to improve, you have to play regularly and play with a purpose.
Realistically Self Assessment
Darts is a game of skill. While you can practice to increase your proficiency, you will hit plateaus, and you may also hit a wall. I don’t want this to sound harsh, but realistically all people who play darts will eventually hit their peak and even drop from there.
This is why an honest self-assessment is a good thing. I believe there is always room for improvement. But improvement happens differently for everyone. Sometimes it may take weeks, sometimes it may take months and sometimes the improvements are so slight that it is hardly noticeable.
“If you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”― Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight
If you want to get better at darts, you need to assess your current skill level. Know your strengths and weaknesses and set out to plan to make corrections in your game.
While practice is still the key to success when playing darts, mastering these 7 characteristics will go a long way to improving your game.
A lot of these qualities will come naturally as you play more and become a better player. But still, it is important to actively do a self-check from time to time to make sure you are hitting all of the above points.
What mental qualities do you think make a better dart player? Are there certain techniques or training that you employe to achieve them?
We’d love to hear what you have to say. Please let us know in the comments below.