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July 20, 2017

Darts Academy: Overcoming a Mental Block

Dart hitting the target on a dart board

You’ve got the perfect stance, right foot forward. You’ve got a firm but relaxed hold on the barrel in your preferred grip. Your dart is the perfect weight and length, freshly sharpened, with a perfect, crisp flight. Your throw mechanics are on point. You ready, aim, release and – you throw a masonry dart, missing the board entirely to complete the skunk. Face it, you’re in a slump. Don’t put away your darts for good just yet, though, because there’s still hope.  

The mental aspect of darts is just as important as technique or equipment. When you lose focus or start doubting yourself, accuracy is the first thing to fly out the window. With these tips and tricks, you can get your game back on track and resume the lifelong quest for a nine darter.

Are you having fun?

Whether you play to unwind at home, compete in a local amateur darts league in Ottawa, or are living the dream as a pro player, darts is just a game. No matter the stakes, if it’s not fun, you’re doing something wrong. Darts should be entertaining, thrilling, and fun. If you find yourself aggravated, bored, or unfulfilled, wind it back. Take it back to the roots and let loose.

Are you nervous?

Nerves don’t just affect your confidence and composure – they have physical effects, too. When you are nervous, the body produces adrenaline in response to the stressor. Adrenaline primes the body for action, increasing blood circulation. This extra energy can cause nervous shaking. No matter how slight, this can disrupt your throw. If you try to calm shaky nerves by tensing your muscles, this can also affect your accuracy. Essentially, it’s lose-lose until you learn to calm your nerves with a technique like combat tactical breathing.

Are you focused?

When you’re locked in as a darts player, it’s just you, the dart, and the board. The only thing that matters in the world is this one throw. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in a dingy basement pub or on the world stage, everything else fades into the background. When you’re in a slump, any little thing can throw you off. The music is pumping too loud. The guys chattering behind you are going to make you blow a gasket. You’re thinking about work, angry about the last throw, or worried about the next one. You’re not locked in.

When you lose focus, your mechanics will get sloppy. This will result in a bad throw, or may even cause you to miscalculate how many points you need. Strip the distractions away and break darts down to its core components, and you’ll be just fine.

Are you using the right dart?

Not all darts are made alike. Too heavy, too light, too thin, too thick, too short, too long, too dull…it can also throw off your game. Visit us in-store to shop darts, flights, and shafts from the best brands. With our generous exchange policy, you can try out a set of darts and bring it back if it’s not the right fit. Something as simple as switching out flight graphics/colour can give you the confidence you need to renew your game.

Desperate to get out of a slump? Come visit us at Purewater. Our staff darts experts can perform a FREE diagnosis of your grip, throw, and stance to see if anything’s amiss. Let’s talk about your process and see if we can spot where things are going wrong. In no time, you’ll be back on track to darts glory.

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