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The Challenge Tour is our inspiration for this month

Coaching Clinic 72

Posted: 26.04.18 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

The Challenge Tour is our inspiration for this month's Coaching Blog!

I recently went to my first Challenge Tour event, Challenge Tours 1-4. Our sponsored player, Diogo Portela recently won one of the events earlier this year. I was full of admiration for this achievement but this only increased having watched the event unfold in person. The well known saying, ‘horses for courses' is apt for the Challenge tour. In my opinion players need to adapt their preparation to compete at the Challenge tour far more than at any other event.

Why? Well first of all the format is unique.  Who ever played in two big money open events on the same day? The successful players in event 2 are still chucking darts at 8 or 9pm. Then everyone has to regroup and go again for a ‘groundhog' day on  Sunday. I was exhausted as a spectator! The players are surely drained physically and mentally by the end.

So, how can our dart playing ‘horses ‘ set themselves up for the marathon Challenge Tour course? First of all follow John Part’s modus operandi. I bumped into him at the hotel during the pro tour. Nothing unusual there other than the other 127 players were at the venue warming up.

John Part registers and then if he is third or fourth gets out of the main hall to relax back at the hotel. This makes sense. The halls the darts are played in are draining.  It is easy to get dehydrated and the lighting causes your eyes to become sore.

So, two points here. Keep the water flowing and as soon as you are able get out of the hall, refocus and get back only when you have to play again.

Nutrition has raised its head a few times recently so we won't dwell too long here. A decent healthy breakfast is a must. Players should graze on healthy snacks such as bananas but don’t ignore having a light lunch too. Don’t abandon your normal eating routine, especially if there is liquid you have taken on board that needs to be absorbed.  Whilst on the subject of alcohol, if you do need to drink then pace yourself. The Challenge Tour is a marathon not a sprint. If you are a non drinker then you have the upper hand. There is surely no other format that rewards the non drinker more than the relentless format of the Challenge Tour.

Finally, sleep! Remember you are not on a stag night, you are trying to earn money and reach the greatest prize on offer in darts; a 2 year tour card. The importance of sleep cannot be over estimated. So pile up the Zzz's  and you will give yourself every chance of a successful day at the most challenging darts event anywhere! 


The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. The site is arranged as an online coaching manual.

There is advice on technique, nerves, psychology, goal setting, practice games, an area to log your statistics and an interactive area where your darting questions are answered by two sports scientists, one with 30 years dart playing experience.

You also get an invite to our free but exclusive members only events and access to our members only darts coaching app! Membership is £25 per year!


Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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