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We take a novel approach to the action from the UK Open, we also have pearls and darters fighting fatigue

James Wade and Jane Austen

Posted: 05.06.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

We take a novel approach to the action from the UK Open, we also have pearls and darters fighting fatigue


Welcome to The Darts Performance Centre darts blog

The Qualifiers

What a brilliant tournament the UK Open was. The enthusiasm of the sponsors, the professionalism of Sky and the organisation of the PDC made for a great partnership. The players and in particular the qualifiers were of course the stars of the show. We followed the qualifiers' progress with great interest-we would love to know more about their experience. We could perhaps use the data to help next year’s qualifiers? We are in touch with a few of the 32 qualifiers and if you are one or know any of them perhaps you could ask them to email paul@dartsperformancecentre.com. We will put a short survey online for all the qualifiers to answer and to find out what went right and what went wrong.

Pride and Prejudice

James Wade and Jane Austen! Not two names you normally see together. However, when you dig a little deeper there is more of a connection between the professional dart player from Aldershot (Wade) and the author of romantic fiction from Bath and Southampton (Austen).

As James Wade was closing in on the UK Open title last night the camera panned onto the latest love of his life and a most striking sight it was too. Never have pearls been worn at a darts event with such aplomb! “She looks almost breathless” tweeted one of my twitter pals @lenny_boyle. “Jane Austen springs to mind” was my tweet in response.

Gemma we were told was her name (can you see where we are heading), all Jane Austen fans will be on to it by now! Before you scoff that no Jane Austen fans will be reading this, think again, after tweeting Jane Austen last night I have now been “followed” by a lady who organises Jane Austen tours. There is no mention in her profile about an interest in darts so I now have to try to cater for the dual interests of my followers; darts and Jane Austen. “Emma” was of course one of Jane Austen’s novels and it sounds very similar to Gemma, the latest jewel in the ranks of the darting wags, doesn’t it?

If the Gemma /Emma link is slightly too tenuous how about the title of our blog today, Pride and Prejudice, this is arguably the most famous member of Jane Austen’s canon. Surely there is no argument that there could not be a better title to sum up what “The Machine” has achieved over the past week? His victory was of course a source of great pride to him after all he has gone through but he also demonstrated previously hidden traits during his interview after the game. Traits such as good sense (praising his sponsors for sticking with him as his revelations of his mental illness and stay at The Priory were published) and sensibility (for recognising the impact his manager/best friend Jason Thame had in guiding him through a difficult period in his life).

The prejudice is of course the reaction by some people about his fight with mental illness. Not just him of course, there are sufferers in every walk of life that don’t always get the support they need. Sportsman such as James Wade and the cricketer Marcus Trestcothick help fight the ignorance surrounding mental illness by opening their private lives to closer scrutiny. Maybe James will write a book about it all one day?

Fighting Fatigue

If you find dart players and Jane Austen hard to swallow what about the increasing chat on Sky about how dart players need to be fit (in the old sense) and healthy. Dennis Ovens has lost three stone and suddenly pops up in the semi final of a major tournament. A coincidence? We have had a few quotes from my coaching hero Vince Lombardi this week. I always like giving him the last word, he does it so well:

First of all, fatigue:

“Fatigue makes a coward of us all. When you’re tired you rationalise. You make up excuses. You say I’m too tired, I’m bushed, I can’t do this, and I give up. Then you’re a coward”!

On Fitness

“Good physical fitness is vital to success. A man who is physically fit performs better at any job”


Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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