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We have a night of "shocks",Bomber waves bye bye to Nico and  a player whose rehearsal makes him look like the "real thing"!

The Players Championship Night 1

Posted: 09.12.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

We have a night of "shocks",Bomber waves bye bye to Nico and a player whose rehearsal makes him look like the "real thing"!


The Crowd

The Players Championship got off to a quiet start in terms of the interest from the paying public. Cash converters were ironically involved in the last tournament which bucked the trend in the usual ease with which the PDC converts tickets into cash. The World Cup also got off to a slow start this time last year but soon grew in the affection of most dart fans and it was certainly one of my favourite tournaments of last year.

Maybe the lack of ticket sales is something to do with the time of year? December is typically an expensive month for a lot of people.  The World Championships are just around the corner or maybe it’s just a case of too many tournaments in too short a time. We have expressed our admiration for the marketing king that is Uncle Barry many times, but maybe it is time for a tournament schedule re-think?

The Darts

Anyone who did go (and all those complaining about the lack of atmosphere whilst plonked on their sofa at home should appreciate the hardy souls who made it along) were treated to some fantastic darts. We ran a competition that asked for predictions of how many of the lower ranked seeds would upset the odds.

We have lost a third of all the entries already, as they only predicted three upsets. We have had four and there are still eight games to go tonight. Although actually the only real upset was probably Bomber bidding a fond farewell to Paul Nicholson with a little wave as Nico left the stage. If you dish it out and all that! The four “shocks” were:

Scott Rand

Wayne Jones


Steve Brown

“Cool Hand”

The stand out player for me last night was Scott Rand. He looked the part, his body language and “board management” were excellent and he had planned routines in place for different scenarios.

The argument still continues over whether a player's so called momentum should be interrupted as they go from a fat number or a treble to the double needed to win the leg. Some players prefer to pause and take stock, others push on regardless. From a sports science viewpoint we have no proof either way of what is best, we have a theory but no proof.

Scott Rand demonstrated why taking a pause worked for him last night and at the same time gave us a glimpse into one of his routines. He paused when on a double and stood back. He nodded his head two or three times. My best guess would be he was either asking himself whether he could hit the double or maybe he had the voice of his manager in his head asking him if he could hit the double? Three times he nodded yes, yes, yes and then planted the dart in the double.

The other option would be that he was running the shot through his mind whilst he stepped back. He was perhaps picturing himself moving up to the oche and throwing successfully. The nods were approving the technique and the throw he was visualising.

Whatever he was doing this technique is known as “mental rehearsal”.  It can be a fantastic asset for dart players. The skill of visualisation was rated the number one mental skill a dart player can possess by our sports psychologist university lecturer and Scott Rand showed why.

If you want to learn more about mental rehersal and visulisation there are full details of how to make this skill part of your game in the members section of our website.


We are currently offering one of our aluminium dart cases (pictured above) to all new members signing up during December. Membership is £25.00 per annum.

Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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