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We mix our monthly coaching clinic with the World Matchplay,we hope you like it.

Coaching Clinic 13 and The World Matchplay

Posted: 25.07.12 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

We mix our monthly coaching clinic with the World Matchplay,we hope you like it.


Welcome to our monthly Coaching Clinic. The Matchplay is in full swing of course and as an extra feature we will use a couple of the players playing tonight to demonstrate a coaching point we made earlier in the week.


Rodders, Wayne and King Eric are going to have to find another Matchplay tip. Their man "The Man", Barney, was beaten in a great game by Terry Jenkins. We had been bemused at their selection of Barney in the first place. He had been playing well in some of the recent floor tournaments and even won an event in Dussledorf. An event Taylor didn't take part in but we had not witnessed any evidence that Barney's "mental toughness" had improved dramatically enough to slog it out leg after leg in the heat at Blackpool.

Barney's(@raybar180) frame of mind was summed up perfectly in his two late night tweets last night - The first:

Holiday now till 2nd of September means no darts that is great.

The 2nd - Twitter out now.

One skill Barney could perhaps utilise during his break is the skill of reflection. We discussed this skill in our recent Darts World article.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

During the recent UK Open one pundit was dispensing his wisdom concerning a player who was struggling to hit his doubles. He confessed to having a similar problem during his playing career and after one particularly bad match (for missing doubles) he came up with a theory. His plan he confessed involved giving up practising doubles before his next tournament, therefore, he didn’t miss any doubles and the result he hoped for was that his confidence wouldn’t get any worse. He didn’t tell us if it had worked or not which probably answers the question anyway!

I must admit to me it sounded more like burying your head in the sand. It did though remind me of an area that is rarely discussed but in my opinion is a huge area for potential improvement in any dart player, the area is reflection. This is an ability to not just mull over for a few moments the anguish of missing the doubles for example but to really get to the root of the problem.

Some advice from an eminent Sports Science expert Zoe Knowles published recently offered this advice to solving your darting problems:

Description - Describe exactly what happened

Feelings - What were you thinking and feeling?

Evaluation - What was good and bad about the experience?

Analysis - What sense can you make of the situation?

Conclusion - What else could you have done?

Action Plan - If it arose again what would you do? How can you adapt your practice in light of     what you have discovered?

All I can advise is to try it with whatever is causing you darting strife, or go and find some sand to pop your head into.

Take Aim

Earlier in the week we discussed the superb technique of Justin Pipe and Phil Taylor. In Pipe’s case we contrasted his well rehearsed step by step routine of hurling a dart with the more casual “over the shoulder” sling of Joe Cullen. One of the several significant differences in style is that Pipe aims the dart using his eye and Cullen doesn’t.

We also picked up a trait that seemingly Pipe and The Power share, they both use their left eye to aim despite being right handed, which requires them to bring their hand across their face slightly before they release. They are both playing tonight so take a look. Nearly all of us have one eye stronger than the other and it is the strong or dominant eye that we naturally rely on for tasks such as throwing a dart. It is normally your right eye if you are right handed and vice versa.

All fine so far! The biggest problem for grassroots darts players we have encountered during our coaching days is when they are unaware of which eye is dominant and they are similar to Pipe and Taylor in as much as they are in the minority of being right handed and left eye dominant. This can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration on the oche as a player struggles to come to terms with their arm migrating across their face to the left. Once you have the knowledge of course you can make contingency plans.

For example, changing your stance on the oche worked for a few of our members who discovered their dominant eye after joining the Darts Performance Centre. My colleague bio-mechanist Andy Humphrey came up with a unique way of combating his cross dominant eye but more of that another time.

Here is the test you can do to see which your dominant eye is. Garry from the Kasbah Darts Team is demonstrating.


or try this:

1. Join your two hands together to form a small key hole to look through

2 Hold your hand away from your face and focus on an object a few metres away through the key hole you have created

3 Slowly bring your hand back towards your eyes ensuring you do not lose focus on the object through the keyhole

4 Bring your hands all the way back to your eyes and whichever eye the key hole is covering when you get all the way back is your dominant eye.There is a bit more info here and here  





The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. The site is arranged as an on-line 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! Membership is just £25.00 per annum. 


Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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