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There was a lot of talk about the legacy of The Olympics! They are still an inspiration to us to help you play better darts!

Coaching Clinic 16

Posted: 17.10.12 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

There was a lot of talk about the legacy of The Olympics! They are still an inspiration to us to help you play better darts!



A lot of people are still finding it difficult to accept the 2012 Olympics are over. The feel good factor has been kept burning by the Paralympics of course. These “other” games were also an amazing spectacle and we have had gold letter boxes and victory parades and of course the promise of a DVD to keep the memories of the sporting summer fresh. It is in fact quite normal for the citizens of a nation that host a major sporting event such as the Olympics or the football World Cup to feel a low after the event has finished.

In fact one study after a World Cup interviewed the residents of the nation that hosted the event and they claimed that the feel good factor they felt from hosting the football tournament was three times that of the feeling they had on their wedding day! Probably best not to dwell on that too long! We did give some examples last month on how the Olympics could perhaps help dart players in their training.

Since then a lot more valuable information has been released. This included a brilliant article by Peta Bee in the Times which threw up more areas for dart players to consider:

Lucky Pants

Nerves, I can say with great confidence, are the biggest hurdle for a lot of players to get over before they can play their A game. Great Olympians suffer too but some use lucky rituals to help them through. Michael Phelps, proud owner of 22 Olympic medals uses a method we strongly advocate for dart players-visualisation.

In other words he imagines, with his eyes closed, swimming the perfect race. He also follows an identical routine before each race, same breakfast, same stretches and he listens to the same music before his race starts.

Most dart fans were amused when the story broke a while ago about Dean Winstanley and his “lucky pants” but it seems that having something, anything that can make you think you have the edge over your opponent can be really beneficial. One study mentioned in the article was that golfers with a “lucky” ball did actually putt better than those that didn’t have one.

Excuse or a Reason?

“He was putting me off”, “the darts just didn’t feel right” and “I am going to have to change these flights”, any of these excuses sound familiar? I have heard them all and dozens more!

We are talking about the excuses dart players make for losing a match. For some, it is never actually their fault! Team GB cyclist Chris Hoy was quoted in the article suggesting that trying to blame a poor performance on factors beyond your control is a weakness. This was in retaliation to the beaten French team being most unsporting and suggesting Team GB bikes had magic wheels.

Hoy rightly points out that open and honest reflection after a defeat can pay great dividends. Instead of making excuses ask yourself what went wrong, what can I change and what can I do different next time?

I’m a One Man Band

Not even elite dart players seem to have a coach let alone the support staff Olympians can call on. Help such as, coaches of course, physiotherapists, psychologists, bio-mechanists and nutritionists all contribute to the winning formula of athletes such as Jessica Ennis.

The article suggests that whilst this range of assistance is of course out of reach for anyone other than elite athletes, we can all keep an eye on what we eat, take regular exercise and for dart players find practice partners to train with.

Also, this lack of expert help is exactly the reason we formed the Darts Performance Centre in the first place and every area mentioned that Olympians have access to is covered on the site. We can’t promise you a gold medal but we can promise that by taking a selection of the ideas on board you will play better darts!

From The Archive

Here is another video coaching session we did last year. The advice still holds today even with all the knowledge we have built up. A lot of players will recognise the head tilt in Leigh's action and the ideal breathing technique is still work in progress!


Image courtesy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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 and Andrew Humphrey ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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