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Do you get nervous when playing darts? We hope you will give us the thumbs up for an idea that may help!

Coaching Clinic 21

Posted: 20.03.13 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

Do you get nervous when playing darts? We hope you will give us the thumbs up for an idea that may help!



A number of different sports have been featured in these articles over the past few months. Golf is a favourite, the pre-throw routine for darts coming from this particular sport for example. We had B.E.E.F from basketball too (Balance, Eyes, Elbow and Follow through).

This borrowing theme continues this month following an article I read about shooting recently. Shooting was mentioned recently here when we encouraged dart players to aim the dart with their eye as they would if they were firing a gun.


In a recent article an author called Rorke Denver was discussing a book he had written. He claimed due to Hollywood movies, shooting a gun is perceived as an aggressive act when in reality the opposite is true. He described the skills needed to successfully fire a gun as:

  • ·         You’ve got to control your breathing
  • ·         You’ve got to control your heart rate
  • ·         You have to pay attention to your target
  • ·         You have to have a smooth trigger squeeze

Hmmm, now what does that remind you of? Yes it could also be the fundamentals of a successful darts throw too.

Breathing Control

The correct breathing technique is an area that is overlooked in darts by most players. Tennis players and cricketers have one particular technique that Phil Taylor uses in his throw. The idea is to take a breath in (before the ball is hit) and then release the breath at the same time as hitting the ball. Taylor‘s version is of course to breathe out when he releases his dart. This promotes getting the maximum force behind the throw (hence the grunt that some tennis players develop) and in darts could help to keep the release smooth.

Control Your Heart Rate

Calm is good in darts, which is why we frown on wild celebrations during a match, it does affect you! Of course your heart can beat faster in tense situations too, as you are closing in on victory for example. I discovered a fantastic and simple remedy to slow your heart rate down via a mailonline article.

Blow on your thumb! Yes it sounds made up I know but there is science behind it, honestly. First of all the act of breathing in and then blowing on the thumb utilises your breathing and therefore your oxygen intake which is the best way of controlling your emotions on many levels. Secondly, this idea has its roots in the fact that the thumb has its own pulse; if you can calm that pulse down, you’re effectively calming the heart down, too. 

There are two ideas for you to try there; we will look at the other two areas next month!

Golf Ball Stems

We are always very keen on any developments in darts that have a scientific angle to them. We have recently been testing a range of dimplex stems. They look like they are made from a rolled out golf ball and there is a good reason for that, they do embrace golf ball technology.

The physics behind the dimples on the golf ball (and of course on these stems) is to reduce the airflow around the ball and therefore the ball or in our case dart travels through the air faster and with less deviation. We have included a set of these stems with our new darts, The Elite Performance darts and we will report back after we have had some feedback from players testing them.

Here is a link to a short video we made when we reviewed them.


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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