goal setting
sports science

Ted pulled off an amazing victory, how did he do it? We have a possible explanation.

The Grand Slam of Darts David V Goliath

Posted: 14.11.13 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

Ted pulled off an amazing victory, how did he do it? We have a possible explanation.


Ted Hankey had no chance of beating Simon Whitlock. He was written off by the bookmakers and with good reason. His form has been poor by his own admission and he was lined up as fodder for the popular Aussie to move in to the next round. So how did Hankey pull off his remarkable 10:9 victory?

Do you, like me sometimes cringe at how matey the players are? Don’t get me wrong, sportsmanship is king in any sport but the fundamental goal for any professional sportsman is to win. It really is that simple. Sometimes though it appears to me that some dart players would rather be known as a “great guy” rather than doing everything, within the rules of the game, to win the match.

Phil Taylor doesn’t really worry what anyone thinks of him. His only concern is winning every competitive darts match he plays in. His “tricks of the trade” may not be overt as Hankey’s but he knows exactly how to disrupt his opponent, and it is not always through his brilliant and consistent dart playing. This winning mentality demonstrated by Hankey is identical to Taylor’s ethos in my opinion.

I am reading an excellent book at the moment and it can help us unravel how Hankey pulled off what was billed as the impossible. The book, The Success Equation, explains the role luck has in sport. One section of the book deals with underdogs and their best strategy for upsetting the odds. If you watched the game last night you should see some similarities!

The author uses the story of David and Goliath as the example. David, the small shepherd boy took on the giant goliath and also upset the odds by slaying his opponent. How did he do it? He won because he refused to fight Goliath on his terms. David knew if he engaged in armed combat he would stand no chance. Instead he moved the odds in his favour by taking along stones and a sling shot. The tactic worked and the first stone he fired struck Goliath on the forehead and killed him.

The author explains there are two simple rules when the odds are either in your favour or against you. If you are the favourite, simplify the game. We have all seen The Power smoozle his opponent, mates together having a game of darts, then he buries them!

If you are the underdog, make it more complicated, do whatever you need to do to shift the odds in your favour. So in darts you could slow the game down, speed it up, bash your hand on your head, get in your opponent’s face whilst celebrating a 180 or leg win and wind the crowd up then get them on your side. Does that sound familiar now?

One final thought, I would love to see Ted try this on Phil Taylor. I am not going to speculate how he may fare.  Even if he lost ten nil I would admire him for not falling into the same trap quite a few have done before.

Tonight’s Games

James Wade v Paul Nicholson
Ronny Huybrechts v Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis


Our double came in again last night, two on the bounce! We may as well stick with the winning formula, 180’s and legs. I am going for the Belgium brothers to pop in over 7.5 180’s (10/11) with what should be an epic encounter between Jackpot and Mighty Mike going over 16.5 legs. This pays just over  13/5 at Corals

Image courtesy of supakitmod / 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 online 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. You also get an invite to our free but exclusive members only events and acess to our members only darts coaching app! Membership is £25 per year!

Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

Posts by Month

Main Index