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It has been 4 years since Aidan started to train to be a Darts Pro! How much closer to his dream is he?

A Darts Journey

Posted: 09.06.15 in Throw Like A Pro Blog category

It has been 4 years since Aidan started to train to be a Darts Pro! How much closer to his dream is he?

Since November of 2014, I’ve been without a practice board. I moved house while we had some work done. I’m home now, and needless to say the board got hung before a bulb was fitted anywhere else in the place. Eager to say the least.

In the time without the practice board, I continued to play competitively. Competitive in that I represented my team once a week throughout the season. Not competitive in that by the time Christmas had come and gone, I couldn’t buy a win in the league.

My darts had transcended in to a little bit of chaos; any time I had to throw some spare darts, I was constantly changing routine, stems, flights, darts, stance, set up, board, even arm at one point. I had lost focus, and to be honest I had fallen out of love with the game. It had stopped being fun. Travelling to league games became a chore.

Our first meeting with Aidan Nov 11

I managed to stick it out until the seasons end, and now that I’m back home I’ve noticed an almost instant transformation. Having the opportunity to throw whenever I want, in a comfortable environment is proving very beneficial. The last few months have proved something very important to me, not that I had doubted it before. Practice is crucial. Playing darts every day or close to it is the only formula to winning at darts. Throwing once or twice per week, certainly at an early point in your playing days, won’t equal success.

Prompting me to write this blog was a brief scroll through my list of entries on the DPC website. Maybe I was looking for inspiration. Or maybe I was just a bit bored. Either way, it got me thinking about how this whole blog began. And urged me to take a little time to evaluate the progress, if any, towards reaching the ultimate goal.

July 27th 2012, a year after picking up a set of darts for the first time, and my first blog entry for the Darts Performance Centre – “A new season, and still learning the basics.” Paul and the gang at the DPC had been instrumental in their advice up to that point, and I was thrilled to start writing on the site.

This all started as a test. A field study if you like. A piece of sports writing. Amidst the genuine search for darting stardom, I often ignore what was to be the ultimate goal. I set out to prove the ignorant assertion that throwing darts is in fact as easy as it looks. I wanted to literally ‘throw’ myself in to the world, meet the people, learn the lessons, and win the trophies.

Taking inspiration from an Irish sports writer Brendan Coffey (@coffeybrendan) who set out on a similar tale except with a set of golf clubs, I laid myself the challenge. Become a professional darts player. I knew nothing about the darting domain. The legends it had made, both of today and yesterday. Many now discarded to the side as the new generation of elite snipers take to the oche.

I’ve met people who began playing as soon as they could stand on two feet. Their fathers flung darts. Their grandfathers too. And so on. This game runs deep in their blood. For them, it’s not just about the few games to coincide with the few pints.

For many, the game of darts means a whole lot more. And not that they want to grace the Lakeside stage necessarily. But they want to win nonetheless. It’s a staple in their weekly routine. It’s usually a week night. They meet up with their friends. Friends whom they might only meet up with at the darts.

So in I walk to the local way back in 2011, fresh with a set of spanking new Argos-bought Andy Fordham’s in 23g. I won’t lie, I think I’m the shit. I once threw a 140 a few months back. I’ve got this. Brand new polo shirt is in, the black shoes are polished… I’m ready. I watched a few YouTube videos about how to throw darts. Pocket full of €1 coins ready to hustle all the old men off the board. Easy. Spend one season with these boys and I’ll be ready to join the PDC tour. Take 12 months to settle in, before challenging for the majors. World Champion within three years. Done and dusted.


Utter, utter nonsense.

I’ve spent four years playing darts. Twice a week during the league campaigns, as well as attending as many singles tournaments and county trials I could conceivably afford. I’ve won some great games. But I’m still a loser. When it comes to throwing consistent darts, I lose way more than I win.

Four years later and I’m beginning to understand why. I’ve changed a lot when it comes to darts, forcing the belief that if I move up or down in darts weight, it will solve this problem. A kite shaped flight will eradicate this other problem. Extra-long stems will certainly fix this final problem. It’s all garbage.

Developing the Darts Performance Centre Practice Manual with Paul was a huge development for me. This is where I truly believe progress can be achieved. I’ve seen it not only in my game but in others who use the manual. Aimless practice sessions just throwing at the board, or worse playing against an ambitious level 8 on N01 can be detrimental to one’s confidence on the oche. This manual, that is structured, and achievable, allows for great development in your game. And this is not a plug, I swear.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet and speak with so many of the world’s best darts players over the years. On most occasions, I wasn’t responsible for reporting on games for newspapers etc, so could dedicate my interviews to questions focussed on practice, routine, approach etc. One top player, once hearing of my quest told me to give up now, I was too late to the party. He was throwing 9-dart legs as a child sure.

Another told me I could do with shedding a few pounds (somewhat rude although factually correct of him.) Others have been extremely positive, giving me some insightful hints and tips that in one way or another have influenced me as a player. But in the end none of that actually matters.

I’m back to the original purpose. To prove if it can in fact be done. Can anyone pick up a set of darts and become good enough at it to be a professional?? In the last couple of years, I’ve been working without a plan, a clear set of goals to work towards.

I’m not sure how long this venture can last, for it to remain an interesting and challenging ambition, I think I need to set an end date. A day that I move towards in order to prove that it can or can’t be done. I’m going to have a think about it, and the next blog which will be in July sometime will set out the plan, which will include the final date in which I will be working towards.

Great to see the New Forest Masters dates announced. Book your place, I urge you. Darts aside, it’s as fun a weekend with nice people you could ask for.


As always, feedback is welcome. Get in touch (throwlikeaprodarts@gmail.com). Thanks for reading.


Author: Aidan Farrelly ( throwlikeaprodarts@gmail.com )

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