goal setting
sports science

Outshots! When it comes to counting down there isn

Coaching Clinic 69

Posted: 16.10.17 in Coaching Clinic Blog category

Outshots! When it comes to counting down there isn't one way that suits everyone!


Is there any aspect of the game of darts that causes as much anguish, frustration, one up-manship and snobbery as the outshot?


We have met players who will not join a team due to chalking commitments. In my opinion players who genuinely have issues with scoring are not given a fair deal. It’s 2017, come on get electronic scoreboards for players that struggle and resolve this issue at all levels of the game!


We would add that although the electronic scoreboard is great for anyone genuinely anxious about arithmetic, it is not a substitute for good old chalking. This is how you learn to count quickly with arguably the same amount of pressure as when you are playing. The frustration aspect comes in from the players who can’t subtract as quickly as they throw. They are left breaking their routine whilst they try and work out where they are going to go next.

One Up-Manship?

A high finish at any level can have serious effects on your opponent from a demoralisation point of view. What advice can be offered to get you banging in 100+ checkouts? You need to be a master of the board. Plenty of practice time on the more obscure trebles and doubles as well as a good strike rate on Treble 20 and 19.

The view of the double-double finish has of course also changed in recent times. It was not that long ago that players completing this finish were accused of showboating, but now it is accepted as a logical if arguably slightly risky finish.

However, when calculating the odds (and after taking into consideration the situation and quality of your opponent) it is sometimes better to at least give yourself the chance of checking out. Setting up a nice one dart finish for your next throw is worthless of course if you never get the chance to attempt it!

On the other side of the coin should the double-double route be a last resort? If you have two darts left, you are on 80, and your double-double attempts both miss? (This is of course the biggest argument about taking this shot on instead of going for a treble) and then your opponent fails to check out. You are still stuck on 80 and have gone from potential darting champ to darting chump!


How many times have you witnessed players leaving a good chance to plonk their 3rd dart in the T20 to divert off course to ensure they leave a 170? Now maybe if you are at the top of the PDC this is a worthwhile investment but even at that level how often do you actually see a 170? Exactly, so if you are in the Dog and Duck stick with trying to get as many points as possible. We have proven statistically that the closer you are to a double the better your chance of getting it!

On this topic, assess how far out you need to start planning your exit. Our outshot guide starts at 309! Now again if you are playing in the Dog and Duck forget that. First of all your practice time is probably limited so you are probably only practising hitting the T20 and its close neighbours. Set an outshot target, say sub 120 points before you start manoeuvering around the board. As your confidence grows extend it to 150 and so on!


As we have already said chalking is great practice, get volunteering and see how your counting improves. We have outshot cards which can be great revision and most board manufacturers give out outshot suggestions on cards to help you brush up on your potential routes out!


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 access to our members only darts coaching app! Membership is £25 per year!


Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

Posts by Month

Main Index