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Darts Performance Centre member Lee plays in his first competitive darts match-The first time is meant to be nerve wracking, will it be for Lee?

Do You Remember Your First Time?

Posted: 09.05.11 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category

Darts Performance Centre member Lee plays in his first competitive darts match-The first time is meant to be nerve wracking, will it be for Lee?

DPC - Last week we introduced you to Lee. He wants to become a good dart player. He has invested some money in joining the Darts Performance Centre to help him but he also seems to have the vital ingredient that only some dart players possess;  intrinsic motivation! The type of motivation that comes from within, it is this type of motivation that propels you from the settee to the practice board!

Last week Lee also propelled himself down to his local pub and asked to join the darts team. The landlord told Lee to turn up on Monday (last night) and he would be in the team! This competitive aspect is a vital cog in the journey to mastering darts. Until you need a double in an important match, with your team mates relying on you and rooting for you and your opponent is breathing down your neck on a finish too, this is the time when you find out if you can play darts. So can Lee play?


 Lee hitting the trebles in practice but what about in matchplay?


Game Day Pre-Match – Lee’s Blog

Well it’s two hours before I go to the pub and introduce myself to the darts team.  I’m not really feeling nervous. I had a little warm up earlier which involved some of the stretching and warm up techniques shown in the Darts Performance Centre.

I also had a look at the relaxation section in order to have a plan if suddenly later on my nerves try and overcome me.  So there is my ammunition now ready to be used.

Throughout my day also I have found myself subconsciously using imagery and playing through some simple shots, such as just hitting treble 20 with 2 single 20’s.  Then I focused on a few of the lower out shots and where my aim is focused when I line up.

DPC-Visualisation or imagery is a tricky skill to learn but well worth the effort. It is fantastic to hear Lee is using it. We recently held a six week session with a pub darts team-The Kasbah. On one of the weeks we were visited by a sports psychology lecturer and coach, Jamie. He suggested during his workshop that if a dart player learnt just one sports psychology technique he would recommend it was visualisation (this is a link to a video interview with Jamie).

Back to Lee: I don’t really know what to expect or even how it will be taken as a strange new bloke just popping up out of the blue turns up to play. I get to the pub earlier than needed, just to relax in, warm up and be there ready when the team arrives. This is where it begins. I’m very excited. 



Game Day Post Match

I have just fallen even more in love with darts.  The team did well and I was number 5 to go on.  To my surprise I warmed up comfortably and didn’t feel any nerves.  My darts were falling where I wanted them to and I actually felt better than I’ve ever done on the oche.  I won my first leg in a set of three which was a surprise for me and the captain being that I’ve never played competitively before. 

I was scoring well and I hit my out of 52 with 2 darts. 12 double top.  Boom.  Confidence up I then learned my lesson and lost the next two legs but it was by no means a thrashing, I scored equally as well as my opponent and hit the 20’s accurately. My only fall was on the final out shot. I managed to square it up to a double top again but hit just under the wire leaving double 10.  I missed with all three darts (not far off) and my opponent managed to take out his shot and win that leg. The third leg he hit in 15 darts, so I can’t complain at that.  I equalled him for a moment in my first competitive game. 

I think the preparation and techniques I’ve used today have helped me not only to overcome any nerves and relax me, but to focus myself on my game. Plus the fact that I enjoyed the whole night helped. Now comes the next challenge. Get back to practice and look at what I need to do to further my development.

DPC- A great start for Lee. The key points for us here, no nerves. That is such a bonus; there will be lots of players wanting Lee’s secret. Nerves are the biggest single issue we have encountered by far at the Darts Performance Centre as the reason dart players don’t reach their potential. We also like Lee’s reflection of his over confidence. It takes experience to forget the last leg (whether you won or lost) but you must discard it no matter what and focus on the next one.  Lee has learnt a valuable lesson by simply recalling what happened during the match.

Overall a brilliant debut! 

You can link your site to The Darts Performance Centre here


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, psycholgy, goal setting, practice games, an area to log your statsitics and an interacticve 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: Lee Ingham and Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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