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How are the young dart players of today going to get to the top? With mentoring and coaching perhaps?

The Youth of Today!

Posted: 22.03.13 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category

How are the young dart players of today going to get to the top? With mentoring and coaching perhaps?



After Thursday night’s Premier League Phil Taylor was interviewed. Love him or loath him he is the best darts player ever to walk on the oche. For this reason alone he deserves us to listen and consider his opinions.

Two areas sparked my interest. First Taylor underlined again the importance of sports style fitness for the modern dart player. He cited the demands that need to be met to make it in professional darts, from the increase in tournaments to exhibitions and commitments to sponsors. They are all part of a latter day dart players job description.

He also confirmed what more younger players are catching on to, that darts is now a viable career option. Prize money is set to increase again, there appears, for the time being anyway, to be an insatiable demand for exhibitions and other such ways that dart players can supplement their income. You don’t even need to be as good as The Power to make a very good income!

This message from Taylor could not have been better timed as the season continues for all the “wannabees” The Power was encouraging to start their career path in Pro darts. The PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour event starts today (Friday 22 March 2013). The first event of the weekend is the PDC World Youth Championship. This is a 64 player shoot out to reach the final which will be played at the Premier League final in May!

The Power was right about how crucial the physical fitness of player is, the schedule is a tough one on the Youth Tour too. There are two tournaments on Saturday and a third on Sunday that completes this round of events. All the matches are being held at the Barnsley Metrodome.

Another PDC player, Richie Howson has also been pro-active when it comes to passing advice and assisting the youngsters up the darting ladder. He formed Titan Sports Management in 2012 with his wife Lynn with the simple aim of identifying promising young darts players and nurturing, educating and guiding them through the sport of darts.

 The Owl-Richie Howson

Early in 2013 they also enlisted the help of Paul Maybin, a grass roots dart player who was keen to explore the art of coaching in darts to work with the players they had identified. With Paul on-board this also enabled Richie to concentrate on his own game.

The first two players Titan Management have taken under their wings are Oliver Stell (22) and Ben Songhurst (18), both, according to Paul “are naturally talented and more than capable of progressing in the sport”. They also signed a third player over the weekend of 16th and 17th March PDC Pro Tour, another superb young hopeful Brandon Walsh (20). 

These three players have already qualified for the last 64 of the PDC Youth World Championships and will be playing the PDC Challenge Tour throughout 2013/14 as well as continuing their Superleague and County darts where at all possible.

Paul also contacted us! He told me “ We are looking for the best way to provide Ollie, Ben and Brandon with our best support and to build a good foundation for them in the game and we immediately thought of the Darts Performance Centre”. 

Flattery gets you everywhere at The Darts Performance Centre, how could we not agree to help after those comments? On a serious note we were thrilled to be asked. Paul’s enthusiasm for the project was evident and although we have been fortunate enough to have worked with some top PDC players recently our heart is very much still in assisting grass roots players at all levels!

The plan is to run some coaching sessions with the three young players with Paul in attendance so he can “learn” some of our methods to increase his knowledge as he will be working with them on a more regular basis.

This cooperative agreement has really exciting potential and we are looking forward to progressing together to ensure that you regularly hear the names Ollie Stell, Ben Songhurst and Brandon Walsh as future successes within the sport. 

Follow them and their progress on Twitter: @stelly180 @songhurst12 @brandonwalsh180 @titansportsman 


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 ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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