Written by Brady McCaw
I have been playing darts for 20 years now and the one thing that has helped me gain a grip on success is the ability to keep my composure. This has not always been the case in my dart career. I was young and immature when I started playing. My hardest lesson was learning that no matter how good my game is, there will be some days when I step to the line against someone even better. The key to playing these matches is keeping your composure, so you don't beat yourself. The following tips on maintaining composure will help you become the dart player you want to be.
One of the best ways to keep your composure is to stay grounded. The game of darts is a roller coaster. You will be shooting great one month, but not so well the next. The key is to remember that for every low point in your game, a high will come just around the corner if you allow it to. Thinking this way will help you stay confident in your abilities as a dart player. Once you learn to stay grounded you will find yourself winning matches you once thought would be impossible.
You can use your newfound confidence and grounded state of mind to gain an edge over the competition. How many times have you walked away from a bad shot in a match by yelling some four letter word, or even worse, kicking or hitting a board? You are not the only one. You must realize that your opponent has done the same (that is, missed their target). If a bad round or two doesn't rattle your cage, you will probably have a big advantage over your opponent. Personally, I try to walk up and grab my darts the same way every round, whether it's after a 9 Mark or even the dreaded window.
You are most likely asking yourself "how can walking away from a bad round without showing emotion help me win?" First, it will play with your opponent's head. Second, it will help you maintain confidence. Walking back from a bad round without emotion tells your competition that you don't think you are beat. You should also walk back like nothing happened after great rounds. Your opponent will think that you normally throw that well since you don't show any sign of excitement. Everyone misses a round now and then, and they miss more often when under pressure. Staying calm at all times will put even more pressure on your opponents because they won't see any weakness or be able to judge how you feel about the game. I have been at the line after watching someone blow up over a bad round many times, and the only thing I can think is "this game is mine."
In darts, you should never poor fuel on a fire. I can't count how many times I have been driven to defeat my opponent by something they did or said. Never give other players more reasons to want to beat you. This goes for players of any skill level. A beginner you play against today might be tomorrow's best. Treat every player with respect, especially if you want to be respected yourself.
I have been lucky enough to watch some of the best players in the world. Most players that stay on top have the highest levels of composure and class. They believe in themselves enough to overcome setbacks and take success in stride.
Take what I've said to heart, and always understand that darts is a game that we all love to play together.