Nerves – The Darters disaster!

Earlier this year I wrote about “the mental side of the game” (see blog released May 17, 2018). Well this follows on very much in line with that. Nerves are certainly the darters disaster!

Why can everyone throw straight darts either after a couple of “cool aids” or even at home in the garage against your mate? Hit big and consistent scores at home, but not at the local pub or RSA club? Whilst there are many true answers to this question, one big answer, is …. nerves.

Everyone is different so everyone reacts differently to where they are or who they are playing. But no matter whether you are a novice player who just throws a few at home or a professional dart player on the PDC circuit. Nerves will hit everyone!

Yes, even Phil Taylor did and Michael van Gerwin does suffer from nerves at times. They just know how to hide it. Here’s a few tips to help deal with nerves. Remember you will never get 100% free of nerves, they help make us up what and who we are. But you can learn to control or at least deal with them when they arrive:

Focus: The same can be said for a lot of sports, but here we are talking “darts”. I chatted with a famous All Black captain a couple of years ago (name drop, Richie McCaw).

He said they “focus on the now”. If you’ve made a mistake you can’t change that now, it’s too late. He also said they “don’t focus on the future or outcome”. Will you win the game, win a tournament etc? Keep your focus on the now. The next dart is the only one that matters. You see pro’s not look at what the opposition is doing when they throw. They are focusing on their next throw only as that’s all they can control. Also at that level they know if he throws a 140 or 180, so can I.

Practise: Clearly practise is important, for nerves also. As you practise, you get better. As your game improves so too does your confidence. A higher confidence = lower or less nerves. Confidence should border cockiness, but not quite. Ever seen or heard a professional in any sport not confident?

Get out of comfort zone: Don’t play at home practicing or playing the same mates week in, week out then expect to go into a tournament and play well or even win. It won’t happen! If your game is that good, enter tournaments, change your surroundings, go to different pubs to play. It will get you used to playing different people and improve in lessening your nerves.

Good luck and straight arrows everyone.

Paul Webber

Owner – Bullseye Darts

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