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Handling the pressure

One of the most asked questions from darts player must be “How do I deal with my nerves?” If I could give a straight answer which would help everyone, I’d be a rich man. But there are ways to stay focused even under tremendous pressure, and they can be learned.

GoDartsPro - how to handle the pressure in a darts game
1 Believe

a) Make yourself think all the way through, that you will win this game and stick with the thought no matter what
b) Visualize yourself hitting the winning double instantly when you get the chance – repeat this many times during the match
c) Winning or losing isn’t the matter of life and death, so be happy if you ever get a chance to win it – and then go back to part b!
d) After poor throw try to forget that immediately and get prepared for the next, better throw.

2 Be calm but aggressive

a) Every time an opponent shows disappointment take it as an extra dart
b) Never show your feelings through the match
c) Every time you hit your objective be happy and stay aggressive – if you feel well there’s no need to hide that! But keep cool still though

3) Physical things to do when the pressure is on
a) Breathing

i) Always breath in and out before any important throw – the deeper the better, but remain breathing out as priority, this reduces your adrenalin levels

ii) Try to stay steady with breathing

iii) Make a routine out of proper breathing, internet is full of advice

b) Keeping hands worm

i) Shake your hands if they feel stiff

ii) Do a few shadow throws behind your opponent or before an important dart

iii) Your fingers should always feel easy, you can make fists and burst them open to make them feel better

c) Aiming

i) Try to focus on the certain part of the target, may it be treble, double or even single. If your darts stay flights up, try to hit the upper part of the middle of the treble – if they saty flights down, aim for the lower part of your target

d) Body language

i) Always look like a winner, no matter what happens

ii) Leave the sportsmanship to dodgy guys – raise above that

iii) Hold your head up!

iv) Take a breather and pace your throw even slightly slower than usual, hurrying when pressured normally makes more mistakes than surprising hits

4) Be hydrated all the times

Text: Mikko Laiho (RIP)

Mikko Laiho

Several of the games on GoDartsPro were created by Mikko Laiho (r.i.p. my friend) and he had a background as a proven TV professional level darts coach working with several of Winmau’s players. He was also the creator of the groundbreaking “12 weeks practice program” that delivered simply unbelievable results, that were tracked and proven.

Here are some articles he wrote about darts practice during his work with GoDartsPro:
Why keep track of your darts practice?
How often should I practise darts?
How much should I practise darts?

Mikko explaining his concept – the MICO-factor

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