For you to win the next game, you ought to learn how to throw the darts with precision. Every time you visit a game room or a home bar you will find a dart board hence you should always be prepared for a game or two.
Not long ago I was so poor at darts, I was the one buying a beer after every game. This got me thinking on how I can improve and got so many tips that made me better. Though I have not competed in any National Darts Tournament, I now have enough knowledge that keeps me going in every dart match in my local club.
Below is a list of what I found to be the most useful dart throwing techniques over the five years I have been playing.
Follow the tips and your dart skills will improve drastically.
Since you need regular practice, get the best professional quality dartboard with a dart backboard and learn at your own pace.
This simply means getting your feet at the right position.
It gives you an opportunity to aim properly, swing your arm freely and efficiently and it also keeps you stable avoiding swaying and losing consistency.
To be good in darts consistency key. If for instance you keep missing three inches to the right every time you aim, you can easily try and aim three inches to the left of your target and hit it. You will find it to be hard if you are inconsistent since you cannot make any adjustments and your game will be more of luck than that of a skill. Here are some tips to help you improve your dart stance.
Place the Dominant Foot Forward
Getting your dominant foot forward is the most important tip. When starting set your feet hip width apart. Next move the dominant foot to the throwing line. For a consistence dance form the board, always get your foot slightly behind the throwing line.
A slight movement as you throw the dart can mean some movements on your feet. This should be avoided as it brings inconsistency, however getting your shot disqualified for touching the line is very -different from missing the bulls-eye because of a slight shuffling. Give yourself ample space to minimize the chances of touching the line.
Always keep your legs hip width apart, the back foot should remain behind the lead foot as guided by throwing direction. Your body will be in a position where the shoulder is away from the throwing arm and pointing at the board while the chest will be perpendicular to the board. This way you get your body lined up with the board, the dart, the arm angle and your eyes will be fixed for consistent aiming’s and throwing.
Always keep the better part of your weight on the front foot. A weight distribution of 60 by 40 in favor of the front foot is highly recommended.
You can easily get off balance if place to much weight forward. This way you will not be able to hit the same spot twice. Always remember this noting that consistency is very important.
Just like many players you can lean forward a little. A number of players think that leaning gives them an added advantage. For this to be true, you need to lean consistently else you will be all over the place. Leaning forward too much places too much weight on the front foot and it can lead to being unbalanced. This will destabilize your body and rarely will you hit the same spot twice or thrice.
You can become very uncomfortable or even experience some pain after an evening of leaning as you play darts. We would recommend you try a balanced posture as it will give you a comfortable stance as opposed to getting just a few inches closer to the dart board.
How to Hold A Dart
There is no known right grip for a dart. However, some guidelines will help you learn how to hold one in a way that it is easy for you to score.
Find the Darts Center of Gravity
Place the dart on your finger and balance it to find where it balances without falling forward or backward and there you have the center of gravity. To get a good grip place the thumb behind the center of gravity. Holding it at the center keeps the dart balanced during a throw which increases the levels of accuracy. This gives you a great head start.
Hold with at Least Three Fingers
For a start use three or four fingers for your grip. Though you may be tempted to hold with two fingers, it does not have enough stability for a steady aim as you throw. Hold the dart with two fingers on one side and the thumb on the other to avoid chances of the dart twisting as you throw it.
Get The Grip Pressure Right
You need to identify the right grip for the dart. Don’t hold it so tightly neither should you grip it lightly as it will fall out of your hand. Ensure that the dart rests in your fingers rather than being squeezed in between. Get this by visualizing holding a potato chip without breaking it to pieces.
Keep All Other Fingers Open
The two fingers that are not holding should remain open at all times. By keeping them closed on your palm you add tension to the fingers that are holding the dart. This makes it very difficult to get a precise throw. Just let the fingers stay free and open and get a better precision.
Aiming Darts Like a Pro
Every player has their unique way of aiming darts. Try and get what works for you; here are some baselines to get you started.
Place your dart, target and eyes all in a straight line. It may sound very easy but it requires regular training. Will regular practice you will note that where you aim is not necessarily where the dart ends up.
Dart Throwing Technique – The Release
With regular practice, you will be able to throw and release darts consistently. You have better chances to succeed in darts if you have played a sport that involves throwing in the past. The skills you used in other throwing games are the same skills you need for darts. Just release the darts like you are doing any other natural activity like fishing or hunting.
Here are a few tips to help you refine your natural feel and make your skill more consistent.
Keep Your Body Stable
Your body should remain still during the throw save for your arm. Your arms will act as a whip or a lever of sorts. It works just like a catapult as the shoulder stays stationery as the base of the lever, the elbow keeps still while aiming and pulling the upper arm back.
The elbow moves naturally as you throw the dart hence you don’t need to keep it still anymore. Many beginners make a mistake in this area by trying to keep the elbow stationary and aiming better. Doing this restricts the natural movement of the arm resulting to an awkward throw with a lesser velocity. This has negative effect on the level of precision.
Throw Darts On an Arc
As you throw the darts, ensure they travel on an arc. As you start you may feel like throwing straight to the board is the way to go, however, you will need to throw as hard as you can. This reduces the level of your accuracy and eventually the dart will travel in an arc. When you know this you know what to expect when you start throwing.
With your natural throwing capabilities, this should be an easy thing that you can learn with minimal practice. Soon you will be able to get a feel of the arch and where it will end.
Do Not Overdo Corrections
By now you already have a consistent throw if you are following this tips. What remains now is refining the skill by throwing as you aim. Make adjustments where you are missing the target.
For starters it is not advisable to adjust too much. If the margin of error is more than two inches then work on your throw instead of adjusting your aim. Huge adjustments at such points keeps you from improving.
Start by first throwing the dart within a circle of 3-4 inch consistently. If you miss regularly in the same direction, then adjust your aim to cover up for the margin.
For misses of less than 2 inches then adjust you aim. In most cases such misses are caused variations in throwing as opposed to aiming. By the time you are at this level you are close to getting it hence keep repeating the action and remain consistent.
Dart Throwing Strategy
Depending on your skill level you can use different throwing strategies. When playing a game like 501, you will need to hit high numbers and hit them consistently. With the strategies below, you can easily score well in a 501 game.
According to a study by Ryan Tibshirani a statistician at Stanford University who conducted a study on novice players, he concluded that players aiming for a treble 20 are only those that are accurate within 5mm. for players that are accurate within 25mm the best aim is at treble 19.
He concluded that for beginners darts, the best thing is to aim at the bulls-eye as they ended up getting a higher average compared to when they aimed for a treble 20. This is as a result of missing the target and landing on the surrounding spaces. An example is when you aim for the lower left of the bulls-eye, most of the misses will hit higher point values and at times hit your target the bulls-eye.
The Advanced Strategy
As you sharpen your skill levels, try throwing with more precision as you aim for more discrete targets.
With some improvements noted, you need to concentrate on 20’s and 19’s. Hitting with 2 out of 3 darts gives a score of over 40 which is way above hitting all the 3 darts on the 15-10 or 14-11 sections.
How To Avoid Darts Already On The Board
When you focus on a target and hit it twice, remember that the darts that are on the board already can block your last dart from sticking. At this stage you will need to shift to the side with ample space and angle towards the board. This will give you ample space on the board to aim at. You will need enough practice for this as you are already grooved from hitting the same spot on the board hence you need to reset yourself. If you are a beginner, just keep throwing and don’t bother with the adjustments as they will make it hard for you to learn.
How To Throw Darts Accurately
To get better at darts, you need regular practice. We have a few tips to help you make the most out of your training time and throw darts accurately.
Make Games For Yourself
Playing alone can be boring but you will need to do it from time to time. Make it fun by building pressure on yourself just like you would experience when playing against another player. You can do this easily by making individual games.
For example, if you hit an average of 40 for the 3 dart score when playing against a perfect competitor, give a point every time you hit 40 points in a turn. Then give your imaginary competitor a point every time you hit less than 40 points in a turn. You can set it to the first to hit 10points wins. With such a set up, you can increase your average score consistently and it as well serves as a good way to track your progress.
Keep Track Of Your Progress
To achieve this you need to record your scores as much as possible. This way you will be in a position to know if your adjustments or new techniques are working.
You can do this in two ways. First you can track the number of turns you take to hit a 501. The second way is to track your average for the 3 dart points total.
For beginners you can start with the 3 points total average as this should be your focus from the start. This also helps as hitting 501 exactly for new players can be skewed dramatically. As you get better, focus more on closing that game much faster.
Did You Shoot Well? Take Notes
To sum it all, you will need to document what you are doing to get a good throw. Record everything you did when you have a good day. Each player has their day when everything just flows hence it should be recorded for future reference.
Playing darts is fun and it is even more fun if you can recreate the fun moments from time to time. You can try out everything we put down in this piece and throw darts with precision, that way you will have more awesome moments. Did you find this useful? Share with friends on your social circles, happy learning.
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- 1 Dart Stance
- 2 How to Hold A Dart
- 3 Aiming Darts Like a Pro
- 4 Dart Throwing Strategy
- 5 How To Throw Darts Accurately
- 6 Conclusion