Once you start playing darts you immediately will want to get better at playing darts. Here are 11 tips that you can implement right away in your games to get better at playing darts. Next time you play against your friends or in your next league match you will be able to dominate.
1. Set Goals
Setting goals is an important part of improving your darts game. Goals allow you to focus on what you need to work on to become a better darts player. Trying to get better at darts without setting goals is like a sailboat without a rudder. When you write down your dart goals it will allow you to focus on what matters, because saying that you want to just get better at playing darts is extremely board.
I suggest you write down all of the things you want to do to get better at playing darts and the dart objectives you want to accomplish. Maybe it’s throwing more triple 20s, working on your follow through, trying a different stance, improving your outs when playing 501, throwing a perfect game of 501, joining a dart league, becoming a professional dart player, etc. Once you write down your goals you can then rack and stack each goal by which ones you want to accomplish first. Then you can develop a practice plan to reach each goal. I suggest you work on each goal one at a time. Trying to incorporate too many new things in your dart game is a recipe for disaster.
2. Get an LED Dartboard Light
This is probably one of my best tips for getting better at playing darts. My dart game improved hugely after getting a dart light. I had a traditional spot lot for my dartboard, but it created shadows as soon as I had a dart on the board. I would strain to see where darts landed and I would routinely have to walk up to the dartboard to inspect each dart. I then purchased a circular LED dart light that surrounds the entire dartboard. Not only did it make the dartboard look so much cooler, but it allowed me to see my darts 10 times better. My dart aiming improved as well. I recommend you get an LED dartboard light that completely surrounds the dartboard. The dart light that I have and that I highly recommend is the Target Darts Corona Vision LED Light.
3. Film Yourself Playing Darts
One of the best ways to assess and improve your dart throw is by filming yourself and reviewing the footage. Not only will you be able to compare your throw to professional dart players, but you will be able to see whether your throw mechanics are as you intended. I think filming yourself is also really important to see if you are following through with each dart throw and whether you are holding that follow through long enough. It’s one thing to feel like you are throwing a certain way, it’s another to really see yourself throwing a dart.
4. Study Darts
Any good student of darts should always be studying the game on how to improve and the history of the game. You can do this by reading some of the amazing dart forums (Darts Nutz or The Dart Forum) or purchasing a book on the game of darts. If you are looking to improve your game I highly recommend the book series Darts Finishing Mastery by Jim Chatterton.
5. Work on Throwing with Consistency
The goal of every dart player should be to develop a consistent dart throw that is repeatable. Most new dart players get caught up in this and think they need to have their throw mirror a pro or someone else that is better than them. The key to playing with consistency is to find a dart that you are comfortable with and that can easily be repeatable. In addition, the other key to playing with consistency is to always pause with a follow through after every dart throw. Check out my article on How to Develop a Consistent Dart Throw.
6. Create a Practice Routine
Pele once said “Everything is Practice” which is fitting when trying to become a better dart player. The only way to get better at playing darts is with focused practice. Some professional dart players say you should play 301 or 501, but you should use practice routines to get better at aiming and hitting where you are aiming. Other says that anytime you can play a game with friends is good practice. I suggest whatever you do to practice darts you do it consistently throughout the week. 30 minutes of focused practice is much better than aimlessly throwing at the dartboard once a week.
I like to practice by playing around the world. There are thousands of variations of practice routines. A simple routine is practicing hitting triple 20s, triple 19s, triple 18s, and bullseyes three times each.
7. Warm Up Before Practicing or Playing a Match
A simple dart warm up routine is important to get your arm and your hand-eye coordination ready for a practice routine or dart match. Most professional dart players before every match throw at triple 20s for a period of time. I suggest you warm up for 5 to 10 minutes just throwing your darts at single 20s, then ramp up to triple 20s in the last few minutes of your warm up routine.
8. Make Every Throw Count
From this point on never throw a dart at a dartboard aimlessly. Always aim your dart and throw to an intended target. This is good practice and discipline that over time will improve your game. When you make every throw count, you are throwing your darts with purpose. Improving your aim and hitting your intended target is the name of the game to getting better at darts.
9. Try a Different Dart or Dart Flight
Sometimes we can become stagnant in how we play darts. Sometimes we need a little change up to get our game going or reinvigorate our passion for the game. Consider picking up a new dart set or some new dart flights. Although, new darts probably won’t make you better, but with the right tools you might be able to unlock another level of dart play that you couldn’t achieve with your budget or old dart set.
10. Think Like a Competitor
Darts is 60% skill and 40% mental. To become more competitive and a better dart player you have to start thinking like a competitor. You have to go into matches with confidence in the skills that you have built with consistent practice. One technique to improve the mental side of the Darts is to start envisioning yourself throwing triple 20s and winning matches. Your mind can be extremely powerful. When it comes to darts most issues are usually made up in your head.
11. Play More Relaxed and Have Fun
Remember that darts is a game and games are meant to be fun. Sometimes we new dart players are trying to get better and improve their dart game, they can get a little too serious. Always remember that darts is about having fun with spirited competition. If are not having fun, try relaxing. There is nothing worse for a throw than being too uptight and stiff. Relax and make sure your throw and stance are comfortable. Throwing the dart should be easy and fun too! Who doesn’t like throwing mini-spears at a board that makes a satisfying sound they the dart hits its target.