Whether you’re just stepping up to the oche (Throwing Line) for the first time or are an experienced tournament player, watching darts matches in person or on TV provides invaluable lessons to improve your skills. By carefully observing the techniques, tactics, and mental approaches of top professionals in the PDC, you gain insider insight into the secrets that make them the best.
There are so many nuances to study from their throwing mechanics, in-match strategy, pre-shot routines, and composure under immense pressure. Both beginner and veteran dart players can upgrade their own game by analyzing and implementing what they see in high-level matches. Here are 12 key things you can learn by spectating pro dart matches:
1. Proper throwing form and mechanics
Make note of how the professionals grip the barrel, their stance aligned to the board, their pull back motion, release, and follow through. Watch for their arm extending towards the target with a smooth, fluid motion and no jerky movements. As an amateur dart player you can mimic their technique that’s been honed over years of dedicated practice
2. Effective stance and body positioning
Observe how pros optimally position their feet in relation to the oche line, keeping their non-throwing arm lowered out of the way to following all the way through towards the board after release. Take notes of their stance and where they body is facing when they throw each dart.
3. Best practices for aiming and focus
You can almost see the intense concentration on each professional dart player’s face as they step up to throwing line. They lock eyes and stare down the exact target spot before releasing. No distractions or aiming errors. Watch their gaze stay fixed on the bullseye to learn laser-like focus and calibration techniques.
4. Learn strategies for setting up shots
Study how the professionals analyze the board to set up combinations and to optimize their scoring opportunities. See how they deliberately set up difficult finishes and how they maneuver the darts around to improve their chances of hitting doubles and triples
5. Importance of pre-shot routines
Many top players use personalized pre-shot routines for every attempt – chalking their fingers, doing two practice strokes, adjusting their feet, and taking a deep breath. These pre-shot routines help them get focused. Routines remove variables and build consistency.
6. Importance of staying calm under immense pressure
It’s inspiring to see top players always appear cool, calm, and collected even with a title on the line and the fans going crazy. They regroup quickly after rare mistakes and never hang their head. You can learn a lot from their mental composure and concentration techniques. These are techniques that every single player can benefit from. Darts is as much a mental game as it is a skilled game.
7. Creative 501 out charting tactics
Study how the professionals break down outs and the required shots to finish legs and matches. Watch them envision possibilities then execute precise combinations and bullseyes when it matters most. So much strategy and creativity goes into their shot-making. I’ve always been amazed at how easy and quickly professional dart players are able to figure out the best outs when playing the dart game 501.
8. Evaluate and improve your own game
Recording yourself and comparing your throw to the experts reveals flaws and areas to upgrade. Making adjustments based on analyzing your mechanics versus proper technique seen in matches is invaluable. Their form is the gold standard.
9. Appreciation for the immense difficulty
Seeing how even slightly off throws cause the best players in the world to miss demonstrates how insanely hard it is to compete at the top level. You gain tremendous respect while also feeling motivated.
10. Watch for the entertainment value!
Lastly, don’t forget watching darts is incredibly exciting! The crowd reactions and seeing amazing shots gets your passion going. It inspires you to go practice to maybe hit those shots yourself one day!
11. Learn to be adaptable
Watch how the professional dart players alter their strategy and shot selection based on the state of the match – Whether they have a big lead, are far behind, or if it’s a crucial turning point. The top professional dart players are adaptable to almost any situation.
12. Learn to cope with adversity and setbacks
Top professional dart players face plenty of setbacks like hitting 1’s or missing easy shots. You can learn how to maintain composure and quickly refocus rather than dwelling on the mistakes. This teaches mental resilience.
There are so many valuable lessons for darts players of all skill levels to learn when watching the techniques, tactics, and mental approaches of professional dart players. Observing matches in person or on TV closely is an underutilized way to rapidly improve your own game. Both beginners and experienced players can learn an enormous amount from the best in the world.
Where are the best places to watch pro darts?
In the UK and Europe, attending live PDC events is thrilling. The party atmosphere with the crowds cheering makes for an electric experience. Can’t make it in person? Many tournaments are televised on Sky Sports in the UK or on DAZN in the USA.
The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) holds televised matches throughout the year and for most of the world, every match is televised. In the UK PDC matches are shown on Sky Sports and ITV4. In Australia, PDC matches can be watched on Fox Sports.
In the USA, you can watch PDC matches on DAZN. Additionally, you can also stream all PDC events live or watch past matches on PDCTV. In addition, the PDC has a great YouTube channel and frequently posts dart match highlights and full dart match events.
Whether you watch darts live and in person or stream from home, seeing the skills on display by the world’s best is an education for any developing player. Observation and analysis will rapidly improve your dart game!