When I first started playing darts it felt like every time it was my turn that I would throw my darts differently. My dart mentor said that the key to improving my dart game was to develop a consistent dart throw that I could repeat each time I stepped up to the throwing line/oche. Over the last 10 years of playing darts competitively, I have found the key to developing a consistent dart throw.
How to develop a consistent dart throw? You develop a consistent dart throw by always aiming at a target, finishing each throw with a follow through, staying relaxed, and not overthinking or overanalyzing your throw. Consistency in darts is not something that is magical. It’s about keeping things simple so that your dart throw is easy enough for you to be able to repeat it every time you step up to the throwing line/oche.
Most new dart players like to overcomplicate the game of darts. The game of darts in its simplest terms is about aiming what you are looking at and hitting it. When I first started playing darts I obsessed with improving consistency to the point when I was throwing the dart all I was thinking about was did I do everything on my dart throw checklist instead of just trying to get the dart to the dartboard. Learn from my mistakes, the following is what I have learned from much wiser dart experts.
Aiming at a Target
I know what you are thinking…Aiming at a target is like Darts 101…Duh! Hear me out. Have you ever thrown a dart at a dartboard all willy-nilly and not known where it was going to land? I know I have. At best, I’m hoping to get the dart where I’m aiming. Here is the key to aiming a dart at a dartboard – It’s more than just where you are looking. Aiming is about where the dart is pointed, where your body is turned to, and where you follow through.
Every time you setup up to the throwing line, you need to always focus on a specific place you will be throwing your dart to. For instance, aim for a triple 20. Envision your dart landing on triple 20. Hold your dart up and align the dart with your eye and arm to point at the triple 20. Depending on how you stand at the throwing line, point your body so that the dart comes out of your body and extends thru your arm to the triple 20. Finally, after throwing your dart, follow through with your arm and hand aiming directly at your target and pause for a couple of seconds.
Ultimately, throw each and every dart with purpose. Every dart that leaves your hand should have an intended target that you pre-specified, envisioned, and aimed for.
The Follow Through
The best advice I ever heard was to always follow through with my dart throw. This means that after every throw of the dart, you pause for a few seconds with your arm and hand extended toward the target you were aiming for. Not only does this help solve some typical dart throwing mistakes, but it is one of the best things you can do to make your dart throw consistent.
Implementing the follow through for every dart throw no matter if you are playing in a match or practicing will immensely increase your game. Most other advice online will say that consistency is about your stance, grip, and throw and practicing it over and over again. That’s nonsense! If you watch professional dart players, they all have different grips, stances, and throw mechanics, but they always follow through with their dart throws. Look at sports like Golf, Bowling, and Basketball, the pros always follow through and pause with every shot.
When my body is too stiff and rigid when I throw a dart I tend to add too much to my dart throw and I lose a lot of control with the dart. I have found that when I relax my body and stance so that I’m more comfortable, it allows me to focus more on where I’m aiming and my follow through. This advice might not work for everyone. I have seen some very competitive dart players that adhere to a stiff and rigid body position and they are very successful. My advice is to try staying relaxed throughout your entire dart throw through your follow through. Give it a shot you just might surprise yourself with the results.
Do Not Overthink
There is not one type of dart throw that is better than the other. At some point, every dart player will be consumed with trying to find the perfect dart throw. They will watch others and try to emulate them or read everything they can to try and get better.
When you overthink or overanalyze your dart throw you ultimately are causing yourself to focus on things that do not matter when you should be just focusing on the simplest part of darts. Throwing the dart at the dartboard. If that is all you are concerned with, then the rest will come naturally over time and with practice.
Play with the mechanics (Stance, Grip, and Throw) that you are comfortable with, and don’t worry about the rest. It comes down to what works best for your body type and your comfort level.
Some people are rock solid with their stance, throw mechanics, elbow placement, and follow through each and every time. Some players move and bounce around every through and their elbow is all over the place, but they are still successful at throwing darts and are still competitive.
At the end of the day, darts is a game that is meant to be fun. If you overthink and overanalyze every part of your dart throwing mechanics you will be taking some of the fun away from the game. As long as you are hitting your target
Why is my dart throw so inconsistent? Typically, throwing darts inconsistently is due to overthinking/overanalyzing, not following through, and not focusing on aiming. At a minimum, if all you do was make sure you are following through with every dart throw no matter if you are playing in a game or practicing, your dart game will improve.
How can I improve my dart throw accuracy? You can improve your dart throw accuracy over time by always aiming at a specific target and following through. To follow through with a dart throw means to finish every dart through with your arm and hand pointing at the intended target you were aiming at. This is why aiming and following through go hand and hand.