Harrows Darts.

Entering my first competition.. How to prepare mentally?
So i'll be participating in my first competition tomorrow, it's soft tips for players under rating 10. I don't have competitive experience at all and will be up against some players around my level, but with far greater experience in the local super league.

I just finished a practice session and played some outstanding darts, but how should I maintain this going into the competition? Feeling nervous already!
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All I can share about competition in general is to just play... have fun... play like you're at home, play like you're playing against your best friend.

Relax and play. Remember... nothing changes after it's over... win or lose... nothing really changes.

Doesn't matter who's watching, doesn't matter who you're playing. You relax and compete how you know you can and everything else will fall into place.

Worst case scenario you lose? Oh well... You now have more experience.

Stay relaxed, focus and have fun and I promise you will do well.
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In the future you might want to get setup online and play some matches against real opponents. It will definitely kick up nerves more then playing against a computer program. For me nerves really never go away no matter what, but I can learn how to shoot when the adrenaline is pumping. Or get used to it anyway.

Best of luck tomorrow though. Jump right in feet first and Ave' at it.
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What they said ,,, ^^^^^^^,,,,

Just 1 more tip ,,,Play the board,,not your opponent ,,, Cause If your concentration is on making the best shot possible ,,,,it dosen't matter what your opponent does,,,,,,I know its easy to say ,,but it's harder to do in reality,,,,,,
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(01-08-2015, 06:28 PM)0ldjoblo Wrote: What they said ,,, ^^^^^^^,,,,

Just 1 more tip ,,,Play the board,,not your opponent ,,, Cause If your concentration is on making the best shot possible ,,,,it dosen't matter what your opponent does,,,,,,I know its easy to say ,,but it's harder to do in reality,,,,,,

I'm not so sure about this one. I'm always aware of what the opponent is doing because it can change how I approach an outshot. If I'm on 122 and the opponent is back in the 200's I won't go the same way I'd go if they were sitting on 40.

So I wouldn't completely ignore what the opponent is doing. Just be aware of your surroundings. But since it's soft tip you don't have to keep an eye on the chalker either, so that helps.
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Everyone's different. My best comes out when in competition, everything just feels sharper and more natural. If I win, I win. If I lose, I lose. You don't win them all, by any stretch. I do watch my drinking. Easy to mess up your game when people are buying rounds. I limit myself to two beverages if I'm going to play. However, some say alcohol helps their game. Just relax and have fun. Your game will evolve.
I do all my own stunts.
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The segments are the same size, and the board is the same distance in your house as it is at the venue.

Only you can control how you handle the 'pressure'. Pressure is created by fear of failing. Don't be afraid to fail, be excited to win, and have fun.

Make a plan, find your target, step to the line, focus and throw. Do this every round. If something throws you off, like you miss into an odd number, step back and repeat.
You really don't need to think of anything else.
-Milky

Keeping dart retailers in business since 2012.
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If you can take a friend with you or if you know other people in the tournament sit with them. Try to have a good fun time out and when your not shooting try and talk about anything else. We like to joke around then just get up throw couple practice rounds and just stay relaxed. Sometime I bring headphones too to listen to music or if there a jukebox.

The couple times I went to tournament and did nothing but concentrate on darts and what I should of did or didn't do I played terrible. Sometimes it seems like the harder you try the worse it is. You need to be relaxed to get that fluid arm motion and follow through.
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I always try to get matches early...just spend an 45min to an hour just throwing on different boards (move around..play on different boards). Maybe have a single beer if that's your thing. Just get focused but not too much pressure on yourself. Maybe find someone around your skill level to play a few practice games with....or take along a friend that's into darts.
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(01-08-2015, 06:49 PM)Cyanide Wrote:
(01-08-2015, 06:28 PM)0ldjoblo Wrote: What they said ,,, ^^^^^^^,,,,

Just 1 more tip ,,,Play the board,,not your opponent ,,, Cause If your concentration is on making the best shot possible ,,,,it dosen't matter what your opponent does,,,,,,I know its easy to say ,,but it's harder to do in reality,,,,,,

I'm not so sure about this one. I'm always aware of what the opponent is doing because it can change how I approach an outshot. If I'm on 122 and the opponent is back in the 200's I won't go the same way I'd go if they were sitting on 40.

So I wouldn't completely ignore what the opponent is doing. Just be aware of your surroundings. But since it's soft tip you don't have to keep an eye on the chalker either, so that helps.

Thanks Cyanide,,,,a good example of making the best shot possible,,,,Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.,,,,,
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. I finished 25th out of 52.

However, my nerves were affecting me too much. In the first match, I couldn't keep my hand steady and it was trembling a bit. The trembling went away after that but I couldn't seem to replicate my stroke.
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(01-09-2015, 06:51 PM)hermynog Wrote: Thanks for all the advice everyone. I finished 25th out of 52.

However, my nerves were affecting me too much. In the first match, I couldn't keep my hand steady and it was trembling a bit. The trembling went away after that but I couldn't seem to replicate my stroke.

It gets better... Keep at it. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Very good showing for a first my friend.
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Thanks Cyanide and Saber Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Going for a second one on Tuesday, against players of higher ratings. Good thing there's no handicap though, saw quite a few heavyweights knocked out in R1 yesterday due to the massive Dartslive2 Handicaps.
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Just keep on going mate. As others said, let it be okay to lose, there's nothing wrong with it. Even Phil Taylor got whitewashed, and still managed to battle through it.
Even when you throw good darts, there will be somebody lurking around, better, steadier and calmer than you. There always is. And sometimes they just give the impression to be very good at it.
Might share an adventure I had in my early months playing serious darts. I was playing my first soft tip league, so scores weren't high across the teams anyway. Did I mention the "somebody" earlier? It happened. My team went to the pub where the home team was awaiting us, and on our trip, my friend told me "there's this one player who used to play a league above us, he went back a notch to help his best friends" - and the shaking and trembling began. I couldn't hit anything, at all. I was nowhere near my humble aim, which was stray, yet still around the segments. Whitewashed, dead, finito. What an experience, it kept me up all night, and I started doing something I never thought I would: replaying the match in my head. It was when my darts got a whole new shape. It wasn't just fun anymore, it was more than that. "I know I can do this, I have to."
From there on it wasn't just training once a week with the team. It was cereal and darts. Steak and darts. Salad and darts. If these big guys on TV can go straight down that 20 segment, so do I somehow. I was like a poker player: I would die without my darts. I carried them when going out, just in case some drunk lad felt lucky enough to play for a pint - and I did love free pints.
We managed to qualify for the big final somehow, and as faith wanted it to be, I was about to face my old enemy at the 1-on-1 finals. Although, the approach this time was slightly different. I went from "oh deary me, this will be tough" to "I want to play my darts, as soon as the throwing line is clear, it's go time". I didn't watch the scoreboard, I didn't care what he threw. All I wanted to do is play my game - so bad in fact, I didn't realise I had my revenge whitewashing him. I turned around after picking my darts as he was reaching for my hand. My face went all weird "Is it over?" - Well yes, congratulations, brilliant darts, my friend.
I managed to keep on going from there on (well, I didn't go far at my first finals, of course), now I knew how I have to play this: me, my darts, MY board. And the year after I came back to that stage, playing the darts of my life so far, snatching the local singles champion's title. A week later our biggest Dart crazed pub in town organised a big 128 players tournament. I was encouraged to partecipate, although this was a big one. It wasn't playing my level, 110 were Elite players, including the whole italian national team. The rest was what the big ones would call amateurs. I was about to pull the tail in, then again, it was a great Sunday and it would have been too bad to miss out seeing the 180's throwers in action. So I coined in - just a 10er, that's ok, I don't drink and hold darts.
So we started the dances. My first match against an Elite, who knew! Beat me at the deciding leg with a bull. I was furious with myself, I had a pair of 16's waiting. I let it slip away from me. Well, time to ride the losers wave. Second match was what even I would call an amateur, so I considered it a warmup match, playing 16s and 17s only. After that there was only Elites left. "Time to say goodbye I guess, but I'd like to go with a bang." - Next up, vice-captain of the blue team. Yay... ok well, let's do this, as the tower of Pisa suggests, it can only go wrong. Actually, it didn't. Never have I seen bigger trebles and doubles, I don't know what happened. It was like playing with Lego. So simple. Tons, Ton-forty+, 15 darts to leave a stunned blue man after a 5-2 victory. And myself stunned staring at the board, trying to understand what's happening, when I remembered my "coach's" words: don't think, just go.
It took some time till it was my turn again, and as my name was called out, me and another 30 to 40 people stood up too. "Wow, weak bladder wave going on here eh?" We started playing, he's to throw first. 85. Some "yeah man, keep it up". My darts underway: sixty, sixty, deflected 20. Big round of applause behind my back. "What the... nah, probs the other board". He goes with a ton. "Fine, I ton too" - sixty, sixty, sixty. Electronic noise machine goes wild, behind my back even wilder. I turn around, hands and fists towards me, beer mugs flying, people falling off their chairs. I enjoyed it, so much in fact that I just wanted to keep going, which I did, and another big guy had to accept defeat against an amateur.
Semifinals, wow, I'm under the best 4 of this thing. I'm happy already. My name goes again. Now, the second match was not so important, the whole place was glued around our board, it was Ally Pally XXS. Every ton+ was a highlight, every high checkout was delirious. In the end, though, I had to give in, missed a pair of 10's on a 140 checkout and had the door rightfully shut by a pair of 16's. But it wasn't me who had the chance to congratulate for the great match I had been given, it was the blue guy and about 300 people who celebrated a loser. But I was proud of myself, I could enjoy my game and go quite far, besides 500 euronis for 3rd place in the end and a nice cup. I finally won a shiny with a sport. Me, who can't play football or hockey due to health issues. I reached the zone, even though it didn't last very long. About a year and a half, maybe two, yet I got more shiny stuff to decorate my dart room with, to remind myself where I've been.
I'm in hell now, and this forum, this memory, and some great posts I found around here are great inspiration to get back up again.
Perhaps my little adventure might help you too. All I can add is: just have fun, don't watch the others. It's always you against the board. And winner is, who checks out. Don't get scared if you get a ton against you, he might hit 7 the next turn. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
Thomas - crazed dart player from Italy - fighting his first big slump

Darts in use: Dave "Chizzy" Chisnall's pixel 90% tungsten 18g soft tip, 22g steel tip
Leftie, and proud of it
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