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Match day nerves
Hi all. Im getting frustrated with my league and tournament form. I can't seem to shake the stage fright. I understand nearly everyone's form drops when playing in front of an audience but mine seems to be a bit excessive. Tonight for example in a round robin tournament, I was against players who I know I'm better than, sounds big headed but I've beaten them before and watched them play many times. Obviously tonight I wasn't better than them and I know you are only as good as your last game. League form, won 4 lost 1, and only lost that one due to stage fright.
At home I average 64, which I'm happy with and I'm improving weekly but bringing this form to a league match happens few and far between. I tried tonight to imagine I'm just playing against myself and my opponent was just an inconvinience sharing my board, I wasn't interested in their scores, this helped a bit but not consistently. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks.
Darts 23g.
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One tip i can give you is - do not try to get rid of it with alcohol...Stage fright is something normal and i am sure it will reduce / almost go away the more you get up that stage.
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Just throw darts at the targets.  You want to hit them, so throw with intent to hit them.  No wimpy "toss and look".  The worst thing you can do is to evaluate your throw during a match.  Just throw. 

One goal of practice is to lay down your technique.  When you go to competition, it is to compete.  Hopefully, what you did in practice sticks.  Don't even worry about it.

If you are thinking as you do in practice, you are not competing.  If you are evaluating your shots time after time, you are not competing. 

What is key is what is in front of you, not what is behind you.  Do you really think you will learn to throw during a competition?  

In my opinion, many folks ( me included ) compete before they ought to.  First thing is to be  confident in the stroke.  The results will take care of themselves.
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Has been covered a few times as is a very common issue...I just can't seem to pinpoint the threads atm Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

My advice is always the same, take a few deep breaths when the other player is having their turn, try not to put to much pressure on yourself and try to enjoy it...having nerves can be a positive as well if you can use them to help you focus...

If I find the threads I will post the links buddy Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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When you feel that heart rate go up, use it to your advantage. It is a simple mindset issue.

For me, when I feel the adrenaline, it tells me it matters. I use it as a motivator, not an intimidator.
-Milky

Keeping dart retailers in business since 2012.
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(01-08-2016, 03:04 AM)Milkysunshine Wrote: When you feel that heart rate go up, use it to your advantage. It is a simple mindset issue.

For me, when I feel the adrenaline, it tells me it matters. I use it as a motivator,  not an intimidator.

It can be hard if the  adrenaline triggrs the flight reflex  instead of the  fight reflex. It is hard to control but thoseare your basic choices, Imo.
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It really is a mindset thing though. Know it is going to happen, know what it will feel like... Acknowledge it and don't fear it. Remember to breathe, relax and extend.

Decide you want to be 'that guy' who gets the ball with 5 seconds left.
Decide you want the match in your hands. Embrace it.

And remember... It is just darts. It is just a game you aren't playing for a lot of money. It isn't your living.

It is similar to a wife... Good days, bad days... She'll still be there tomorrow. (For some, unfortunately...)
-Milky

Keeping dart retailers in business since 2012.
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How often do golfers get butterflies on the first tee? I know I used to nearly every time.

Also, how often do you throw in that kind of environment? Do you practice with people at the pub? I rarely throw at home anymore. I'm always out shooting with the chaos of the pub.

Maybe get webcamdarts set up. You'll get used to the pressure quickly, and it will make you a better player, for sure.
-Milky

Keeping dart retailers in business since 2012.
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(01-07-2016, 11:56 PM)steve1 Wrote: Hi all. Im getting frustrated with my league and tournament form. I can't seem to shake the stage fright. I understand nearly everyone's form drops when playing in front of an audience but mine seems to be a bit excessive. Tonight for example in a round robin tournament, I was against players who I know I'm better than, sounds big headed but I've beaten them before and watched them play many times. Obviously tonight I wasn't better than them and I know you are only as good as your last game. League form, won 4 lost 1, and only lost that one due to stage fright.
At home I average 64, which I'm happy with and I'm improving weekly but bringing this form to a league match happens few and far between. I tried tonight to imagine I'm just playing against myself and my opponent was just an inconvinience sharing my board, I wasn't interested in their scores, this helped a bit but not consistently. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks.
Darts 23g.

The simple answer is that it should get better as you get more acclimatized to competitive play, although I think there is also some very good advice for you here in this thread (and on the forum in general)

Also, i fit helps, here is an article I wrote that maybe touches on some of these issues.  Just keep in mind that I'm just a 'guy that plays darts' and my opinion is not worth more than the next 'guy or gal that plays darts'

https://hubpages.com/games-hobbies/Ten-A...pion-Darts
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How often do you practice in public?
To me there is 3 levels of nerves.

-Practicing at home in a comfortable place.
-Practicing against other players in a friendly match in a public venue (like a pub)
-Actual league/tournament play.

If you can do more of the second, it will help you with the 3rd. I've pounded so many 13-15 darters at home and then show up to practice with a friend an hour later and can't do a 25 darter.

At home is good but without the audience/noise, it's never the same.

One thing that has helped me out a lot is arriving early to matches. Get some practice in well before the match starts. Some people need an hour+ to get warmed up.

Another trick is to find a local pub that's nearby your league/tournament and practice there before the match. Maybe practice against some locals at that pub and get some games in.
Then before your match starts, head over to the actual pub. You'll be surprised how much pressure is off your shoulders. Plus you have this advantage of people thinking you're coming in cold but have no idea you've been at a nearby pub playing against real life players.

Last but not least. If you do practice at home, go on youtube and find clips of "crowd noise"....there is a bunch of them. That way when you're practicing at home, you're used to hearing background distractions. Having a zen like experience at home is wonderful but if you can't apply it to real world conditions, it's useless.
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(01-08-2016, 01:06 AM)BigE Wrote: Just throw darts at the targets.  You want to hit them, so throw with intent to hit them.  No wimpy "toss and look".  The worst thing you can do is to evaluate your throw during a match.  Just throw. 

One goal of practice is to lay down your technique.  When you go to competition, it is to compete.  Hopefully, what you did in practice sticks.  Don't even worry about it.

If you are thinking as you do in practice, you are not competing.  If you are evaluating your shots time after time, you are not competing. 

What is key is what is in front of you, not what is behind you.  Do you really think you will learn to throw during a competition?  

In my opinion, many folks ( me included ) compete before they ought to.  First thing is to be  confident in the stroke.  The results will take care of themselves.

Well BigE Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

What an excellent post with great advice throughout, very well said indeed!  ( +1 )


regards
Dorian
Son of Merlin

Caerleon - Wales

(Mission "KURO" M4 rear taper design- 23GmYellow Kite Shape Flights 100 micron & Solid Brass Stems)

Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

My father Merlin, once told me that "You should end up pointing to what you were aiming at when you've released the Dart."




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Hi all. So much helpful info here. I'll be sure to give it all a try. The darts game runs a lot deeper than people think. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I used to play for a team as a youngster, late teens, early twenties, I didn't suffer with any nerves back then ( I guess kids don't ). Came away from the game for 10-11 years, had one full summer season and now 5 games into winter season so I guess I am fairly new to league matches.
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So yesterday was match day. After reading all your advice I was raring to go. After taking deep breaths and just throwing instead of analysing each shot, the first leg I lost and the advice made no difference. Leg 2 I stuck with the advice and I would say 50% of the time I felt fine, no nerves or shaky arm, then I managed a nice 114 checkout. 3rd leg was much like the 2nd, 41s, 100s, 26, 100, 45, 60 etc. Finished that leg with a 2 dart 100 finish. He got it back to 2-2, then I comfortably won the final set to make it 3-2. So in summary, I still had the nerves but only half the time, i guess the rest will improve with time.I wouldn't of won that game if it wasn't for all the helpful advice from you lovely lot, so thankyou. Oh and the icing on the cake, my opponent was someone who beat me last week in a round robin so revenge was sweet espesiially after he purposely picked himself to play me last night, and 114 is currently the highest checkout for team and league.
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Confidence is a chicken and egg thing....do results bring confidence or does confidence bring results?

For me, confidence brings results. What would have happened if you lost?
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(01-15-2016, 03:17 PM)BigE Wrote: Confidence is a chicken and egg thing....do results bring confidence or does confidence bring results?

For me, confidence brings results.  What would have happened if you lost?

Never looked at it that way, I agree, confidence brings results, but results will also bring confidence.
If I'd lost, I would of gone away thinking I'm not that good, at least until I get on my practice board and play like I can. Then I'd have been frustrated again because I didn't play like I can in the league.
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