Guarantee the Shot

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My tip for this month may seem an obvious one but over the many years of travelling the 'circuit' and playing pro. darts, it is amazing how many players do not do it. I myself have been guilty of such rash throwing, but I now follow this basic rule: "Guarantee the Shot" If you are on a 3 dart finish for example 121, there are lots of trebles you can hit and if you miss that particular treble, a shot may still be possible, but at what cost? For example, if you went for a T19 and missed, you would not have a shot, at best you could leave it nice, 'if you get another go'.I have seen it done a thousand times, leave it nice, then don't get a shot. Play the averages, go for T20 if you miss, you can still go for T17 to leave you one dart at the Bull, it takes time, but eventually, you remember what trebles will leave you a second chance and what ones don't!

121 is just an example; there are so many shots that have a similar situation. Try to incorporate such thinking into your practice routine. Start at 121 allow yourself 9 darts. Once you have hit the 121 in 9 darts or less, then move on to 122, etc. As you practice these kind of shots, you will learn what trebles to start which outshots, so you leave a second chance shot should your first dart miss the target!

Then there is the other type of 'guaranteeing a shot'. Lets take 121 again, suppose your first dart hits the T20, leaving 61, no problem 25, T15, T7 they all leave a double, WRONG! If you miss, you do not have a shot to finish! Always when you only have 2 darts in hand, go for a big number, in this case 11. At least you will have one dart at the bull, which may be the most important dart of the match! Don't be greedy and try for trebles, it only takes the slightest deflection or a miss, then no shot! Always guarantee that shot and play the big numbers. At least you can say you had a dart, that's better than not having one at all, and you will be amazed how often it goes in and oh boy! When it does, your opponent will be deflated, they weren't expecting it, boom that can turn a match so quick you won't believe!

The last type of guaranteeing the shot 91,92,93,94 and 95, try starting with a bull or 25. It's a much bigger target than any treble, and if you hit either, you can finish them all in 2 darts by following the big numbers rule, either to leave the bull or leave a double. 90 is a dodgy one, personally I go for the T20, if i miss, big 20 then the bull, but you could go bull or 25 first! Again a good way to incorporate this into practice is, start at 61, allow up to 3 darts, once you get it, move onto 62 etc, do this all the way to 100, sounds easy doesn't it... try it and see how you get on, but remember to guarantee the shot!

I hope this is helpful to you budding darters and I wish you all the very best.

Yours in darts, 
Matt Clark