Pro Tour Prep 1

how to play darts, how to get better at darts, darts tips
By Ken McNeil

Playing Darts on the Pro Tour and Game Preparation

Hello all Puma and Shot Darts followers, this month I would like to talk a little bit about travelling around the world playing dart tournaments and also the preparation that goes into place for making your travels as simple as possible. This year I have played around 4 months in total on the professional dart circuit. I have travelled to the U.K, Europe and the U.S.A. for dart tournaments.

I would first like to give some tips that I find useful in traveling. You should do as much research as possible on the area you are travelling to and find out where and when the tournament is being held. You should then try to book your flight and accommodation as early as possible so that you are not paying too much for these services. When travelling abroad always make sure you have the proper documents with you that are required by the country you are travelling to, for example: passport, visa, proper currency and your itinerary to prove that you have a return flight. When you arrive to your destination try to have travel arrangements already set up for you. If no arrangements can be made, make sure that you know how to get to nearest train or bus depot to reach your destination. I like to arrive early the day before the tournament commences; that way I can check out the area I am staying in and find nearest shops and attractions. I know it can be difficult to do any sight seeing or anything tourist-like when you are only gonna be in the area for the duration of the tournament, which is usually only a weekend. If you happen to be staying longer than the weekend, then it is nice to know the different places to go have a meal or visit.

Preparation for the dart tournaments when travelling is very important because you have to consider a bunch of different factors, such as time change, jet lag, and currency. You would want to settle into your room when arriving and maybe get something to eat to replenish your energy depletion from travelling. The tournament usually begins early on the Saturday morning, so you would want to have a good nights sleep so that you are feeling energized in the morning when you wake up. When you wake up in the morning, I advise you to get a small breakfast with some fruit, this will keep you from going hungry in the middle of the tournament. Also, try to keep a bottle of water on you while you are playing or practicing in the venue, this will keep you from being dehydrated and keep your mind focused on playing well.

Once you have had some breakfast it would be nice to go down into the venue and get used to the atmosphere in the room. While you are in the room go to a practice board and have a practice throw for as long as it takes to find your form. Once you have found the form you are accustomed to, have a break and go drink some water or stretch, something to take your mind off the darts for a little while.

It is almost time to play a game; you may start to feel a little nervous before stepping up to oche. I suggest taking a few deep breaths and just remember all the work and practice you have put into preparing for this tournament. While playing your opponent keep the breathing technique regular and throw the darts at your own pace; it is very easy to get caught up in the opponents pace and it can cause major problems in your throw, which could result in you not playing as well as you have been when practicing. The difference with practice and playing a real game is that in a real game there is a physical presence in front of you which could be very intimidating. When all is said and done, whether you win or lose the game just keep the energy level up and stay positive for the next match or next days event.

In preparing for these tournaments I suggest to practice the games that I have talked about in my previous article. These practice routines are situations which you face in every match, so the more you practice these situations the more confident you are when faced with the opportunity. I really hope this article can help some players with their game and different preparations before a major tournament or even a league night.

Remember, there is such a thing as over practicing, especially before an event. What happens is that you start playing so well in practice that when you get into a game and hit a couple of bad shots you start changing your throw and therefore you are not focused on current form. The mental pressure starts to get to you and it's very hard to find that focus, especially in the middle of a game, so therefore I would suggest not to overdo it before the game.

Keep your mental focus and most of all "believe" in yourself and the ability you have, thank you.

Ken "Silverdart" MacNeil "BELIEVE"