You’re hanging out at your local bar and then within an instant a handsome fellow catches your attention. You have your eye on him and you think he’s watching you but neither one of you are daring enough to break the ice. He gets up and begins to play darts so why not join him.
Playing darts is a great way to break the ice. It’s a fun game with little to no pressure. Although there’s an art to throwing darts it really doesn’t matter if you win or lose but it helps to have great form and technique.
The following article explains the basic grip, stance and throwing techniques used in the game of darts. There are also tips on discovering what works best for you and how to develop your own style.
Basics of the Grip
Aim and Direct: The chief objective of your grip should be to keep the end of the dart pointing up in each throwing stage.
Solid and Relaxed: Your grip should be stable, firm and should not put tension on the muscles of your fingers. When your fingers become white or you have difficulty releasing the dart due to excess muscle tension it is an indication that your grip is excessively tense. Keep in mind that Darts is a not a game of force, but rather touch. To keep your touch, grasp the dart just tight enough so it will not slide and you can maintain control when speeding up for the throw. The most common error is gripping the dart too firmly rather than too loosely.
Use at Least Three Fingers. Using more fingers will provide more regulation and control of the dart when gathering speed, but it makes the release more difficult as you will have to coordinate more fingers together. Finger coordination is an important aspect of release in your grip.
Shape of Dart Barrel. Not all types of grips will be suitable or functional on different barrel types. Longer barrels require the use of more fingers, while shorter barrels may require fewer fingers. Not only do you need to discover the right grip for you, but you need to discover the barrel that’s right for you as well.
Say No to a Fist. The fingers that are not included in your grip should stay comfortably spread apart from the fingers that are included. For example, if you are using four fingers when holding the dart and your smallest finger joins the other four, it will cause strain on the muscles of the other four fingers and will result in a poor release.
Stance and Throw
“Right Foot Forward” Stance. To better understand the stance, examine the position of a good player while they are aiming. Players set their eye, the dart and their target in a line. When a player makes a throw, he must try to maintain the movement of his arm in a plane of two dimensions. This decreases error by eliminating sideways movement of the arm.
Distribution of Your Weight. Your weight should rest chiefly on your forward foot while your rear foot holds adequate weight to thoroughly balance your posture. Keep in mind that, regardless of which weight distribution you use, your posture should be very firm and unshakable. The forward foot should constantly remain on the ground or floor.
Leaning. The more you lean your body forward, the closer you are to the board. Conversely, the farther you lean the more physically demanding and unbalanced your throw will become. If you bend forward excessively, it will result in back strains in the long run. Practice and try to find your own best position for throwing.
Balance. Lifting your leg when throwing is discouraged. Always keep your feet on the floor.
Torso. Your posture must ensure that your body is kept still during a throw.
Dart is a game of skill that requires constant practice on your part. You have to discover your own individual grip, stance and style of throw. Put it in your mind not to merely imitate the style of other dart players. You must discover your own style by yourself.
Try out the grips, stances and throwing styles of different individuals for the purpose of comparing and finding out which aspects are appropriate for you. Trying out various styles will also help you learn the technical connections between grip, stance and throw and enhance your skill. However, you should still find your own style, the one wherein you feel most comfortable and which results in improved playing. Achieve this through constant practice and keen observation of other accomplished or professional dart players. Look into their style of play and if you can use it with ease and comfort, then incorporate it into your own style.
Thomas Schude is the owner of Dart Brokers, an online dart supply store with a physical store in Aurora, IL, just outside Chicago. You can buy dart supplies from Dart Brokers online store and learn more about darts with our dart techniques, tips and tricks articles.