If you’ve ever watched a game of professional darts, you’ve no doubt wondered how the professionals manage to throw darts so consistently.
What is it that makes their aim so precise and so consistent? How are they able to transition from scoring a double, to a treble across the other side of the board so effectively?
Well, in this article we’ll be helping you take your dart throwing skills to the next level, with a number of tips from the pro’s. So stick around!
Assuming The Correct Stance
The first step on the road to a consistent dart throw is assuming the correct stance.
Positioning your body correctly will have a significant effect on your consistency.
Well, as in any activity, you want to make sure that you’re balanced and comfortable to achieve the best result, and assuming the correct stance while throwing darts will help maintain your balance.
Most beginners tend not to understand the importance of their stance when throwing darts; which is what often separates the best from the rest.
What are the Different Types of Stance?
When lining up to throw Darts, there are three common stances that you should consider.
But, before assuming any of these three stances, you must line up your body behind the Oche (throwing line) being sure not to cross it.
The Forward Stance
Some players choose the forward stance as the most ideal position to take when throwing darts. However, it’s one that requires a lot of practice to master.
Basically, your dominant foot needs to be placed in front with the toe touching the Oche. In addition, your toe should point directly towards the target.
You should also feel as though 75% of your body weight is supported by your leading foot.
Whereas, your less-dominant foot is to be positioned behind you or if you feel more comfortable, you can switch it slightly to the side so that you. This is mainly used as a balance.
It’s important to keep in mind that whichever position you decide to take should be one that makes you feel comfortable and balanced.
The Side Stance
The way you take up this position is fairly simple. The edge of your leading foot should be positioned onto the throwing line, with the back foot angled behind the front foot (see below), with your elbow inwards for ideal control. It’s also advised to line up your throwing arm with your eye.
The Angled Stance
As a mixture of both the forward and side stances, it’s time to practice the angled stance.
The lead foot shown below would depict that of a right handed thrower. This stance gives greater stability to the upper body, which is why it’s predominantly assumed by more experienced dart throwers.
Read our guide on: how to improve your dart stance
The Correct Grip
When it comes to holding your darts, there’s no incorrect wrong way to go about it. It all boils down to personal preference. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider the guidelines to take your technique to the next level.
Things such as how to hold the dart, how many fingers you should use, and how tight your grip should all be carefully considered.
The Holding Technique
When holding the dart, you don’t want to squeeze it too hard, but you also don’t want to assume a loose hold or you run the risk of your throwing path being affected.
Ideally, you want to hold the dart in a way firm enough to maintain control, but at the same time, your holding of the dart should keep your hand relaxed and not tense.
A mistake that a lot of beginners make is that they hold the dart with a very tight grip. The result of this is strained muscles, and such strain in the muscle can lead to mistakes. On the other hand, some beginners tend to hold the dart too loosely, and the problem with a grip that’s too loose is that it projects the dart with insufficient speed and poor accuracy.
The Number of Fingers
As far as the number of fingers that you should use to hold a dart, there are plenty of approaches, but obviously you can’t grab a dart without at least two of your fingers.
Regardless of the number of fingers you’re going to use, the thumb should always be placed at the center of the dart’s barrel.
Nevertheless, here are a few options for you to choose from:
Two Fingers: Holding a dart with two fingers is pretty similar to holding a pen. It’s a highly recommended grip if you’d like less impact on your fingers.
However, it may not be the best grip, if you’re looking for improved control
Three Fingers: The three-finger grip is one that’s ideal for gaining admirable control and one that’s most popular between the majority of players, it’s also pretty simple to master
The thing you must keep in mind, though, is that the thumb needs to be placed right behind the center of gravity of the dart or anywhere close to it in order to gain a greater level of control.
Four Fingers: This grip has its upsides and downsides. On one hand, it offers an ample amount of support and control. But alternatively, the very last finger (third) placed on the barrel of the dart is capable of disrupting your aim.
Five Fingers: Using all of your fingers to hold the dart is quite tricky but it ensures great control over the dart. The way to gain access to such a high level of control is by placing the pinky finger right above or below the tip of the dart, allowing for precise guidance and high speed.
Perfecting Your Aim
The key to accurate aiming is great hand-eye coordination.
We all know which of our two hands is more dominant than the other, but do you know which of your eyes is the dominant one? The eye that you have trouble closing while throwing darts is the one that’s more dominant.
After securing a firm grip on your dart with your dominant hand, you want to make sure that the elbow is raised up slightly before throwing, ensuring that your shoulder and hand form a 90-degree angle while aiming at the target.
In order for your aiming to become accurate, you have to find out the perfect line of sight.
You’re going to need to position the hand throwing the dart at eye level and close to the side of the eye. You can use your pinky to line yourself up in a way that grants you precise aiming or you can just use the tip of the dart to do so.
This should help you find the ideal line of sight.
Additional Tips to Improve Your Aim
When taking aim, it’s important to point the tip of your dart upward slightly. If you point the tip downward, it’s likely to fall beneath the target or, move off to the side.
Also, it’s crucial that the dart aligns with the target. If your aiming is a bit skewed to either one of the sides, hitting the target is going to be almost impossible.
Releasing Your Dart
The final step towards mastering your throwing technique is to learn how to release the dart correctly, which, believe it or not is a lot harder than it seems.
A common mistake that a lot of beginner dart throwers is that they tend to pull back their arm as they release the dart. Ideally, you want to move only the hand and wrist when throwing darts.
It’s preferable to pull your hand slightly, rather than pulling the arm. In order to accelerate the dart’s movement, you want to use only your wrist and elbow.
The Wrist Snap
Before throwing the dart, you want to make sure that you snap your wrist because it’ll accelerate the dart and allow for a more accurate throw.
However, it’s imperative that you snap your wrist in a forward fashion, rather than a downward one. A downward snap is going to release the dart in a downward direction, thus affecting accuracy.
The Follow Through
After releasing the dart, you want your arm to maintain the throwing motion and ‘follow through’. Keep your arm in that position for a few seconds after releasing the dart, in order to get a good follow-through.
Repetition is the mother of skill. You shouldn’t expect to get everything right the first time. You’ll have to practice in order to hone your skills.
Hopefully, the information we’ve provided here has helped you take your dart throwing prowess to the next level.
Feel free to let us know if you have any questions in the comments, below.