Darts is a major sport and the top professionals play in million-pound tournaments broadcast on television channels around the world. These are major events and realfootball gives fans the chance to learn about the players and follow the action. Unlike sports like football, rugby, or basketball, many amateur players may not know how to become a professional darter. Moreover, youngsters interested in playing darts as a profession may be unaware of development programs to teach them the finer points of the game.
There are avenues where amateurs and youngsters can venture to become professional darts players. Like any sport, however, it takes a lot of skill to become a paid player at the top of the game. So, how can players work their way up to the pro ranks?
The Professional Darts Corporation runs programs aimed at kids and amateurs. The programs could give a young player the chance to reach the professional circuit. The PDC runs a qualifying tour for players over 16 looking to break into the professional game. Meanwhile, the PDC also hosts the Unicorn Development Tour for players between the ages of 16-23. Obviously, players will need to be of a good standard to make it onto the tours.
According to darts experts, parents can encourage their children to play darts by purchasing a dartboard for them. Players can begin to learn the game and practice on their own to gain experience.
A lot of darts professionals are introduced to the game at a young age. Darter Stephen Bunting was playing darts as an amateur at the age of 15, which was how old he was when he won the Lancashire Open.
Bunting claims he practiced darts up to seven hours a day as a young teen. Like other pro sports, players must put in the practice hours to achieve a high level of success. Although may non-darts players believe the sport is nothing more than a pub game, darts enthusiasts know better.
Practice isn’t the only thing top-level darters need. Top players state along with practicing their trade, they try to replicate the intensity of a match. Players must have the physical capabilities to pull off wins through muscle memory, but there is also a mental element involved. Professionals must have intense concentration to zone out the crowds, opponents, and television cameras at major tournaments.
Mental fatigue can lead to physical fatigue. Both can harm a darter’s chances no matter which level they play.
The PDC Qualifying School takes place annually for players over 16-years old. Each January, players compete to win a PDC Tour card and to rub elbows with big-time players. The PDC Qualifying School costs players £450 to enter, so players must be serious about playing darts.
There are other ways to get into the pro ranks including the previously mentioned Unicorn Development Tour. There are also the Unicorn Challenge Tour, Amateur Qualifiers for the UK Open, and Junior Darts. Each option allows darts players to develop and grow.
Players have multiple ways to achieve their darts dream, but they must be serious with their practice if they want to earn their PDC tour card.