If you’ve ever watched a dart game between experienced players or a pro competition on TV, you know how easy talented players make it look to launch a dart and hit any spot on the dartboard at will. And if you’ve picked up darts yourself, you know just how challenging this is.
But don’t get discouraged if your dart-throwing powers aren’t quite where you want them to be! Even pro players were once beginners practicing the very basics of the throw.
The foundation of successful dart throwing lies in a well-formed, consistent throwing motion. Watch a pro closely, and you’ll notice that their throwing motion looks identical throw after throw.
And a dart player develops an overall successful throwing motion by concentrating on several key components. Master them, and you’re well on your way to dominating your local dart league.
We’ll focus here on proper techniques for grip and stance. Anyone can learn these techniques with practice and patience.
Your grip on the dart should be firm and stable without placing tension on your finger muscles. If you feel tension in your fingers, it’s an indication that your grip is excessively firm. Ease up just a bit.
Try using three fingers to grip the dart. This is the optimal number of fingers to use for regulation and control of the dart. If you use any more fingers with your grip, you risk losing coordination on release, which is essential when the dart takes flight.
Paying attention to the release of your dart and your finger muscles are good rules of thumb. If the release is off-track or you feel any muscle strain in your fingers, go back and troubleshoot your grip.
Some dart newcomers have a tendency to grip and throw the dart with a fist as if it were a large spear. Avoid the fist grip at all costs.
Last-second crowding of fingers as you release the dart is another pitfall you want to avoid. Make sure the number of fingers you use (which we recommend to be three) when drawing back the dart remains the same when you release the dart.
Your eyes, the dart, and the target should be in a straight line of sight when you square up to throw. The majority of your body weight will rest on your forward foot while you use your rear foot to steady your position. Keep your posture upright and firm.
Many players employ a forward lean in their stance. Be mindful if you have a tendency to lean in. Too drastic a lean will throw off your balance and cause an unstable release.
Keep your throwing shoulder and elbow in fixed positions as you draw back the dart. Your spine should be straight and your throwing arm relaxed. Only your arm should move while throwing and releasing the dart. Good dart throwing relies on short and precise movements. You don’t need to move your entire body en route to release the dart.
As with all technical aspects of throwing darts, a close study of how the pros do it is a fantastic way to learn. However, don’t become too fixated on theory. It’s equally important that you go out and practice throwing for yourself.
A successful dart player shares much of the mindset and skills of a good croupier. Both are confident, demonstrate expert concentration, and have the ability to defuse any tension. Once the mechanics become second nature, you’ll begin to develop the mental edge necessary to thrive in dart play.