When we throw darts, we aren’t usually thinking about how our stance affects our performance. However, where and how you stand is an essential aspect of your overall darts game. The rest of your game suffers if your posture is shaky, contradictory, or misaligned.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to perfect your dart throwing stance. Once you practice these components, you will establish a repeatable and consistent throwing posture, and your overall game will improve. So, what are the secret ingredients to a more effective darts stance?
How Does a Proper Stance Help My Throw?
When wondering, “How do I improve my darts score?”, it all comes down to evaluating each and every facet of the throw, and one significant factor that is often ignored is the stance.
When throwing darts, the stance is the position of your feet and body. By practicing and perfecting it, everything else will fall into place.
When you hear the word stance, you might think about your feet and legs, but stance refers to your entire body posture while standing. Everything from your balance, angle, and distance to the board would be impacted.
Let’s start from the ground up and go into how each part of your body affects your throw, including your feet, legs, torso, and arms. Each of these body parts has specific mechanics that make it work to its full potential.
Regardless of whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, use that foot to provide stability for your throw. This is what’s called the support foot, and it will give you a solid foundation to throw from. Place your foot nearest to the board, in front of your other foot, and lean forward and place your weight on it. During a throw, never ever lift up this foot.
Your back foot is the non-support foot, but it can still give you a sense of equilibrium, reducing the body’s usual way. Although some players like to have both their feet securely planted on the floor, it is preferable to lift the back foot forward slightly and put their weight on their toes.
Not only does your back foot influence your balance, but it also impacts the angle at which you throw at the board by adjusting the direction of your torso. This is one of the most widely ignored facets of dart posture and one of the most popular reasons for darts not landing straight on. Your front foot’s angle of attack should range from diagonal (45 degrees) to straight ahead. Anything outside of these ranges causes the body to become unbalanced.
During the throw, both legs should be parallel. Beginners sometimes make the mistake of bending their knees. This is most definitely a subconscious response designed to give the dart more energy as it is released, and shouldn’t be the case when you’re throwing.
You throw a dart with your arm. Maintaining a secure, sturdy base will help you develop your consistency and accuracy. Often players complain of tightness and stiffness in their calf muscles after long periods of play because they unintentionally tense up while throwing. Mind that the energy for the throw must come from your elbow and forearm, and try to keep your leg and calf muscles relaxed.
The player’s body should be tilted and inclined toward the dartboard at all times.
There are two reasons for this:
- First, it (slightly) reduces the gap between yourself and the board.
- Second, it tightens important abdominal muscles that help to focus your center of gravity.
Arms are an integral part of your posture, and they act as a counterweight to help us preserve our equilibrium. Try walking without waving your arms; you’ll quickly see how slow and cumbersome it feels.
Not only can we have more decisive throws as we become more mindful of our arm positioning, but we will also have a more relaxed posture, which will feed right into our overall effectiveness. As a result, we will become better players.
Only your elbow joint should become engaged as you throw, and the upper portion of your throwing arm (between shoulder and elbow) should stay parallel to the floor. If you throw from your shoulders, your body can swing off-balance, reducing your accuracy.
To help you firm up your core, keep your non-dominant arm very close to your side. The throwing arm should be stretched entirely in front of the body at the end of the throw, totally parallel to the ground.
There are four main stances that people tend to choose from. Which one is better for you is purely a matter of personal choice. Each one has its combination of benefits and pitfalls, but all four are completely sound.
Front Facing Dart Stance
In this position, both of the player’s feet are facing forward, and both touch the Oche line but do not extend past it. This stance has lost favor in recent years because it limits your opportunity to reduce the gap between you and the board.
The thrower does not have any space to bend over in a front-facing position, and doing so with both feet squared up causes the player’s centre of gravity to move too much to lose control. On the other hand, the front-facing posture is perfect for beginners since it is easy to understand and one less thing to worry about.
Best Foot Forward Dart Stance
In this position, both feet are also pointed towards the board, just like the front-facing posture. The distinction is that your throwing arm’s foot will be on the oche, while the other foot would be stepped back for balance. This pose is basically identical to the front-facing stance but allows for a bit more leeway for angling your upper body toward the dartboard.
Angled Dart Stance
In this position, place your front foot at around a 45 degree angle on the oche. There is no such thing as a proper or incorrect angle, and it is completely up to the player to determine which angle is the most comfortable. The back foot must also be slightly off-centre and at an angle in this stance.
Since it offers more stability, this stance is one of the most common. As in the best foot forward posture, the player has an easier time leaning forward and reducing the distance to the board, without sacrificing balance in their foundation.
A sideways stance has become more popular in recent years because it reduces excessive body movement and helps you lean forward even more. The player must stand sideways to the board in this position, with their forward shoulder pointing toward the dartboard and their feet at a 90 degree angle.
This stance necessitates the player twisting at the waist, which might be awkward for some, so keep that in mind. All of these positions should serve as a good starting point for developing a personal choice.
Other players like to lean toward the dartboard, which helps them to get closer to it and to see it more clearly. This can help them, but if you lean too far left or right, you risk losing your equilibrium. Try to experiment with varying levels of forward leaning, and you’ll get a sense of what gives you the most vital balance without adversely affecting your throws.
Your weight should be mostly spread in terms of the foot nearest to the dartboard, regardless of which posture you select. Do what feels most comfortable without bending, but most players say their front foot carries about 75% to 90% of their weight. You should only put enough weight on your back foot to preserve your stance and avoid losing your balance.
Players in any sport with a throwing aspect have evolved unique wind-ups and positions that optimize results while reducing effort, and this is particularly true in darts. In darts, your stance is one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of the game. It also helps to eliminate exhaustion over long periods of play.
Whether you throw facing head-on, horizontally, or somewhere in between, make sure your feet are placed about shoulder-width apart and that every aspect of your body is working together.
Keep an eye on the surroundings and try to relax. Don’t hold your breath, as that adds needless anxiety to your game and may derail it. Above all, remember to have fun!