The game of Darts involves more than picking up the dart and guessing where to aim on the dartboard. If you want to become a professional, or simply become a better darts player, you need to know how to throw properly. If you observe any professional player, you will notice that their success lies in their consistency and method.
There are a lot of technical aspects involved while throwing a dart at the dartboard. Aiming is one aspect, but there are various factors involved in positioning your arm and body. In this article, we describe the different factors involved in perfecting your throw, like the positioning of your body and the method of holding a dart.
Find the Correct Stance for You
The proper stance for a darts match varies from one player to another. It is personal and depends on the player’s comfortability to help maintain consistency and control. There are three kinds of dart stance – forward stance, side stance, and angled stance.
In a forward stance, your front foot’s toe touches the throw line. The toe should point towards the target. Your front foot is your dominant foot, and is often the same foot as the hand you are throwing with. The forward stance is the most ideal position. About 3/4th of your body weight should be balanced on the dominant foot in front.
The side stance is ideal for establishing your hand-eye coordination and placing your arm in alignment with the dart’s tip and the target. In a side stance, the arm does not affect your accuracy by unnecessary movements.
First, identify a comfortable angle for your stance. Then place your forward foot on the oche at an angled position, usually about a 45 degree angle. Then move your back foot so that your feet become parallel to each other.
Use the Proper Grip
The grip is a variable part when it comes to the darting technique. A player’s grip is mostly dependent on his compatibility and comfortability with the dart in hand. For a basic grip, place the dart on your palm or finger. Let it balance and then locate its center of gravity.
Roll the dart towards your fingertips using your thumb. Position your thumb a little behind the dart’s center of gravity. Hold the dart with as many fingers as you are comfortable holding it with. Bring your arm to the aiming position and throw.
Different Number of Fingers
You can hold the dart with as many fingers as you like. But you need at least three fingers for a firm grip (thumb and two others). You can even hold it with all five fingers. No fingers should touch the shaft or the flight, but all should be on the barrel of the dart. A three-finger hold gives the best grip.
Holding the Dart
It is advisable that you hold the dart in a way that the thumb’s positing is slightly behind the dart’s center of gravity. It helps in throwing the dart naturally with no additional force.
Proper Throwing Alignment
For an accurate throw, you need to align your shoulder, elbow, and wrist in a straight line. All three body parts should be positioned in a way to keep the dart along that line. For every shot, try to keep the shoulder, elbow, and wrist as aligned as possible.
While throwing a dart, you need to keep your shoulder still. Only your arm should move. Fix a position for yourself, and then aim.
When throwing the dart, you first move it backward and then throw it forward. During this backward and forward movement, you need to keep your elbow in the same position throughout.
Make a mental note of your elbow’s direction. When you accelerate the throwing motion, the elbow needs to be slightly raised, directly facing the dartboard.
For increasing the dart’s acceleration, any professional would recommend you to let your wrist snap forward. A wrist snap is when you let the joint attaching your wrist to the arm go loose before releasing the dart with force.
Focusing on your target and blocking out every distraction is the first and most important thing to do. You can focus by concentrating on the tip of the dart or your knuckle. First, figure out your dominant eye. You can test this by throwing with each eye closed at a time, and the one struggling to stay closed would be your dominant eye.
After establishing your dominant eye, align the dart’s tip with the target and aim. Try aiming directly at the target, rather than above, below, or to the side of it.
If you keep practicing your aiming and throwing technique, you will build consistency and precision in your shots. This will help you to develop accuracy and to more confidently strategize your game plan.
Once you have your aim set, you are ready to throw the dart. Before you make the throw, you need to keep these techniques in mind for a better score.
When you make the backward motion before releasing the dart with force, you need to do it slowly and without disturbing the position of your shoulder or elbow. Only the wrist should be moving.
Focus on your aim and pull back your chin. This will help the dart in achieving accuracy and acceleration space. You should keep your wrist loose and the throwing motion very swift.
Forward Acceleration and Release
For acceleration, do not try to apply excessive force. You should let the swift movement happen naturally by controlling your arm’s positioning and hand-eye coordination. Extend your arm to let the elbow rise and create the needed force for the dart’s parabolic throw towards the board.
Release the dart by allowing the wrist to snap. Do not apply extra force, and do not move your elbow or shoulder. Your hand and forearm need to be at the correct angle for the wrist snap to happen.
Keep your arm in the throwing motion after the dart’s release, and keep your fingers pointed in the target’s direction. It is a perfect follow-through scenario when your hand aims in the direction of the target. Do not snap your hand down immediately.
To perfect your throw, you need to practice your aim and positioning of your upper body constantly. You should also be mindful of the force that you apply while throwing the dart.
Understanding your legs’ positioning and the coordination amongst the different body parts can help you better your score and develop your game strategy. Identify your dominant foot and dominant eye and practice your technique.