Want to know how to aim darts? Whether you’re a beginner or play the sport regularly, there are tricks and methods to hitting your target every time. In this article, we’ll share the best practices to follow.
What Is the Trick to Playing Darts?
Playing darts is a lot of fun, but if you’re determined to improve, here are some general tricks to help.
Consistency and practice are key when it comes to improving any activity. Create a schedule to keep you on track. Be mindful of your stance, sight line (more on this later), and other techniques.
Compete With Better Players
Competing with more advanced players allows you to observe their technique. How do they stand? What position is their elbow in? Make sure to allow them plenty of space and not to distract them, but observation can be very helpful.
Train Your Mind
Darts is a competitive sport that requires a lot of concentration. Create a healthy, peaceful lifestyle to reduce your stress and calm your mind. Avoid alcohol while you play and reduce your caffeine intake.
Putting yourself in challenging situations will build your confidence and help you feel more accustomed to new situations. These personal traits will only make you a better player.
How to Aim Darts Properly
Below are some effective steps to improving your darts game.
Work on Your Stance
Your position greatly impacts the dart accuracy and the amount of power exerted. The first thing to know is that you should place forward the foot of your dominant hand (left hand means left foot forward).
Then, place your feet parallel to the throwing line with your weight in your front foot, using your back foot for balance and support. All the while, keep your knees straight; if they’re bent, you risk rocking your balance while you throw, which results in missing your target. Refraining from bending your knees encourages you to get your momentum from your arm rather than your lower body.
Keep your feet firmly on the ground, and lean towards the board slightly to help exert the power forward. When you release the dart, keep your back foot on the ground, as any change to your balance can cause you to hit off-target.
Additionally, keep your arms parallel to the floor, activating only your forearm and wrist, and not your shoulders, when you throw (more on the follow-through later). You should also keep your non-dominant arm close to encourage your core to tighten for support.
While this might sound like a lot, it’s important that you feel relaxed, and, with practice, the stance will become more natural to you.
To hit your target consistently, you need to grip your dart correctly, which means finding the in-between of comfort and control.
Begin holding your dart as if you’re holding a pencil. In particular, the dart barrel should be between your index, middle finger, and thumb. Maintain a relaxed hold, as too much grip will restrict your movement. The thumb will support your dart while you throw it, and your two fingers will guide the direction and keep it steady.
You should also consider that the firmness of your grip and the number of fingers required can depend on the barrel type. For example, you may need an extra finger on top for longer barrels. More fingers on the barrel can even improve your aim.
With your dart correctly in your hand and your stance perfected, raise your dominant arm parallel to the floor with the hand holding the dart in front of your hand and in line with your eye.
Find Your Dominant Eye
Hand-eye coordination is equally as important as your grip. Here are some strategies to find your dominant eye.
- Place your finger in front of you, and look for a distant object.
- Point to it with one eye closed.
- Open your eye again.
- If your finger seems to have moved away from the object, your closed eye is your more dominant eye.
Create a Line of Sight
Forming a sight line in front of you helps you to aim darts properly and enhance your accuracy. This technique involves throwing the dart at the height of your eye, so what you see is where you throw.
The purpose of a sight line is to teach you to connect your eyes to a target and keep your sight there. The better your line of sight, the more accurate and consistent your throws.
However, some dart players use their little finger to line up their sight line. This can take a little longer, but it’s all about finding the right preparation technique that works for you.
Don’t Move While You Throw
Without realizing it, you might move position. However, professional dart players keep their bodies entirely still while throwing a dart. As the margin for error is so small in darts, even a small amount of movement when you release the dart can cause it to go off aim, making you miss your target.
Use Your Elbow
Lead the dart with your elbow to help you aim for your target. The first step is to know the direction your elbow is pointing, ensuring that it’s targeting the dartboard and is slightly up. Then, your elbow will lead the way when you throw, adding more force and accuracy.
Concentrate On Your Follow Through
Take a moment to line up the dart with the target, making any necessary adjustments. Remember that your throw’s power should be directed from your forearm and wrist with no movement in your shoulders and upper arm.
Don’t use excessive force when you release the dart because the objective is just to reach the board in front of you and not any farther. Release the dart using a steady upper arm and a quick movement in your forearm without applying too much force.
Then, the final movement should come from your wrist in a fluid motion while your shoulder stays still. In fact, the wrist action is a significant action that provides acceleration and a boost to drive the dart forward.
One of the most important steps in aiming your dart is the follow-through, which many beginner players neglect. This involves extending your arm toward the dartboard after you release the dart, ensuring that you follow the direction of the target.
Every dart player wants to enhance their aim to hit the target every time. This doesn’t happen by accident, but it involves having
- a balanced stance with your coinciding foot forward to your dominant hand
- be aware of your dominant eye and line up your dart accordingly
- hold your dart like a pencil with two or three fingers on the top (depending on the barrel size), without applying too much pressure, as this will restrict the acceleration
- follow through with your body leaning forward slightly and a flick of the wrist
Sue has been playing darts since her 20’s when she played in weekly tournaments and she enjoys writing about darts. She’s also a great teacher, and she enjoys helping others learn how to play the game well. When Sue isn’t throwing darts, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
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