If you fancy turning your passion for darts into a career and want to become a professional darts player, you need to become a member of the American Darters Association (ADA).
As a part of the ADA, you’ll have the opportunity to play in local and national games, win cash prizes, build a name for yourself, and a whole lot more.
Unfortunately, becoming a member of the ADA doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become the next big thing. So, let’s find out more about how to become a professional darts player, how much you could earn, and how much work you need to put in before you start seeing rewards.
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How Difficult is it to Become a Pro Darts Player?
Darts is a sport, and like all sports, you must train hard, be committed, and follow strict protocols to succeed. Once accepted as a member of the ADA, you must participate in the Open American Dart League Division within a year. The ADA will then give you ‘Professional’ status.
You need to follow the ADA’s criteria to hold on to your professional status. The current criteria states:
- You must have an ADA membership for at least a year. If you cancel your membership, you can’t rejoin until two years have passed, which could seriously hinder your journey to becoming a professional.
- You must play at least four games of 501 each quarter.
- You must play at least forty games of 501 per year in the Open Division of the ADL.
- Male darts players must maintain an average score of 17.5 points per dart (steel tip), and women must maintain an average score of 12.0 points per dart.
- You must follow the ADA’s Code of Conduct & Ethics at all times.
How Much Money Can You Make as a Professional Darts Player?
Professional darts players make money from competition prizes and sponsorship deals. As a professional, the amount you’ll earn will depend on how well you do in competitions and the value of your sponsorships.
A good example of the amount of money that can be made from competitions is to look at the PDC World Darts Championship. It currently offers a prize fund of £250,000,000 ($285,539,500). The top 64 professional players win between $7,500 ($8,566) and $500,000 ($571,112), depending on their final position.
How Do You Get Sponsors For Darts?
There are typically three types of sponsors that darts players can get. These are:
- Percentage deal
You can get sponsors for darts by reaching out to companies and requesting that they sponsor you. They usually have certain criteria you must meet before they consider sponsoring you.
For example, A-Z Darts sponsors darts players that play nationwide and compete in major tournaments. Whereas, Winmau says it considers PDC, BDO & WDF rankings when offering sponsorship deals.
If you’re lucky, companies and brands may contact you directly with a sponsorship offer.
How Long Does it Take to Get Decent at Darts?
Becoming a professional darts player takes a lot of time and effort. There’s no specific amount of time that it takes to get decent at darts, but the more you practice, the better you’ll be.
Malcolm Gladwell famously said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. Following this theory, it would take more than 9 years to become an expert in darts if you played for 3 hours every day.
It is possible to be good enough at darts in less time. Michael van Gerwen only started playing darts in 2002 and made his professional debut just 5 years later in 2007.
How Often Should Aspiring Pro Darts Players Practice?
If you want to become a professional darts player, you should aim to practice for between 10 and 20 hours per week.
These sessions need to be broken up into chunks and you shouldn’t play for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Should You Get a Coach if You Want to Become A Pro Darts Player?
Yes, having a coach is a great way to help you achieve your dream of becoming a pro darts player.
Most professional darts players will have had a coach at one time or another. Coaches offer invaluable support and advice. A coach will help you perfect your throwing and standing techniques. They may even be able to get your foot in the door for upcoming events and games as they’ll be well-known in the industry.
What is a Good 3-Dart Average For a Professional Darts Player?
To compete professionally, you need to have a 3-dart average of 80. The best players in the world typically have a 3-dart average of 100 or above.
How Good Do You Need To Be To Become A Professional Dart Player?
You need to be a very good player to become a professional dart player. Your average score per dart and the 3-dart average need to be impressive, so there’s no point in trying to go pro if you haven’t perfected these scores yet.
It’s recommended that you sign yourself up for local tournaments and leagues. Playing a real match with other players in a competitive environment is a good way to see how you perform away from familiar surroundings. This will also help you decide whether going pro is right for you.
Can Anyone Become a Professional Darts Player?
It takes a certain type of person to become a professional darts player. You can’t just decide to go pro after winning a couple of friendly games in your local pub at the weekend.
Some common personality traits seen in professional darts players include:
- Larger-than-life character
- Copes well under pressure
- Good with numbers
- High level of standardization
- Excellent working memory
- Dedication & perseverance
Unfortunately, if you don’t have all, if not most, of these characteristics, your chances of becoming a professional darts player are slim.
Becoming a darts player is a long journey that takes years of practice and hard work. No one becomes a professional darts player overnight, so be prepared to slog away and give it your all. If you do this and have the right skills, you could become the next big name in professional darts.
Next, check out what Pro Darts Players keep in their case.
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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