By John Kramer
During the 40 years of my darting career, I have had many experiences at all levels of play. I have also spoken to many players all over the world and I am happy to call so many of them friends. With that history comes lots of ideas and advice to pass along to players and it is one of the things that I try to do very often, especially those players that reach out to me for help or advice. I was at my league match recently and over the last few months of our league matches, I have been offering advice and coaching to one of the players on his mechanics and stance, as well we his mental approach to the game. During our most recent discussion about his mind set when playing a match. I was astounded to hear that he had a different approach to the match in his thought process depending on whether it was a league match, a tournament match, or a finals event. This fact was amazing to me and I realized that there may be a lot more players out there thinking these same thoughts than I realized, so I decided the subject might be a good start for my first player hints & tips article.
We all know that champions in any form are few and far between and we often wonder why that is. What is it about the champion, or what is in the heart of the champion that makes them so different than all the other players? I firmly believe that this one defining factor is all in the players mind. Going back to my league teammate, what would cause a player to think that they needed different mental approaches to matches? It's not about whom you play, where you are playing, or how you are playing. It is all about you and the board. You have no control over the other player and you have no control over your darts after they are thrown. The only thing you can control is yourself. Your thoughts should be focused on the board only and making each and every dart count to the best of your ability until either you or your opponent has hit the game winning shot. When throwing for the out, you can't be thinking 'if I miss this, my opponent will take his out'. Or putting pressure on yourself that you need to hit a 100 or a 140 on your turn. You want to be thinking about putting the darts on target. Never let the circumstance of the game affect your shot. Don't over think things. It's an easy game. Keep it simple. Success will find you.