By Scotty Burnett
I want to get away from technique, routine and equipment in my hints and tips for this month.
Sportsmanship. It's not just a long word :)
I have found in recent articles that writing is a great way for me to work on certain things. Almost like if I put pen to paper on a topic, I find myself improving dramatically in that area. This article is no different. I have identified an area I have left lacking, and it's time to improve. I hope you take something away as well and have a renewed outlook on the role you play in molding players. I believe everyone is susceptible to the anger monster. From a former world #1 punching a dartboard in the World Championships, to a now 2 time world champion walking off stage during a match in full view of the TV cameras. No one is above the anger monster. I hate to pinpoint only these 2 instances, but referencing them all would take too long haha! But I am also prone to letting the anger monster out; and almost always at the worst possible time.
In almost every instance of poor sportsmanship I have personally witnessed, it is generated by an overwhelming passion for our great game of darts. Anyone that has toed the oche and put a game winning dart into a clutch double will agree at how truly competitive this game is. But to what end? This is just competition coming out. Good sportsmanship is if you are on the losing end, you shake the persons hand and tell them good darts and wish them well in their next match. Good sportsmanship starts with learning how to lose. Those that know me personally know I am very focused and single minded while playing - almost to a fault. But this has nothing to do with sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is not about focus, or even really about how you play the game. Sportsmanship is about how you handle adversity, and how you motivate others around you.
I think good sportsmanship starts with our peers, wherever they may come from. From the local pub player, the neighbor that got you started playing in his garage to the tournament pro that occasionally shows up for local events in your area to the full blown tour pro. Good sportsmanship is something that is frequently overlooked for popularity. Good sportsmanship is beating someone without crushing their interest in darts. It's helping those that ask for your help to improve their game. It may be something as simple as watching a match and cheering on a good game when you see it. It's recognizing someone when they tell you good darts. A simple 'thanks pal' says it all. Good sportsmanship starts with YOU! Punch my ticket, I'm in. Now it starts with me too.