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This blog is our thoughts on where the Darts World stands with darts coaching at the moment and how it may progress...

Coaching in Darts

Posted: 20.06.11 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category

This blog is our thoughts on where the Darts World stands with darts coaching at the moment and how it may progress...

    

Welcome to The Darts Performance Centre Darts Blog

Coaching is new in darts! Slowly the game is waking up to the idea and several methods are being tried. Former pro`s (who may or may not have an affiliation with the P.D.P.A) are offering their services to guide grass-roots players, current stars are turning up at youth academies, running their own youth training programmes or advertising their services along with less well known players as they are fortunate enough to have “the knack” for darts coaching. There are self-help websites and video coaching via the web all offering the dart player the chance to play better darts.  Should we be concerned about letting any individual (whether they are pro, ex pro players or not) without any formal qualifications run and advertise their services as a darts coach or is there another path darts should be following?

Another question is how much “coaching” is actually going on in any of these enterprises? There is of course a difference between arranging matches for youth players and coaching. We define coaching as the process that leads to players learning and then reaching the peak of their performance.

To successfully teach in any sport a coach needs a good knowledge of sound coaching principles. Each sport does of course have its own unique features, however, the good practice that should form the backbone of the darts coaching sessions can be found in most other coaching manuals The key coaching principles in most sports embrace various aspects of sports science and why should darts be any different? This includes bio-mechanics (analysing the mechanics of the technique using the latest, state of the art video analysis equipment), nutrition, (pre, during and post tournament advice), sports psychology (relaxation, imagery, goal setting) and performance analysis (reflection, feedback and forward practice planning) and of course effective practice sessions. These key coaching areas should be underpinned by the coach having a personal coaching philosophy.

Anyone offering their services as a darts coach will of course argue that there are no formal qualifications available anyway although this also means that there is no safeguard for the player looking for the right advice. A coaching qualification will arrive eventually and a benchmark standard set for all darts coaches to adhere to, much like the PGA in golf; in the meantime all we can advise is to “interview” anyone claiming they can improve your darts to try to find out exactly what skills they possess that will be effective in improving your own technique. We would also urge “darts coaches” to publish what they are doing. Without this transparency how else will darts coaching move forward? 

This article was first published in the June edition of Darts World

The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. We are also committed to researching all aspects of darts to provide players with information and solutions that most other sports take for granted. Please support us by joining today.Membership is £25.00 per annum.

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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )