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The first night of the Grand Prix was sensational! We discuss jet lag and fist pumping celebrations!

The Chuck of the Irish !

Posted: 08.10.12 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

The first night of the Grand Prix was sensational! We discuss jet lag and fist pumping celebrations!

Well we were right, there were sets, sets and more sets of sporting drama during The World Grand Prix in Dublin last night. Virtually every game was a tight close fought encounter and was a treat to watch. “The Power “seemed back to his best but baffled us all by apparently having no knowledge of the detrimental effect of jet lag.

Taylor was out of sorts at the last tournament (The Euros in Germany) , he did look exhausted. This was due to a tour of Australia he had been on but it appears he did not realise that undertaking such a journey can take a long time to get over. It reminded me of a project that I was involved in during my degree course. It involved preparing a football team to travel to Europe (and back) and part of the brief was ensure that the symptoms of any jet lag were managed so the team was fully fit for their game on the following Saturday. Perhaps I can dig it out and let Phil have a read!

Anyway Phil was fighting fit this time and his game against Michael Smith was “plane” sailing in the end! The two most keenly awaited games of the night by the partisan Irish crowd were Brendan Dolan and William O’Conner’s matches against Anderson and Van de Voort.  Any aspiring dart players looking to the PDC pro’s for guidance may find some value in reflecting on the performance of the two “home” players.

First of all Brendan Dolan. One of the key areas to focus in on with Dolan is the care he takes over the first dart. It sounds daft doesn’t it? Surely all players take care of their first dart, but how many take a much care as Dolan? Justin Pipe or Phil Taylor maybe? The first dart is so crucial. I do realise that players do not throw a bad first dart intentionally but as it sets the tone for the rest of the throw why not put every ounce of your skill and effort in getting it to the area of the board you want it?

On the other side of the coin I feel William O’Conner could learn a lot from the cool and calm Dolan. Last night for example William went into some fist pumping celebrations after securing vital legs.  Now first of all I love to see any sportsman showing their passion for a supreme piece of skill or for scoring a goal or try or the like. I agree that the FA rule of players being booked for “over celebrating” is one of the daftest things in football. All sports fans want to see emotion and passion not robots going through the motions.

But, sudden rushes of adrenaline are not what you need in a precision sport such as darts. The first celebration was when William secured the first set, fine, he had time to adjust and get back to “normal”.  The second and crucially the third was “in play”. In the last set O’Conner took out a 140 finish to level up the set at 2:2, cue a fist pumping celebration. Both times after his “in play” celebration he took 6 darts to get off the mark in the next leg, coincidence? No, probably not!

O’Conner still had a chance to win the game but failed to hit double 18. He may reflect on the lost five darts at the start of the last leg and that perhaps he should save his celebrations for a victory jig?


The Darts Performance Centre is a resource to assist dart players of all standards play better darts. The site is arranged as an online coaching manual. There is advice on technique, nerves, psychology, goal setting, practice games, an area to log your statistics and an interactive area where your darting questions are answered by two sports scientists, one with 30 years dart playing experience. You also get an invite to our free but exclusive members only events and acess to our members only darts coaching app! Membership is £25 per year!


Author: Paul Gillings ( Paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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