Have you ever sat back and watched people throw dart whether in person on television? I always have been one to first watch others and then try and learn my own way based on observation. I really wanted to learn how to throw darts like a pro. I have seen people who look like a pro athlete shooting smoothly and hitting all their marks. I have also seen many people throwing darts while missing the board completely and hitting everything around it. I am normally that person. I set out to try and find out what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. I also have a competitive edge to myself, as most people do. And I decided to go back to the basics of throwing darts and expand from there before throwing any more darts in front of people. Here is how to start.
How to throw darts like a pro
You will need to start at the basics. No matter how much you know, the basics are always where you learn proper form and technique to better your plays. You need to find your best grip. Most people use their thumb (support) along with their point and middle fingers for guidance. Another important part of learning to throw darts is to acquire a good stance. Not only learn a proper stance, but practice it. This will never be the same for each person, but a slight variation may be all you need to find your perfect stance.
With all these above-mentioned things, you will, in turn, learn how to throw like a professional, improve your accuracy, aim and become a consistent dart player. Let's break it down further into more specifics.
How to hold your dart
Let's start with the basic things you need to know for playing darts. You first must figure out your grip. The way you hold your dart will make a huge different overall. A common grip that most people use is two fingers and their thumb. Your thumb should be the stabilizer of the dart. It is just there to be the "strength" of the grip. The two fingers are placed gently on the dart as a guide. You want a light grip overall. Think about holding your dart like a pencil. If you hold too tightly, your release will be difficult causing your aim to be way off. I will add if you have a heavier, or longer dart or sometimes a dart with heavy grooves, you may need to adjust your grip. The same grip basics will stand, but you may need to add in a third finger. What are you supposed to do with your other fingers? Do not make a fist. You want them to be spread open to a comfortable position. This helps with overall balance and stability as well.
Just remember, you do not want to use as much force as possible to throw a dart. It takes a certain process to learn to throw the dart.
How to improve darts accuracy
You're almost there. The last step for learning to throw darts is the actual throw itself. This goes hand in hand with your accuracy. The first thing I want to point out is that darts is NOT about how much force you can use, but rather your aim and release. Grip your dart and raise your forearm parallel to your face. Try and have minimal movement in your shoulder. Your elbow should be tucked into your body, but aimed towards the dartboard. As you release your dart, your forearm will move forward and the final movement will be from your wrist. The most important part of the release is the follow through. After you release the dart (almost simultaneously) extend your forearm all the way forward towards the dartboard. This habit will increase your accuracy.
As with any sport, practicing your game is the best way to become more accurate, consistent and overall better. There are some tips to help you achieve a better game.
How to develop a consistent dart throw
As for consistency, avoid throwing the dart like a baseball as that will only cause too much force and the dart tip to flutter and miss the board. Another technique is simple, find what works for you and stick with it. You will always have people critiquing you and how you stand, throw, etc., but you know what works best for you. However, practice a different way because sometimes, you may find something will help you become better. As an athlete, you always need to be willing to expand your abilities. If something doesn't work, you can always revert back to your old way.
Another way to become more consistent is your stance. You need to find the best stance for you and stick with it. You can't continue to change up your stance and expect to keep playing the same. Whether you are at a complete angle to the dartboard or almost straight forward, you should have your dominant foot forward. Your front or dominant foot should be on the line. With your proper and comfortable grip, lean forward and place the majority of your weight on your front foot. Keep your knees locked, feet planted and stay still, don't bounce. Try not to lift your back leg off the ground as it will cause you to lose balance. You need a solid stance and balance.
How to aim darts
What about the aim? I think about it as shooting a gun. You have your sights from your hand to the target. With firearms, you normally have an actual sight to look through and follow to your target, but that is not true with darts. You can use multiple different sights such as your knuckle of the finger that sticks up, your dart "barrel" itself or even the tip of the dart. Try different ways to find what works best for you. You will align that "sight" with what you are aiming at the dart board. Keep your focus in that line sight as your release and follow throw. With practice and time, you will be able to pick exactly where your dart will go.
Courtesy: Phoenix Dart
The final tip I would like to add is that the type of dart you throw makes a large difference on everything mentioned above. If you use lightweight plastic darts that are normally found at the bars will be different than a heavier dart set you buy from a sporting goods store. It will effect aim, accuracy, grip and much others. The other part is the dartboard itself. The materials and components can vary for each dart board. To learn more about the best dartboards, please check out this link.