Sports Psychology: Dave Chisnall – Underperformance!

It’s the first round of the World Matchplay at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool. And Dave Chisnall has finally found some form. Unfortunately, he is 9-1 down against Watford’s Mark Walsh. Chisnall picks off a couple of legs to keep Walsh on his toes, but it’s come too late to turn back the tide. Chisnall is out. After his semi-final performance in the UK Open at Bolton, many judges expected Chisnall to at least match his performance at The Reebok. After all The Reebok was Chisnall’s first TV event since he joined the PDC. He appeared fearless and unperturbed by pressure. […]

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Sports Psychology: Kevin Painter – Luck!

It’s the first round of the World Matchplay at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool. And World Champion Adrian Lewis is under-performing. Kevin Painter has three darts at double-top to defeat the man from Stoke. But he misses. In a titanic struggle Lewis eventually finds his form and rhythm, and eventually overcomes Painter 12-10 to progress to Round Two. In his post-match interview with Sky Sports Rob Stubbs, Painter bemoans his fate, repeating that he doesn’t seem to get the ‘luck’ that other players get. He is implying that he is ‘unlucky’. This is not the mindset of a winner and champion. […]

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Darts: Raymond Van Barneveld – Attack!

It’s the TV break in the second-round match between Raymond Van Barneveld and Brendan Dolan. Barney is two sets to the good. But he is playing poorly. During the break, his Dutch pal Co Stompe, comes to have an encouraging word. Next thing we know, at the start of set three, Barney has thrown a beautiful nine-darter. The Alexandra Palace is delirious! So what did Co Stompe say, to have such a catalytic effect on Barney’s game? He told him to attack! To throw the darts in a more assertive way. Clearly brilliant advice. But what does Co Stompe mean? […]

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Darts Psychology: John Part – Jet Lag!

John Part looked unbeatable in his first round Alexandra Palace match against Tone Greebe. Could a fourth world title be on the cards for the Canadian. No! Why? Because he went home for Christmas. Flew back to Canada. And returned to London yesterday. He then played and lost by 4 sets to 1 to Kirk Shepherd, with a heavy case of jet-lag. No wonder he played so badly. Yet the jet-lag itself is not the reason for the defeat. John Part is a very experienced player. He would have backed himself to handle the inevitable tiredness. When your mind and […]

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Darts Psychology: Gary Anderson – The First Round!

It’s the first round of the World Darts Championship, at The Alexandra Palace. Gary Anderson is playing Jamie Caven. Anderson is a class act. He has what it takes to become World Champion. If not this year, then sometime soon. When he’s in the groove, he looks unbeatable. The darts flow from his hand, and the scoring is heavy. But when he slips from that easy groove, then the doubts set in. Anderson should have the match with Caven well wrapped up. But he doesn’t. It goes into a deciding set. Anderson prevails. But it has been a scrape and […]

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Darts Psychology: Vincent Van De Voort – The Walk In The Snow!

So Vincent Van De Voort will face Kevin Painter, in Round Two after Christmas, at the Alexandra Palace. This after putting Gibraltan, Dylan Duo to the sword by three sets to nil. However Van De Voort’s journey to the venue tonight was slightly different. Firstly he drove from Holland to England, after snow cancelled flights out of Amsterdam Airport. Then when an early evening blizzard hit the North London venue and surrounding areas, Vincent had to abandon his taxi, and walk three miles up to the top of the hill. With his young son in tow! Which just goes to […]

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Darts: Wes Newton – Pressure!

It’s Monday night at the Winter Gardens. The first round of the World Matchplay, and local boy Wes Newton is tackling Kevin Painter. Wes reckons, there are around three hundred of his fans in the capacity Blackpool crowd. This should be a good thing. But by the eighth leg, Newton is seven-nil down. There is no rhythm to his throwing. Good darts followed by bad darts. The harder he tries the worse it gets. Its only by the eighth leg, when he has nothing to lose, that Newton finds some sort of form. But by then, its far too late. […]

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Darts Psychology: Ronnie Baxter – The TV Break

It’s the battle of the super-quick throwers. England’s Ronnie Baxter v Holland’s Jelle Klaasen. After a mere nine minutes, Baxter has captured five legs. He is on fire and Klaasen has no answers. Then, comes the TV break. Time for Klaasen to gather his wits. And time for Baxter to lose his flow. Which is exactly what happens. Klaasen wins six of the next eight legs, and an improbable comeback is on the cards. Only Baxter’s experience sees him over the line. But it’s close. The TV break is often a thorn in the side, of the player in the […]

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Darts: Wayne Mardle – Disrespect Me!

It’s the pre-match interview, and Wayne Mardle, is discussing his forthcoming encounter, with Robert Thornton. Sky Sports Helen Chamberlain, reminds Mardle, that pundit Rod Harrington has queried which Mardle will turn up tonight. Mardle the Entertainer? Or Mardle the Darts Player? Mardle seems none too impressed, when the question is put to him. As if, somehow, his professionalism is being called into question. So, it’s no surprise when Mardle turns in an inspired performance, to counter the threat of Robert Thornton. Mardle seems able to channel, all his considerable energy into his darts. And drawing from the crowd, raises his […]

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Darts: Phil Taylor – Supreme Confidence?

Phil Taylor, has dispatched Dutch challenger Michael Van Gerwen, in a second round encounter, at the Alexandra Palace. In his post-match interview with Sky Sports’s Dave Clarke, he is already looking ahead. ‘I’d love to get Barney in the final’, declared The Power. Basically, he is mooting, that only Raymond Van Barneveld, can offer him, the level of challenge that he wants, needs, and will thrive on. Whilst The Power’s attitude is understandable, its also slightly presumptive. Presumptive, that he will dispatch the dangerous Kevin Painter in round three. Whilst Taylor’s record against The Artist, is impressive, he would be […]

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