Darts: Raymond Van Barneveld – Zen!

So Raymond Van Barneveld is using Zen meditation techniques to improve his concentration. There is much sense in this. In darts there can be high degrees of pressure. A small target. A double to win the leg. Little margin for error. It’s easy to get down on yourself if you miss a double and let your opponent in.

Van Barneveld’s technique will enable him to keep calm under pressure. Remain neutral. Almost in a dream-like state. Just let his game flow, easily and naturally. No dramas. No unnecessary shows of emotion. Just calm and steady.

Staying in the moment is critical in sport. It prevents you dwelling on mistakes. It prevents you focusing on ‘what-if’s’.

One way to maintain critical focus in darts, is to keep your attention on the flight of the dart. Many players don’t focus on the flight. They are watching to see whether the dart hits the intended target or not. Caught up in the competition. But that is getting ahead of yourself. Focusing solely on the dart’s flight will keep you in the moment. Watch the darts dynamic. The angle it leaves your hand. It’s trajectory. The angle it hits the board at. Watch intently. Become a connoisseur of flight. Know and understand flight. The flight of the dart, is the essence of darts. The inner game.

Focusing on the flight of the darts, rather than the outcome of the flight, breaks tension. It avoids the pressure of ‘What if I miss’ or, ‘I must get it’ thoughts. The winners of tight, close, high pressure darts matches are not always the best players. But they are the players who throw best in the white heat of competition. The players who are not crippled by the tension of consequences. The players who, whilst all around them get caught up in the drama, are calm and still within. The Zen players!

Posted in Darts Psychology, Sports Psychology Blog.