In this article we want to get to the bottom of the question: is darts sport? And if so, to what extent do darts as a sport affect the mind, head, and body? Learn everything about popular darts in this comprehensive article.
Is Dart Sport?
Darts is a mental sport through and through. Darts players must be highly concentrated and internally consolidated in order to achieve the highest possible level of perfection. The player’s focus is constantly on the Dart Board. In darts, short phases of relaxation alternate with equally short phases of maximum tension. You can hardly breathe deeply! Every single throw decides on the victory of the match. If you reject minimally, you may already have lost the victory. For all of these reasons, it is extremely important to be as focused, determined and self-confident as possible. Darts is, therefore, a highly demanding mental sport.
Professionals who make darts a sport
The conditions for darts are far from ideal. In large tournaments, in particular, many players fail simply because they lose their nerve and focus. The roaring noise, the many cheers, and the loud screams let you quickly lose the thread. Once you lost, it is difficult to find it again. Many times, players have gambled away the win even though they were actually the better player.
The audience is also merciless because they comment non-stop – even with boos. These are the ones that sometimes pull players down. Cheering, on the other hand, can inspire players and still throw situations around. To make matters worse, the professionals make their living with the sport of darts. A longer series of defeats can threaten your own existence. It is difficult to find peace of mind if the monthly home loan has not yet been paid off.
Amateurs also know the constant pressure with darts. Just like the pros, you have to learn to deal with defeats in darts and to go into the new game as unencumbered as possible. Many fail to turn threatened defeats in the match into a victory. Amateurs in particular often underestimate the influence of the head on the game. They often mistakenly believe that only technology and ability can decide whether they win or lose. A mistake!
Darts is a matter of the head
An estimated 80% of the winning of a game in darts is decided in the head. This becomes understandable insofar as, for example, the same players have been among the top 10 among the professionals for years. This fact is actually astonishing, because usually in many sports the professionals alternate every few years. With Dart, however, it seems that the years-long professionals of the scene seem to be toughened against all the adversities of darts. With pure willpower and an unshakable inner calm, you can defy the increasing precision of darts through better techniques and a better construction of the darts arrow.
Amateurs and hobby players should always be aware of this problem with darts. An active discussion of yourself and your body can help you to achieve inner calm and thus to dominate a duel. Many players are sometimes unaffected by such problems for years and then suddenly find themselves in a whirlpool of negative thoughts.
The reaction of the body when playing darts
The body reacts to a darts match with a strict pattern. Basically, these represent a dangerous situation and therefore a threat. Most people feel a sense of fighting or fleeing in a duel, ie some people try to defend themselves, while others try to escape the threat by fleeing. Which path your body takes depends on your previous life experiences and your personal assessment of the situation.
However, both reactions only result in a disadvantage for you to a limited extent. You are capable of top performance, especially when there is a threat. Released stress hormones, raising blood pressure and a high focus on the dangerous situation let you accomplish unexpected achievements! A well-known example is mothers who can suddenly handle enormous loads when their children are threatened. But the situation can also tip over at any time and the flight or fight reaction can lead to a restless hand and cramped posture. It is important to find a balance. Positive stress is good for the duel, more negative tilts the situation.
Visualizations and simulations
Visualizations and simulations are an easy way to maintain inner peace. Before starting the game, you simply have to consider the goal, ie the victory. You simply play through a potential victory. You can also use this visualization for the specific next throw by simulating that the next arrow will of course land unerringly in the Triple-60.
Thanks to a habituation and wear effect, you achieve a high level of inner calm and serenity through the simulation. The actual situation, the match or the next throw, loses pressure and frightening character. So you will play more concentrated and calm when playing darts. But be careful: Visualizations can also drift into the negative, for example, if you simulate a defeat in darts! In the game, this inevitably leads to a higher pressure and a negative feeling.
Benefits of Playing Darts
To give you a better insight, here are some of the amazing benefits of playing darts for your mind, body, and overall well-being.
For The Mind
1. Relieves Stress
One of the primary benefits of playing darts is stress relief. It serves as a respite from your everyday stressors and keeps your mind away from negative thoughts and feelings. Thus, allowing you to have a positive diversion and enjoy relaxation. While many play the sport competitively, you can enjoy the game with your friends and have a fun mental “breather” from things that stress you at home or at your job.
2. Improves Focus and Concentration
Throwing a dart requires your utmost focus and concentration. If not, your throws will most likely miss the walls or instead hit someone’s eye. With that, you must concentrate fully and ignore all distractions to ensure that you land your darts in the correct position.
Should you still miss it, don’t fret! You can always recover and devote more focus and concentration to your next turns to stay alive and improve your chances of winning the game. The more you practice, the more you improve your focus and concentration skills, and the more you can apply it in life.
3. Encourages strategic thinking
Besides focus and concentration, strategic thinking also plays an integral role in darts. You need to be tactical in each of your moves and ensure you get the number of points you need while leaving your opponent with a difficult shot. Remember, your throws can dictate how the game will develop, so be deliberate at all times. Then, you can use all the learnings and utilize strategic thinking in daily logical planning.
4. Improves mathematical thinking
Playing darts also brushes up your mathematical thinking. As there’s usually no scoreboard, you’ll be calculating a lot to get your score and your opponent’s score. Expect to elevate your math skills, particularly at subtracting. That’s because “501,” the most popular game of darts, entails deducting the scores you accumulate from each turn from “501” and reaching zero to win the game.
For The Body
1. Better Hand-Eye Coordination
Hand-eye coordination is a skill usually taken for granted but is actually handy in various everyday tasks. If you’re struggling with this skill, playing darts is great for you!
When playing this sport, your eyes transmit a signal to your brain, which then sends a response to your hands to execute your desired action. While it may be a simple concept, some people find it difficult to master this skill.
Thankfully, it can be practiced and improved upon. The more you play darts, the better your hand-eye coordination will be due to the high amount of precision and accuracy the sport requires. This is beneficial, especially for older players, as it can help keep hand-eye coordination longer and prevent it from naturally deteriorating with age.
2. Increase Physical Self-Control
Another amazing benefit of playing darts to the body is increased self-control. If you’re a newbie or not particularly athletic, you may struggle with positioning and keeping your arms, hands, body, and head in control during throws. Thus, causing you to be off-target.
With regular play, you’ll improve your physical self-control, get a better feel of your body, have better proprioception, and be more spot-on with your throws. You can use this in other areas of life where proper awareness of your movements and positioning is essential.
While it’s not strenuous as other sports, playing darts is still a form of exercise. Playing darts requires you to stand constantly for a long time, provides your arm with a lot of work, and forces you to walk when collecting the dart pins from the dartboard. It may not cause profuse sweating compared to when you’re running, playing basketball, etc., but it keeps your body in motion. That’s a lot better, especially for individuals with a sedentary lifestyle.
For Your Overall Well-Being
1. Improves social skills
Instead of playing alone at home, invite some friends and use the sport to have fun and strengthen your bond with them. Alternatively, if you already have enough skills, you can join a team in a league and play competitively while meeting new people with the same fervor for the sport.
2. Teaches Teamwork
If you decide to join a tournament with your friends or be part of a team in an official league, you’d be interacting and working a lot with one another. That will teach you essential team-building skills on a personal, social, and competitive level, which you can then apply to your personal life.
3. Utilizes non-verbal skills
Aside from teamwork, being part of a team also teaches you about understanding non-verbal gestures from your teammates. You’ll be able to understand their hand signals, body language, or other non-verbal cues better, which can be vital in determining your team’s next moves. Moreover, you also get to learn from other competitors by watching their throws, movements, and skills. All that will help you read and understand people better.
4. Increases Confidence
Winning a game of darts can give you self-fulfillment and boost your confidence. However, remember that sports isn’t all about winning. Expect to lose at certain times, but what’s important is that you keep your heads up, look at the brighter side, and do better the next time. That’s real confidence, as you can proudly tackle anything in life and deal with them with less stress.
5. Play Outdoors
Darts isn’t necessarily an indoor sport. You can hang your dartboard outdoors, like on a shed, the side of a house, a tree, or other suitable places in your backyard. Playing the sport outside allows you to breathe some fresh air and relish the beauty of your surroundings. Make everything more fun by adding tasty barbecue to the mix.
Indeed, darts is a sport that will do wonders for your mind, body, as well as your overall well-being. We hope these reasons are enough to compel you to play darts. Do it with your friends or family, or play it competitively. Whichever you choose, expect to have fun and reap all the amazing perks this challenging sport offers. Enjoy!