How to Overcome Your Darts Nerves? 8 Awesome Tips

How to Overcome Your Darts Nerves

Key Takeaways

  • Find ways to relax during darts games
  • Controlled breathing can help with the nerves
  • Developing a routine around games helps to control darts anxiety

How to Overcome Your Darts Nerves?

To be honest, there is no way of completely overcoming nerves in darts. To a certain extent, they will always be there, no matter what level you play at.

My 8 tips will help to overcome your nerves and get you into the right mindset, so they become less of an issue.

  1. Learn to accept them
  2. Put yourself out there
  3. Treat games like practice
  4. Ignore all distractions
  5. Stay calm and stop chasing
  6. Control breathing
  7. Develop a routine
  8. Listen to music

Because it is a mental game, as much as it is physical, if you let them get to you, they will affect your game. Even the pros feel the butterflies before big games, and they are the best players in the world.

However, there are excellent ways to manage your nerves, that will help you improve your darts game.

Learn To Accept Them

The first thing you should do is just learn to accept the nerves.

  • Playing in front of people can be extremely daunting for many reasons.
  • Some players feel them in the early days, but when they start finding their feet, and get used to playing, the nerves begin to be less and less of a factor.
  • On the other hand, it’s something that other players may have to play with.

The sooner you accept that, the quicker you can start to adapt to help manage them better.

Put Yourself Out There

You can start by introducing onlookers and competitive players during practice.

Most players are fine in practice, because for most of the time it’s only them and the dartboard. The isolation removes the stresses of having to perform in front of others.

However, during games, or leading up to games, the adrenaline takes over, which is what creates that lump in your throat, the nerves, the sweaty palms, the anxiety and the tension.

It’s not knowing how to handle this feeling which is most affecting your game.

  • Putting yourself out there, and inviting other dart players over whenever you can for practice games, will help you begin to recognize the spike in adrenaline and how to deal with it.


  • You could also play darts online to begin with, which helps to replicate game scenarios, but is not quite in at the deep end.

Treat games like practice

Playing as if it’s practice sounds cliché, and it probably is, but it’s the best way to remove those darts game nerves.

What they don’t say with that cliché, is that it’s harder said than done. I get that, however, it comes back to my previous point.

When you start making your practice games more competitive, pressurized and game like scenarios, competitive ‘real’ games will start to feel like practice.

Nerves are only self applied pressure, which is important to remember when playing darts. Getting to the point where games feel like practice, is the ultimate goal.

Ignore all distractions

Darts is all about two things:

  1. Concentration
  2. Focus

To get better at overcoming your nerves, one thing you will need to do is learn to ignore all distractions.

Take a look at the pros, they have to deal with the jeers of the crowd, the raucous atmosphere, the heat of the arena, the pressure of the big stage and the ups and downs during a game.

Yet for the most part, they remain switched on, concentrated and focused. They have the ability to empty their mind, forget what’s going on around them, and focus solely on the task at hand.

Stay calm and stop Chasing

This ties in closely with my previous point, however, losing a game is obviously going to be a big distraction.

It can easily derail players thoughts and quickly affect concentration and focus levels.

What tends to happen, is players start looking more at the scores, panicking and begin putting pressure on each throw or letting that missed double play on their mind.

It’s important to stop chasing and overthinking in a darts game.

  • Clear your head of frustrations
  • Shut out distractions
  • Forget about the scores
  • Stay calm
  • Start focusing on the next shot
  • Set small targets and be laser focused on that target

Control You’re Breathing

Being able to control your breathing is one of the most important ways to stop nerves when playing darts.

But is a skill that is often forgotten about, especially in the heat of the moment. If you are nervous, your breathing will be erratic, faster than usual and generally allover the place.

It is very common, especially among beginners, however you need to slow it down.

  • During your opponent’s throw, concentrate on inhaling and exhaling slowly
  • Take deep a breath at the Oche before you throw your first dart to settle your breathing
  • Don’t hold your breath when throwing

Develop a Routine

Developing a consistent breathing routine will help you stop overthinking during a game of darts. Creating a routine in general is good, and a lot of sports people are superstitious by nature.

If something worked once, stick with it, is the consensus. With darts, it can work extremely well because the game scenario is the same 99% of the time, which can be a great thing in dealing with nerves.

Turn up, warm up and start playing. When your behaviors around playing become routine, you start to feel comfortable and confident in yourself.

Listen to Music

Music is a great way to block out whatever is going on around you, and listening to it before games can be a real game changer.

It can help players get switched on, focused and in the zone.

Low-fi music I find works great, and you should check it out, however listen to whatever helps you stay calm.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Darts Nerves?

Darts nerves refer to the anxiety or nervousness a player might feel during a game, especially in high-pressure situations or competitive matches.

Why Do Players Experience Darts Nerves?

The reasons can vary. Some players might feel the pressure of competition, fear of disappointing themselves or others, or simply get anxious in front of an audience.

How Can Darts Nerves Affect Performance?

Nervousness can lead to shaky hands, increased heart rate, and lack of focus. This can impact a player’s accuracy, consistency, and overall performance.

Are Breathing Techniques Effective in Calming Nerves?

Yes, deep and controlled breathing can help relax the body and mind. Taking a few deep breaths before throwing can help in calming nerves and improving focus.

How Can Visualization Techniques Help?

Visualizing successful throws or imagining a positive outcome can boost confidence and reduce anxiety. It’s a mental rehearsal that prepares the mind for the actual event.

Do Professional Players Also Experience Nerves?

Absolutely. Even seasoned professionals can feel nervous, especially during crucial matches. The difference is in how they manage and channel that nervous energy.

Can Practice Reduce Darts Nerves?

Consistent practice can build confidence in one’s skills, which can, in turn, reduce nervousness. Familiarity with various game situations through practice can make them less daunting in real matches.

How Can Positive Self-talk Help?

Replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations can boost self-confidence. Telling oneself things like “I’ve got this” or “I’ve practiced for this” can be reassuring.

Is It Beneficial to Discuss Nerves with Fellow Players?

Yes, discussing feelings with peers can provide comfort, knowing that others might feel the same way. They can also offer tips or strategies that have worked for them.

Are There Any Physical Techniques to Reduce Nerves?

Physical exercises, like stretching or even a brief walk, can help release tension. Some players also find it helpful to have a routine or ritual before their throw to calm their nerves.

Should I Consider Professional Help for Severe Anxiety?

If darts nerves are severely affecting your well-being or enjoyment of the game, it might be beneficial to seek counseling or professional help to address underlying anxiety issues.


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