If you want to get better at darts, then practice is key. Following a routine practice session that consists of dart drills for beginners will help you stay on track, can allow you to monitor your progress, and will allow you to focus on important areas of the game that need work. When you practice throwing darts, there’s more to it than just tossing some darts at the board for an hour a day. You’re not going to see much progress here.
An athlete will gain muscle power from repetition, using the same exercises over and over, however, with darts, your practicing strategy should be more about touch and skill than muscle memory. If you’re new to the game and you want to get better, then these drills I’ve included in this guide can help you perfect your throwing style, but remember, practicing consistently will be key.
How Often Should I Practice?
When you practice, it’s important that you use the right gear, including darts that are lightweight, durable, and comfortable to throw, and the best magnetic dartboard or bristle board. It’s also beneficial to have a quality dart mat to protect your floor from being damaged and the best dart backboard you can find to keep your walls free of holes.
One of the best things about this game is the fact that you don’t have to spend a fortune to create your own home setup for practice and practicing your throwing techniques will be crucial if you want to get better. You can’t expect to see any major changes if you’re only playing darts with your buddies once a week at your local bar. But how much do you need to practice in order to see some real results?
Most beginners ask this question, and the answer is, as often as possible. But not many people will have eight hours a day to dedicate to getting better at darts. So, set aside as much time as is realistic based on your schedule and availability. In most cases, a few hours a week of intense, and motivated practice will be much better than eight hours of mediocre throwing.
How often you practice will be more important than how long you practice each time you manage to find the time. At the very least, try to practice five days a week, then take one or two days off. Even if you end up just spending half an hour practicing each day, it’s better than nothing. However, you can also benefit from planning on one longer practice session on your day off. If you’re serious about getting better, plan a two-hour practice session a week for your long day session and short practices throughout the week.
The key to throwing well is practicing consistently. Every person will throw using a different grip or style, but the throwing action should always be consistent and comfortable. New players will benefit from trying out a variety of throwing styles before they settle on one that suits them.
With any type of style you choose, make sure only your throwing arm moves when you take a shot. Never be influenced by other players and their shooting technique especially if they tend to move other parts of their body when they throw. One of the most important parts of the body to keep stationary when you throw is the shoulder.
A dart can easily stray off course if the shoulder keeps moving. While it may sound simple enough to keep your shoulder still, for many people, learning how to keep their shoulder completely still during a throw will take some serious practice.
When to release the dart in a throw is a topic that’s often debated amongst experienced players. Some players will throw earlier in their shot, while other players will leave the release until the very last second. So, when should you release the dart? For many people, this is going to be a matter of personal preference. Only by practicing regularly and trying out different release times can you find the perfect moment to release the dart.
Snapping Your Wrist
When a player refers to snapping their wrist, this means crisply releasing the dart. Some players will allow the dart to float out of their hand, but this is actually the wrong away to execute a throw. Throwing with some force is one of the most important tips to follow if you want to become a better player. A clean, smooth throw, combined with a snapping wrist movement when you release the dart will make for a beautiful throw.
Perfect Follow Through
Make sure you always follow through with a throw. Avoid letting the throw finish before your arm has had time to finish the job. When you throw, make sure that your fingers are pointing at the floor. If they’re pointing upwards then this will be a good indication that you’re not following through properly. There are many things you can do to ensure a good throw, but following through is one surefire way to develop a pro-quality throw that can take your scores to a whole new level.
Basic Drills to Improve Your Aim and Your Game
Below you’ll find a list of some great drills that you can use during your daily practice sessions. These drills will be fun, challenging and great way to ensure you see some serious progress in a matter of a few weeks.
This drill is a great option for players of all skill levels, but I’ve found that beginners will benefit from it the most. 170 is basically just a short version of 501, which is the standard dart game. Just like 501, for this drill, you’ll follow the same dart rules. This drill will focus on finishing and score. Your results will be measured by the number of darts you need to finish. When practicing this drill, play two to three rounds and write down how many darts you had to use for each. Make sure you calculate your averages daily to properly keep track of your progress.
Round The Board Drill
Just like the traditional game this drill requires you to throw darts from one to twenty. Throw for each of the numbers on the dartboard until you land a bullseye, then count how many darts you had to use daily, to keep track of your progress. Unlike the traditional game, for drills, you’ll shoot three darts at every number’s treble from one to twenty, hitting the number’s treble for three points and numbers for one point. This drill is a great exercise to practice because it allows you to go around the board so you can group your darts around trebles.
It also allows you to shoot for a new high score each time you practice a round. If you’re new to the game, you’ll find your highest score is around sixty. Once you’ve been practicing for a few weeks, you’ll notice your score shoots up to eighty or more. Over one hundred points is considered pro-level. The goal of using this game to practice is for the trebles, however, this drill won’t do much for doubles, yet it will still help to improve your accuracy.
This is a drill that many consider very demanding. You’ll begin from sixty points, trying to shoot it out using three darts. If you happen to miss one shot out of three, then you’ll have to drop a point for the following throw. If you hit the next shot, you’ll go up ten points, for as long as you want until you’ve reached more than you can shoot with three darts.
This drill will allow you to see how far you’re able to get. While the drill won’t do much for your scores, it’s a very demanding and motivating drill. Yet, it’s also one that can leave the player feeling frustrated, so if you find yourself becoming frustrated during a round, switch to a different drill for a day or two.
This is a tough drill that will really help to shape your performance. You’ll begin with twenty-five points, shooting a few darts at each double from one to twenty. You’ll add hit double values, then subtract the value of the doubles once you have failed to hit with three. If your score falls under zero then the game is over. If you end up reaching bull and you have a high score, then your throwing skills are right on track.
These drills are designed for those days when you have a longer practice session of an hour or more. However, this is a great drill even on days when you only have time to practice for half an hour.
Warming up before you practice drills or before a match is just as important as it is for any other type of sport. Begin by using a specific warm-up routine, which can help to loosen you up while giving you a little confidence before a match. Many players will begin warming up by simply attempting to hit some twenties. If you use this method for warming up, then don’t try for triple twenties immediately. Instead, try focusing on loosening your arms up, then follow through your throw to release some tension.
You should use this technique for a period of ten to fifteen minutes, after which you can try choosing different high numbers and try to hit triples for an additional ten minutes. If you don’t warm up properly then it can be difficult to focus on your throwing technique during practice or a real match.
Pro Tip: If you’re now getting started with darts, I highly recommend getting a good dart backboard for your wall in order to protect it from accidental hits.
Reaching a Higher Score
A person that scores high consistently is more likely to win a match. To practice raising your score, focus on twenties, nineteens, eighteens, and, of course, bullseyes. Save one shot for twenty, then one for nineteen, and aim for the bullseye. Practice these throws ten times, then add up your score.
To learn more, click here to read my article on how to hit a bullseye in darts consistently.
When you practice, adding some pressure can help you prepare for playing against other people. During a round against another player, you’re going to feel pressure throughout the duration of a match, so learning how to throw under pressure can go a long way toward building your confidence and making you feel more comfortable during a match. During practice, try to only aim for the numbers that can be divided by two.
If you have thirty-two left and you end up hitting sixteen, then try shooting for double eight. If you end up hitting a single eight, then you’ll have another shot at a double four. If you begin by hitting a double nineteen and you end up hitting a single nineteen, then you’ll need to use a couple of darts to finish.
This practice drill will give you a total of five throws at doubles, so you’ll have to hit at least one double in order to progress. If your beginning score is twenty-seven, then you’ll throw three darts in a row at each double, in ascending order, beginning with double one round at the bullseye. After each dart you throw, you’ll add the value of the throw to your total score. This means, after the initial throw, if you end up hitting the double one a single time, then you’ll add two to twenty-seven, and your new score will be twenty-nine.
If you end up missing the double one with all three shots, then you will have to the subtract the value of each of the shots from your total score, which will leave you with twenty-five. This will continue for every double up to the bullseye, with each turn adding or subtracting the value of your total score. If your score reaches zero, then you’ll have to begin all over again. For this particular drill, the highest score possible is over fourteen hundred points.
These dart drills for beginners will help you learn how to focus with each shot, how to use intention to land your next shot, how to throw under pressure, and they provide a great way to perfect your aim and overall shooting confidence. These drills can be practiced daily for thirty to sixty minutes, or you can set aside some time on your days off, for longer training sessions that can give you the time you need to focus on each shot. By practicing consistently you can make those difficult shots under pressure, improve your score, and wipe the floor with your competition.