Darting for Dummies

Throwing a dart may seem like a pretty simple task but looks can be deceiving. If you’ve ever tried to hit the bulls-eye, you know that it’s not quite as easy as you would think. Learning how to throw a dart takes sound advice and practice. Welcome to Darting 101. Class is in session!

How to Throw A Dart

Here goes nothing! Image via Analytics Canvas.

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Darting Stance

Start by placing your dominant foot forward. This should be the same as your throwing arm. Feet should be spaced comfortably about arms width apart. You want to directly face the dart board as if you were looking yourself in the mirror. Shoulders should remain parallel to the dart board. If this is uncomfortable, you can adjust the angle of your shoulders between 50-80 degrees relative to the board. Every person is different but you want to stay facing your target as much as possible.

Point your front foot at your target. Most of your body weight should be placed on the front foot while the back foot (balance foot) should be used to stabilize your body. The toes of your balance foot should remain touching the ground throughout the throw while your front foot should remain flat on the ground. Stay relaxed as tension will result in twisting and wild throws. You can use this padded dart mat to create a comfortable playing field.

How to Throw a Dart

Image via WikiHow.

Gripping a Dart

Place your thumb slightly behind the center of gravity of the dart. You should grip the barrel of the dart with the thumb, index, and middle fingers. You grip should be firm but not too tight. As a rule of thumb, your fingers should not be turning white from the pressure.

Aim the tip of the dart slightly upward to follow the correction projection. Your throw will have a bit of a bend in it as the force of gravity pulls your dart down. Aiming the tip of the dart upward will create momentum and keep your dart going in the right direction. This is the basic grip and there are many other forms that you can try. Master the basics before you move on to more advanced techniques.

How to Grip a Dart

Grip the barrel of the dart behind the center of gravity. Image via ncomperatore.

How to Throw a Dart

Pretend that you are going to throw a dart. Notice that you have 3 ranges of motion. Your shoulder can travel up and down or left and right. The elbow allows you to move your hand forward and away from the dart board. Finally, your wrist moves up and down. A slight fidget in one of these areas can sway the trajectory of your throw.

Shoulder should remain in a stationary position to reduce the number of variables that could sway your throw. During your throw, your elbow rise a little bit. You probably won’t have to actively think about this because it will happen naturally. Some may tell you not to move your elbow but this is not sound advice. The key is to maintain a natural flow and trying to keep your elbow from moving is nearly impossible.

Professional dart players snap their wrist to increase the velocity of the dart. You can try this as you become more comfortable with the basic mechanics of throwing a dart. Learning the fundamentals is key to mastering advanced techniques so don’t rush through the initial steps.

Additional Darting Tips

Keep your eyes on the prize. Always keep your eyes on the target that you are aiming for from beginning to end. Try to discipline yourself to keep looking at a small target even after the dart has landed. You’ll be surprised how much a little bit of focus can improve accuracy!

Drawing back your hand will help to maintain a stable and balanced trajectory. It will improve your control over both speed and accuracy. Draw back your hand in a sort of coking motion. Your release should come naturally. If you’re having problems releasing too early or holding on too long, body mechanics are probably at fault. Follow through with your throw and practice these basic darting tips until it comes naturally!

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