How to Throw Darts Like Phil Taylor

In Darting by Jeff EastmanLeave a Comment

Playing darts can be rather complicated. It is not just as simple as throwing a dart at a target aimlessly. A lot of training and practice goes into preparing for a tournament, so you need to set aside the time to do so before even considering entering a tournament. Hitting the right target on a dartboard does not happen overnight, either. A specific darting style is needed to get away with this game with precision. If you want to learn how to throw darts like Phil Taylor read on.

About Phil Taylor

Phillip Douglas Taylor is known as “The Power” for a reason. He won many tournaments and placed as the number one dart player in the world for eight consecutive years. Taylor hailed from England, where he played as a member of the British Dart Organization (BDO), but eventually broke away with other BDO members to form the World Dart Council (WDC). He is also known as the first person to reach nine-dart finishes in one match during his 2010 Premier League match against James Wade.

Surprisingly, Taylor never graduated from high school. He worked for the longest time as a ceramic sheet metal worker before breaking into the darting scene. His sponsor agreed to pay him £10,000.00, so long as he quit his current job for good and focused on ramping up his professional game.

He went on to earn the nickname “The Power” during the 1995 World Matchplay because of his prowess and serendipitous manner of playing and how it reminded a judge of Snap’s song “The Power”. Playing up to this caliber dart game takes lots of practice, and there are plenty of ways to play simply by watching Taylor’s style. Implementing some of his moves into practice takes a concentrated effort, though.

Improving Your Dart Game

In order to play like “The Power” and other great dart players, you need to consider some of these ways to improve your game. The first thing to do here is learning how to focus properly. You need to rely on breathing practices and understanding how your body moves during the game process. If you do not breathe deeply or regularly, your body will become tense.

At the same time, you should not just spend time focusing on hitting the bullseye. Learn how to use the entire dartboard to your advantage. This task can mean focusing on one ring in the board at a time. Make sure to take some time and breathe in between throws. After all, you need to take the proper time to reset between each throw as part of your strategy.

To help with surveying different parts of the board, you can take small dot stickers in bright colors and add them to the board. Therefore, you can train yourself in on those spots instead of the bullseye itself. This strategy also helps you to improve your hand-eye coordination in the long run while teaching you to become more familiar with the board.

One method to make surveying parts of the board easier lies in learning how to adjust your stance for each place on the board. While you might not be able to move your feet around too much to aim at one part of the board over another, you can learn how to change the angle of your hips to make the shot easier. Most beginners also add a little jump or jolt into their throw for momentum. Eventually, you will train yourself out of doing this technique by relying on aiming instead of sheer strength.

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Warming Up Properly

Regardless of whether or not you plan to play in a tournament, or if you just spend time practicing at home or a bar, you need to take the time to warm up. Your routine should begin with some simple stretches. Take the time to even out blood flow to your legs and arms. While your arms do most of the work, you need to make sure blood reaches your legs and feet as well.

Warming up also teaches you not to lock your knees, which can cut blood flow off to your legs as well. In either case, lacking blood in your legs can cause you to pass out. You certainly do not want this occurrence to happen during a tournament or by yourself at home.

Stretch out your neck a little. Much the same goes for your hips and lower back. In most cases, you will turn these two parts of your body slightly during the practice and play process. Therefore, you do not want cramps to form while in your stance.

Warming up also grants you the opportunity for learning how to follow through with your throws. You can take the time and slowly ease into practice while stretching out, which means you have the time to focus on your stance and how you hold your dart. If you notice a problem with things like follow through during warm up, a good chance exists that you make the same mistakes throughout practice as a whole. Now would be the time to transition in figuring out how to make changes.

Setting up a Darting Practice Routine

The major key to becoming better at playing the dart game resides in finding time to practice. You do not have to go to a crowded bar or dart hall to access to a board. This sport is one that you can easily and cheaply practice in your home. All you need to do is purchase a board made from decent quality and a dart or two with which to practice. When deciding on a dart brand or type, make sure the ones your practice with resemble the ones you will use with during tournaments for the sake of consistency. You also should follow tournament rules when setting up the board and your standing position.

Following tournament rules with your set up makes certain you prepare yourself well for real-life competitions. Moreover, going with a particular set up in your own home affords you the chance to achieve a few things. First of all, you can teach yourself to concentrate in peace. You have the time to work out your stance and breathing without feeling rushed or crowded. Besides, the aspect of not having many eyes on you removes a significant amount of pressure. You have the chance to relax.

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Additionally, practicing at home means you can stand up and throw a dart or two around whenever you please. What if you need a break from work in your office? Toss a dart at the board and practice. Unable to sleep at night? Are you experiencing lots of stress and worry? Pick up a dart and go at the board to relax your mind and body instead of dealing with racing thoughts or spending time pacing the floor. However, you can also dedicate specific periods of the day to practice instead.

A really great online resource is the Winmau Practice Zone.  Winmau is one of the world’s leading brands in the world of darts.  The Practice Zone has a collection of videos and drills to help you make the most of your practice time.  The video below describes a practice game that incorporates golf scoring into mastering all parts of the board.  This is just one of the dozens of practice drills they have to offer.

Entering Your First Tournament

Once you spent some time practicing and learning your warm up routine, you can finally consider entering your first tournament. However, you should not shoot too high for your first time. Going to a local tournament would be your best bet. This small pond allows you the chance to fish out the completion. You learn some tricks from people who play routinely, and you also make some lasting connections with others who can help you learn more ways to improve your game.

Meeting other dart players affords you the chance of meeting potential doubles partners. Playing doubles ranks an entirely different game than playing solo. Once more, you need to spend time practicing with one or two people routinely. During this practice, you should do so together at one of your homes to perfect your game. It will take you some time to learn how to adapt your style to someone else’s and vice versa to make the most out of playing games together.

By entering a smaller, local tournament, you also have the chance to work out the differences between playing at home and playing in public on a low-risk scale. Smaller games afford you the possibilities of reducing anxiety and stress about playing around others. Once you become more familiar with one tournament, you can branch out to others in the area and steadily grow into larger tournaments over time.


Becoming a professional like “The Power” at throwing a dart does not have to take lots of work. All you need to focus on really are warm up routines and spending lots of time practicing on your own. You will eventually make it to tournament levels, but you cannot simply dive right into one without taking the time to prepare beforehand. However, above all else, you should enjoy yourself when facing the board and find playing this game relaxing in the long run.

Photo Credits:
Lucky 20 flickr photo by Lalo Martins shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

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