Stand and deliver: check your stance, hit your target
There’s plenty of advice out there about how to throw a dart – grip, finger placement etc. But how you stand also has a huge impact on your overall darts game. In this post, we’ll take a look at the factors that go into getting your stance right to throw right.
We take darts pretty seriously here at Shot Darts. But at the end of the day (or the start of the day, if that’s when you play) the game’s supposed to be fun too. And your mental state will affect your stance. Like Nasir Bomba says “You are allowed to feel joy and disappointment but don’t let emotion disturb your physical state too much during the game as having your heart pumping wildly only makes it more difficult to be accurate.”
In darts, like any sport, control over your breathing is important, even if you momentarily stop while you’re actually throwing. Before throwing each set of darts, take a few seconds to sigh or fully breathe out. This will relax you, making your hand and aim steadier.
Of course, there’s such a thing as being too relaxed, especially if you’re playing a social game in your neighbourhood establishment. If you’re having a couple of beersies, know how to stay under the threshold between being chill and confident, and swaying and unsteady. (Plus, darts are sharp. And we always recommend responsible drinking, even when not armed with a tiny spear.)
Lining up is vital to finding the right stance when you throw darts. Look not just at the board, but the exact spot you want to hit, and only throw when you’re fully focused, even if it means you need to relax yourself again, and refocus before throwing.
Whichever way you stand when throwing darts, it needs to feel comfortable. If you are struggling to maintain an unnatural stance, your aim will suffer. Now, many good dart players will recommend standing with both feet on the throwing line, toes pointed toward the board’s face. Others will swear it’s about standing completely side-on. But the best stance for playing darts is probably somewhere in the middle – with your torso and shoulders aligned and at an angle somewhere between 45-90° on to the board. Both shoulders should be level and parallel to the ground.
Your front foot can stay flat and at an angle that feels comfortable at the toe line. Your rear foot can also be angled outwards and slightly elevated – but only if it gives you better balance – otherwise keep feet flat. Even subtle pivots on your front foot or turning your back foot can affect your consistency and accuracy.
If you can, try to have a pair of ‘darts shoes’ that you wear during practice and play sessions. These should feel comfortable and supportive – so that the way you stand and feel is the same each time. Wear unrestrictive clothing that won’t interfere with arm and hand movement when throwing.
And of course, this advice about your darts stance will only get you so far if your gear is holding you back. Make sure your darts are the best weight and length to match your throwing style. Experiment if you need to, and can afford it.
To improve your darts stance, check these 5 things:
Line up – this should be centred with the dartboard.
Check your feet – for a natural stance you can consistently get into.
Stand at a comfortable angle – with your throwing arm closest to the board.
Balance your weight – because if you’re unsteady on your feet, your aim won’t be steady.
Relax your body – with a few calm breaths, letting your shoulders drop away from your ears.