Main Article Content
The aim of the study was to examine whether and to what extent increased levels of pressure affect the performance quality of the world’s top darts players. This investigation contributes to the understanding of the psychological factors that influence performance in professional darts and in professional sports overall. Data was collected from over sixty professional tournaments held over a period of two years. The players were divided into 5 groups based on the quality of their performance during the studied period. The point values were divided into 7 groups, where the criterion was the difficulty of finishing the leg at a given score. The level of pressure was primarily determined by the opponent’s score situation in a given moment. Data analysis using statistical methods such as tests of proportions and the Cochran-Armitage test did not indicate any statistically significant impacts of pressure on performance among professional players – neither positive nor negative. The results indicate a high level of mental resilience among professional darts players.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Afsanepurak, Seyed Abbas and Bahram, Abbas and Dana, Amir and Abdi, Jamal, The Effect of Self-talk and Mental Imagery on Self-Efficacy in Throwing Darts in Adolescents (October 22, 2012). International Research Journal of Applied and Basic Sciences. Vol., 3 (3), 594-600, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3947464
Aghdasi, M. T., & Touba, N. (2012). The effects of instructional self-talk on girl's performance, retention and transfer of dart throwing in late childhood and adolescence. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 12(3). https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2012.03058 DOI: https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2012.03058
Clarke, P., Sheffield, D., & Akehurst, S. (2015). The yips in sport: A systematic review. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 8(1), 156-184. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984X.2015.1052088 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984X.2015.1052088
Cumming, J., Nordin, S. M., Horton, R., & Reynolds, S. (2006). Examining the direction of imagery and self-talk on dart-throwing performance and self efficacy. The Sport Psychologist, 20(3), 257-274. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.20.3.257 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.20.3.257
Darts1 (n.d.). Strength and weakness - Darts interview with Robert Thornton. Retrieved from: https://www.darts1.de/interviews/thornton4e.php
Dartsweb (2017). 'The psychology of darts' with Dr Linda Duffy. Retrieved from: https://dartsweb.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/the-psychology-of-darts-with-dr-linda-duffy/
Kwasiborski, P. J., & Sobol, M. (2011). The chi-square independence test and its application in the clinical researches. Kardiochirurgia i Torakochirurgia Polska, 8(4). Retrieved from: https://ppm.edu.pl/info/article/WUM6c2a668446d449e38d83d99ac19f5f27/
Lohse, K. R., Sherwood, D. E., & Healy, A. F. (2010). How changing the focus of attention affects performance, kinematics, and electromyography in dart throwing. Human Movement Science, 29(4), 542-555. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2010.05.001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2010.05.001
Low, G. R. (1994). Good darts: Improving your game with psychological and self-mastery skills. Good Darts Press.
Ötting, M., Deutscher, C., Schneemann, S., Langrock, R., Gehrmann, S., & Scholten, H. (2020). Performance under pressure in skill tasks: An analysis of professional darts. Plos One, 15(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0230528 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228870
Paddy Power News (2018). Mensur Suljović: Players think training mentally for games is weak - it's not. Retrieved from: https://news.paddypower.com/darts/2018/07/28/mensur-suljovic-mental-trainng/
Paddy Power News (2018). Peter Wright: I'd be as good as Taylor if I hadn't quit darts (2018). Retrieved from: https://news.paddypower.com/darts/2018/07/27/peter-wright-wouldve-good-taylor-hadnt-quit-darts
PDC Players Championship 2021 - 2022 database (2023). Retrieved from: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/utu6f40tjx3yb7xuj26ow/PDC-Players-Championship-2021-2022-database-file.xlsx?rlkey=ueaodaebncllkc44ai12ynama&dl=0
Smith R. (2019). Darts coach - mental game training - part 1. Shot Darts. Retrieved from: https://shotdarts.com/blogs/practise/darts-mental-game-training
Straub, W. F. (1989). The effect of three different methods of mental training on dart throwing performance. The Sport Psychologist, 3(2), 133-141. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.3.2.133 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.3.2.133
Torrance, J., Roderique-Davies, G., Greville, J., O'Hanrahan, M., Davies, N., Sabolova, K., & John, B. (2022). Conceptualising emotional and cognitive dysregulation amongst sports bettors; an exploratory study of 'tilting' in a new context. Plos One, 17(2), Article e0264000. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264000 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264000
Van Raalte, J. L., Brewer, B. W., Lewis, B. P., & Linder, D. E. (1995). Cork! The effects of positive and negative self-talk on dart throwing performance. Journal of Sport Behavior, 18(1). Retrieved from: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1996-90697-001
Zhang, C.-Q., Si, G., Duan, Y., Lyu, Y., Keatley, D. A., & Chan, D. K. C. (2016). The effects of mindfulness training on beginners' skill acquisition in dart throwing: A randomized controlled trial. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 22, 279-285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.09.005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.09.005