Paul is a qualified Sports Performance Analyst and mad about darts! He has a Masters degree from the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff (UWIC) in the Performance Analysis of Sport and also has a degree in Football Studies from Southampton Solent University.
The 7th successive New Forest Masters was held at the Memorial Centre in New Milton, Hampshire on Saturday 2 November.
Tournament Director Chris Skinner ran two tournaments, a (money in – money out) pairs and for the first time for the Masters, a Round Robin event.
48 players teamed up for the pairs which set off a little later than planned due to the horrendous weather causing train delays and horizontal trees hampering the arrival of some players. If there had been a bookmaker at the event then Rob Collins, a very good player who may well get a tour card this January teamed up with the experienced Andy Jenkins and they surely would have been odds on favourites.
The favourite tag was justified with the pair dropping just 2 legs on the way to winning the final 4:1 against Buster Turner and Jack Seymour!
With only one player not making it through the treacherous conditions, the Round Robin got underway with a virtual full complement of players including six ladies. The format was to play all three legs with one point a leg being awarded.
All three Ladies who won through, Alex Dorney, Karen Webber and Julie Callow lost their last 32 game but next year there will be a separate ladies event. There was some real quality though including the first-ever Masters Champion, Ben Ward.
The format was a brutal best of three legs – Champion of Champions style with a best of 5 final. Rob Collins beat Ricky Peckham 2:0 in the first semi-final setting up a final with Gary Eastwood who came through a close encounter with Buster Turner 2:1.
Rob Collins demonstrated his class in the final beating Gary Eastwood 3:1 to wrap up a great day for the man from Bognor Regis.
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Reigning champion Gary Anderson and Rob Cross were eliminated from the 2019 Paddy Power Champions League of Darts in Saturday’s opening day in Leicester as Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen secured semi-final spots.
A dramatic start to the £250,000 tournament saw Anderson produce some outstanding darts, only to lose to both Michael Smith and James Wade.
Smith came from 3-0 and 5-1 down to defeat the Scot 10-7 in the afternoon session at the Morningside Arena, before Wade came from 9-7 down to snatch victory in a dramatic deciding leg.
Those results, coupled with two victories for world number one Van Gerwen, mean that Anderson now cannot qualify for the semi-finals on Sunday evening, with Smith and Wade facing a shoot-out to join the Dutchman in the last four.
Van Gerwen was in irresistible form as he followed up last week’s World Grand Prix triumph with two confident victories, averaging over 100 as he saw off both Wade and Smith.
The World Champion came from 4-2 down to defeat Wade 10-8, claiming the final two legs to break the deadlock, before fending off Smith’s fightback from 5-0 down to eventually close out a 10-6 triumph in a strong day.
“I’m very pleased,” said Van Gerwen. “It’s always nice to win your first two games and you can see my confidence.
“I’m playing good darts and I want to do well here because I’ve never won this tournament before and that’s my goal this weekend.
“I’m through to the semi-finals but I still want to win my last game on Sunday afternoon against Gary. It’s always great playing him and I want to keep this form going into the semi-finals.”
Wade showed his class to deny Anderson a match dart in their Group A clash after falling 9-7 down, following a 14-darter with a brilliant 121 checkout to force a deciding leg which he won on tops with his rival waiting on 40.
“I’m happy because I’ve still got a chance,” said Wade. “In my opinion, Gary’s the best player in the world when he’s on form but I did enough at the right times and did the job.
“I was quite disappointed to lose to Michael but Gary gave me the opportunities and I made the most of it.”
In Group B, Peter Wright secured his qualification for the semi-finals with wins over Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price.
2018 finalist Wright overcame a slow start to the afternoon by coming from 3-0 down to defeat Gurney 10-7, pulling away from seven-all to close out the win.
He then saw off Price 10-8 in arguably the match of the day, averaging 103 and hitting finishes of 161 and 125 as he defied checkouts of 130 and 109 to book a last four place.
“It’s really good that I’m through but I still want to finish top of my group and go on to win the title now,” said Wright. “It’s a brilliant tournament and I’d love to win it.
“I’ll be treating the game against Rob like it’s a straight knockout to get myself in the right frame of mind for the semi-finals. I’m not happy with how I’m playing and I know there’s more to come.”
Gurney and Price will now face off on Sunday afternoon for the right to join Wright in the semi-finals.
Price had defeated Cross 10-5 in the afternoon session, while Gurney’s 10-6 defeat of the world number two means that the 2018 World Champion now cannot reach the semi-finals.
Gurney followed up his evening session win over Cross by shaving his head for the Cystic Fibrosis Care charity, having raised over £15,000 through donations which included £5,000 apiece from Paddy Power and his sponsors Winmau, as well as contributions from rival players and PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
Sunday afternoon’s final group stage games will be followed in the evening session by the semi-finals and final at the Morningside Arena, with a £100,000 first prize on offer.
The eventual winner will also be presented with a specially-commissioned commemorative belt, which has been produced by sponsors Paddy Power.
Pre-tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen is now 4/6 with Paddy Power to claim his first Champions League of Darts title, ahead of Wright (9/2), Wade and Smith (10/1), Price (12/1) and Gurney (14/1).
Sunday’s final stages will be broadcast live on BBC Sport in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.
These are the insults that are often hurled at people. You may have described people this way? Maybe this type of insult has been hurled at you? There is a stigma attached to being a loser. It’s embarrassing, degrading and makes us feel down. We develop a fear of failure because of those feelings.
In his latest book Mathew Syed – a former table tennis champion who ‘choked at the Olympics – points out that “we are not born with a fear of failure. It’s not an inbuilt instinct, it grows as you age”.
This is why competitors in every sport make excuses for losing. Darts players, for example. I have heard them all! Whether its the crowd booing, the opponent slowing down, the oche too long or too short, this, that or the other is always to blame. Players making excuses are merely protecting their ego – I lost but it was not my fault. I will be back to my best next time out….
Imagine if this habit of excuses was used every time there was an air crash. Air safety would certainly not have improved in the dramatic fashion it has. Syed points out that every rule, procedure and safety check is there due to previous crashes and loss of life. Although this may seem an extreme example compared to a darts player protecting their ego with some excuse for playing poorly and losing but is it?
How many players come away from a loss, work out what went wrong and how they are going to put it right? Following Syed’s meltdown, in his Olympic table tennis match, he worked out what caused his psychological stutter on the day, worked on it and corrected it. As dart players how can go about reflecting on a loss, pinpoint what went wrong and the area we need to work on?
For our darts improvement website we came up with a checklist that members could use to grade themselves after a match out of 10 (especially after a defeat) according to how they did.
We used; Match prep, Confidence, Mental Toughness, Determination etc. We then added some of the more conventional stats such as; 9 Dart Av, Checkout %, 3 Dart Av. Some areas were blank for each player to fill in for themselves. Prematch nerves, nerves in the game or characteristics of opponent etc.
From this, you can see how the feeble excuse, of playing a slow opponent, develops into something that can be analysed, thought about, solutions evolved and practise games worked on until the “problem” is dealt with. With each area resolved you are a better player and can move onto the next improvement.
By being brutally honest, in black and white, you may find an instant answer, to your issue, or a theme will develop over time which enables you to spot the area of your game that needs work or help.
There are plenty of books, blogs and forums out there (The DPC site is a mine of info, as is the dartsworld.com Coaching Corner) which can assist. Remember, don’t ignore info from other sports. Competitors go through the same issues especially mentally, whether your hitting ping pong ball or tossing tungsten.
Author/s;Paul Gillings is the founder of http://dartsperformancecentre.com and Andy Humphrey holds a BSc. in biomechanics. Both are highly qualified and regularly advise players on throwing action and improvement.
Book mentioned is: Black Box Thinking by Mathew Syed
Article Originally Appeared in Darts World Magazine (October 2015)
N.B. – Slightly edited for current times and technology.
Peter Wright won the German Darts Masters for a second time in three years in Cologne on Saturday.
Wright, who won the 2017 title in Dusseldorf, defeated rising German star Gabriel Clemens 8-6 in the final in front of 8,000 fans at the Lanxess Arena to claim a third World Series of Darts crown.
The Scottish World Cup winner last lifted an individual TV title at the Melbourne Darts Masters in August 2018, but a series of clinical displays saw him overcome Nico Kurz, James Wade and Clemens in a marathon final session.
“It feels great to win this title again, I thought I was in the form to win it but you never know because there are so many good players who can beat you,” said Wright, who also beat Germany’s Robert Marijanovic in Friday’s last 16.
“There were a few moments where I was lucky but I think I was skilful enough and mentally strong enough to win it. I’m coming back to my best but I’m not there yet.
“I’ve played Gabriel a couple of times and he’s an amazing player, hats off to him. German darts has gone through an incredible rise and it’s only going to keep growing, this tournament showed that.”
Starring in his first televised final, Clemens got off to a perfect start by taking a 2-0 lead, and after Wright hit a 116 to get his first leg on the board, the German fired in a roof-raising 134 checkout using two double tops to regain his two-leg advantage.
Undeterred, Wright broke straight back and after the next two legs went with throw, Clemens missed two darts to go 5-3 up, allowing Wright to hit tops to level and then produce an 11-dart leg to hit the front for the first time at 5-4.
With time running out for Clemens to claw himself back into the contest, the German missed a dart at double 16 to make it 6-6, and Wright made no mistake on the same target to go within a leg of the title.
A determined Clemens refused to give in as he made it 7-6, but it was to be Wright’s night as the former UK Open champion showed composure to find the match-winning double four and clinch the £20,000 top prize.
Despite defeat at the final hurdle, the tournament will go down as a landmark moment for three-time ProTour runner-up Clemens who reached his first televised final in front of an adoring German crowd.
The German number three followed up his opening round win over Raymond van Barneveld with victories over former World Champion Rob Cross and reigning German Darts Masters champion Mensur Suljovic in just his fifth TV event.
The 2019 World Series of Darts continues with the Brisbane Darts Masters from August 9-10, the first of a triple-header Down Under.
2019 German Darts Masters Schedule of Play Saturday July 13 Quarter-Finals Peter Wright 8-6 Nico Kurz James Wade 8-0 Daryl Gurney Mensur Suljovic 8-2 Martin Schindler Gabriel Clemens 8-5 Rob Cross
Semi-Finals Peter Wright 8-4 James Wade Gabriel Clemens 8-3 Mensur Suljovic
DAVE CHISNALL won his third PDC title of 2019 at the Danish Darts Open in Copenhagen on Sunday.
A winner of two Players Championship events earlier in the year, Chisnall defeated Chris Dobey 8-3 in the final at the Brøndby Hallen to continue his impressive run of form in 2019.
The five-time televised finalist last tasted success on the European Tour in 2013, but his clinical display against Dobey saw him end that wait and rack up his 15th PDC crown.
“It’s been a while, I’ve kept getting close but not finishing the job so this means a lot to me,” said Chisnall, whose victory in the final saw him become just the fourth player to win 100 games on the European Tour.
“I felt good all day, both in practice and on the stage and I have to say the crowd really spurred me on, they were fantastic for all players across the weekend.
“Chris didn’t play his best in the final, luckily for me, but he’s someone I respect and he deserves all the success he gets.”
The final of the eighth European Tour event of 2019 saw Dobey get off to a flying start with a 146 finish to hold throw followed by a 12-dart break.
However, the lead was short-lived as Chisnall hit back with a 12-dart break of his own, before winning the next three legs to take a 4-2 lead.
Dobey, who was seeking a first PDC title, hit a crucial double top with his last dart in hand for a 100 checkout to stop the rot and make it 4-3.
However, that was to be Dobey’s last moment of success as Chisnall took the next four legs without reply, sealing the £25,000 top prize with a 115 finish.
For Dobey, it was his first taste of a big-stage PDC final, having previously come runner-up in three Players Championship events, and the Geordie was quick to take the positives from the weekend.
“I’m definitely pleased with how I played this weekend,” said Dobey, who is now up to a career-high 30th on the PDC Order of Merit.
“I came here to do the job of securing my place in the World Matchplay for the first time and I’ve pretty much done that.
“It just didn’t happen for me in the final but if I could pick a player to lose to it would be Dave, he’s a great lad and he thoroughly deserves this win.”
The £140,000 event reached its climax on the final day of action, with the Last 16 taking place in the afternoon session, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.
An afternoon of surprises saw Jose de Sousa continue his dream European Tour debut with a 6-2 win over number two seed Daryl Gurney, while Chisnall survived match darts from Mensur Suljovic.
The opening quarter-final saw number three seed Gerwyn Price fire in a 110.12 in a 6-1 win over Joe Cullen, before his run was curtailed by Dobey, who recovered from 3-0 down to run out a 7-4 victor.
There was also semi-final disappointment for Price’s fellow-Welshman Jonny Clayton, who enjoyed a return to form with victories over James Wade and Simon Whitlock, before going down 7-6 to Chisnall in the last four.
The European Tour returns with the Czech Darts Open in Prague across the weekend of June 28-30, with all the action shown on PDCTV-HD.
Sunday June 16Afternoon Session Third Round Gerwyn Price 6-2 Stephen Bunting Joe Cullen 6-4 Peter Wright Chris Dobey 6-2 Kirk Shepherd Jose de Sousa 6-2 Daryl Gurney Jonny Clayton 6-2 James Wade Simon Whitlock 6-3 Adrian Lewis Dave Chisnall 6-5 Mensur Suljovic Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Ian White
Evening Session Quarter-Finals Gerwyn Price 6-1 Joe Cullen Chris Dobey 6-5 Jose de Sousa Jonny Clayton 6-1 Simon Whitlock Dave Chisnall 6-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Semi-Finals Chris Dobey 7-4 Gerwyn Price Dave Chisnall 7-6 Jonny Clayton
Don’t miss your chance to test your skills against the boys from Brazil! Email: email@example.com to register to play the guys on the day Midday Bank Holiday Monday 29th May Free to attend – bring your darts!
Brazilian darts pairing Diogo Portela and Alexandre Sattin will treat fans to a special local event at Plumstead Common Working Men’s Club this coming bank holiday Monday as they prepare to take ‘Team Brazil’ to the 2017 Darts World Cup for the very first time.
The event, curated by The Darts Performance Centre (an online resource for assisting dart players), will give punters the opportunity to meet, greet, and even play a leg or two of darts with the ‘Boys from Brazil’ themselves as they look to celebrate their incredible journey thus far.
This almost fairy-tale like story follows firstly, Rio de Janeiro born, 28 year old Diogo Portela, who moved to London to pursue his dream of becoming the first Brazilian darts player to play in the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). Diogo was suffering from a downturn in form and his aspirations of turning pro were fading until he teamed up with The Darts Performance Centre, who have helped him to rediscover his confidence and coached and nurtured him to a life changing spot on the 2017 PDC Pro Tour.
Diogo’s performances immediately caught the eye of the PDC who went on to invite him to create the first ever Brazilian national darts team. And so therein left the challenge to find Diogo’s partner for the tournament. With no other recognised professional Brazilian darts player on the circuit, Diogo held a special qualifier competition in his native Brazil. Following hundreds of entrants, Alexandre Sattin, who counts being a forensic expert for the Brazilian police as his day job, none the less was chosen.
Diogo Portela said “I moved to the UK to try and make my breakthrough in the sport and while it has been a struggle at times, The Darts Performance Centre have been there to help me through. I’m so proud and honoured to represent my country at the World Cup and myself and Alexandre hope we can get off to a winning start”
Diogo and The Darts Performance Centre have taken Alexandre under their wing and the event organisers will be using the Plumstead WMC stage, the same stage where Diogo and his County
team London play their home games, to help emulate the kind of atmosphere to be expected at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt, Germany, where the duo will play Switzerland in their opening match.
Alexandre Sattin added “For me, Diogo is the best Brazilian player of all time. His and his family’s dedication is an example to all of us. Seeing a Brazilian player playing the professional league against the best players in the world is an inspiration to us all. I can’t wait to get to Germany and play on the big stage and our event at the Plumstead WMC will be a great warm up!”
Paul Gillings from The Darts Performance Centre said “We’re dedicated to raising awareness for the sport of darts in this country and beyond and we offer the world’s first darts-specific video coaching analysis service. We couldn’t be prouder of Diogo and Alexandre and have worked hard with the guys on their individual game with both making great strides from our video coaching. It is going to be a truly special moment when we witness them make history as the first Brazilian team to play in the World Cup.”
Reigning champions England, who have won the title in four of the past five years, will be represented for a sixth time by Adrian Lewis, who will this year be partnered by world number five Dave Chisnall.
As 32 two-player nations prepare to take to the big stage and compete for the title from June 1-4 we have just one question. Can ‘Team Brazil’ go all the way?
You can catch every single match, all of the action and follow ‘Team Brazil’ live on Sky Sports.www.skysports.com/darts
Advertising patches that will be fixed to Team Brazil’s shirts are also available for sponsorship.
Don’t miss your chance to test your skills against the boys from Brazil at the Plumstead Working Mens club, this bank holiday Monday 29th May.Plumstead Common WMC, 71 Kirkham Street, Plumstead, SE12JS. It’s free to attend and remember to bring your darts. www.pcwmc.co.uk
We will make a small diversion from darts coaching this month to discuss other darts issues. For some players taking our coaching advice and practising hard on the board, it is because they want to be professional dart players. Who can blame them? Darts, on the face of it, is a viable career option these days with a seemingly unlimited amount of prize money on offer at the PDC.
The BDO has taken a bit of a bashing over the past few weeks – a “high profile” tournament had to be cancelled or postponed depending on what spin you are listening to. Then just to kick a darts organisation when it’s down the BBC decided not to renew their contract to broadcast the Lakeside. After 38 years of history the gaping hole in the Beeb’s sporting budget has to be dealt with and Lakeside has been axed.
But what’s this got to do with becoming a pro darts player? Every sport needs a pathway – in darts you could call it Pub to Pro! So you move from your back bedroom with a board to the pub team – Super League – County – The BDO Circuit – Lakeside. Simplistic, yes, but you get the picture.
The PDC are trying to mimic this BDO pathway themselves. They have a youth tournament and a Development Tour. You are then sold the dream to join the Pro Tour where hundreds of players pay hundreds of pounds to try to “live the dream” on the PDC tour by getting a card at Q School.
The stark reality, though, for any wannabe pro darts player is that it is only the small minority that can make a living from darts. When you get down to say number 50 in the two-year PDC rankings, the figure earned is £40,000; £20,000 per year. Move down to 60 in the rankings and it’s £11,000 per annum. Not a full time wage without even factoring in expenses. The top 32 is a different matter – £50,000 p/a up to MVG’s £500,000 p/a-plus. The point being there is only a very small number of players who can claim to be Pro’s!
So is the BDO a better option? Well, you can enter most tournaments for a very modest sum. This gives you the chance to gain experience and if successful you can start factoring in perhaps going to some European events to try to win the points to get you to the Winmau Masters or for a tilt at the £100,000 on offer at The Lakeside. The BDO have traditionally got the youth started in the game (and still do) as well as embracing the ladies’ game.
This is why I cringed at the BBC’s decision to axe Lakeside. I cringe even more when some people celebrated the BBC bringing the axe down on their coverage because they thought it would ultimately be the end of the BDO.
Be careful what you wish for – every sport needs a pathway and a supporter of the grass roots. The BDO fulfil these roles with aplomb, and all you wannabes out there who dream about being the next MVG, just get your history books out and see where the “Green Machine” started to learn his trade. Yes, the BDO and Lakeside way back then and televised by the BBC!
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