Getting on the Right Foot - Stance Basics II

Master the stance right here..

Good balance provides good darts!. Image (c) Aaron Bower

When somebody mentions their dart action, or is trying to tell you how to improve yours, all the effort will center around your arms and upper body. And hey, rightly so, you'd argue? I mean, after all, we do throw our darts with our arms! Whilst that is true, don't ever forget about your stance.

A proper stance sets up your entire game, and ensures it gets off on the right footing (no pun intended). Many people - at all levels of the game - underestimate how important it is to ensure you have a good stance at the dartboard. It brings with it comfort, which in turn produces results! Time to ensure you've got the perfect footing when throwing those all important darts.

There's plenty of things to consider when you're trying to build a comfortable stance, including how to align yourself and make things comfortable. This time, there's a couple of other important aspects to touch on.

Standing on the Line

Whilst most elements of building a stance are compulsory - the shoulder positioning touched on in part one of this article a prime example - there is one thing that is left up to you to decide, and that's how you stand at the oche.

You can either stand sideways, or straight on. And which is best for you depends on the circumstances of your throwing action, and essentially which you prefer! Standing side on is universally preferred as the method of standing at the oche line. It gives you the advantage of your throwing arm and eye in a straight line; which reduces the possibility of your elbow moving from side-to-side when you're trying to throw your darts accurately. You can even tighten the throwing action even more by standing side on at the oche, by moving your back foot closer to your body. Again, this is without doubt the method preferred by many people when it comes to standing at the oche.

The other option is to stand straight on at the oche, with your front foot facing the bulls-eye. Your back foot will be directly behind, creating a different option you can incorporate into your game. Again, like most things in darts, this is down to trial and error, and working out which is best for you, so try them both.

Get on a Firm Footing!

When you discuss accuracy, it all begins with a firm footing. It is a popular misconception that darts - or successful darts, to be more specific - is all about the arm action. Whilst the arm is where the dart comes from, the bottom of your body is important, as a firm footing and a good balance will set you well on your way!

Your feet should really be a shoulders width apart, which is a universal rule of thumb that creates good balance for the average dart player. Your front foot - which will be the same foot that corresponds with your throwing arm, so right arm players stand with their right foot at the front - should ALWAYS be flat on the floor. Why? Well its quite simple, it gives you a pivot and stability. The back foot will give you even more balance, and the heel of your back foot can be slightly raised off the ground to heighten that balance. You can't really throw with two feet flat on the floor, try it, you'll see for yourself!

One final thing when it comes to your stance: don't be leaning too far forward. It doesn't create too much of an advantage at the dartboard, and can actually lead to some back problems! So be careful!

That's four key elements of a stance now in the bank for your practice sessions. Perhaps you've got more tips? Leave some comments and provide your feedback for the darting community!