Patrick Chaplin: Games & Setup

Darts Tuition

Eric Bristow’s Darts: A Complete Guide to the GameIn 2004 I received an enquiry from a visitor to my web site, asking (a) if there are any books that teach you how to throw darts and (b) if there is anyone out there who gives instruction or tuition in the art of dart throwing.

At that time, this was my response:

'As regards (a), for those just starting out, I would recommend Eric Bristow’s Darts: A Complete Guide to the Game. This was published in London in 1985 by Fanfare and was part of a gift set which included a set of Eric’s brass darts with the well known ‘Crafty Cockney' flights. Unfortunately, like most darts books, it went out of print very quickly, but copies can sometimes be found on e bay and they occasionally appear on the Abebooks second-hand books site.

For our darting friends ‘across the pond’ who want to learn all there is to know about throwing a dart, the stance, the grip, etc., then you have little time to wait. George Silberzahn is publishing a new book ‘Mastering the Sport of Darts’ in the US very shortly. I’ve seen a proof copy and it really is one of the most comprehensive books on darts tuition I have ever read. I am sure that this will be available via the Bulls Eye News magazine and website as soon as it is published. [Note: George's book How to Master the Sport of Darts was published in Columbia, MO by Totem Pointe in 2004. A second edition followed in 2008.]

As for (b), well that’s a bit more difficult. As far as I am aware, there is no one currently in the business of teaching darts one-to-one on a full-time basis, either here or in Europe or the US. People have tried in the past. The late Noel E. Williamson, author of Darts (Kingswood, Surrey: Elliot Right Way, 1968), included some hints and tips in his book but also tried to supplement his day job by teaching darts. A few people showed interested – including one many miles away in the Midlands – but, despite his acknowledged expertise in the game, there was never sufficient demand for him to ever think about giving up full-time work.'

2012 UPDATE

Well, that was then and whilst some of the books mentioned are still valid I do have to point out that two subsequent books, my The Official Bar Guide to Darts (New York: Puzzlewright Press, 2010) and John Lowe's The Art of Darts (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2009) offer more valuable information and tuition tips; John's book inlcuding a special section on how to become a professional darts player.

As for darts tuition I recommend Paul Gillings' 'Darts Performance Centre'. Check out dartsperformancecentre.com and WeCoachDarts.com. And please tell Paul that I sent you.

© 2004-2012 Patrick Chaplin

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