A solution-focused approach to elite darts performance

There are very few sports in the world that require high levels of mental aptitude and fine motor skills as elite-level darts. At the highest levels, darts players are required to consistently perform at a level in which they consistently hit high averages – levels which are difficult to maintain even in practice away from the bright lights beaming over a tournament oche.


It is surprising that, despite the mental and, yes, physical demands of the sport, elite players fail to train the most important area of performance: the brain. The brain, or more specifically the intellectual mind, is the epicentre and reason that dictates performance on the oche.

Solution-focused hypnotherapy is an extremely powerful hybrid therapy that focuses solely on helping clients achieve the greatest successes, rather than dwelling on past failures, regrets, and trauma. The therapy allows darts players to deal with performance anxiety in a positive way, which actually enhances performances, enabling the flow state to be activated.

The flow state is linked to positive psychology and was discovered by a psychologist named Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who was studying aspects of human performance and specifically seeking areas of how human behaviour could excel. The definition of the flow state is as follows: "A cognitive state where one is completely immersed in an activity."

This is why solution-focused hypnotherapy is a very effective tool which elite players can utilise to train subconscious action through deep relaxation to achieve the prestigious ‘flow state’.

For all intents and purposes, the therapy facilitates a client's ability to focus on positive change and to deal with highly pressured situations in a calm, logical, and rational way.

So what is solution-focused hypnotherapy? 

Solution-focused hypnotherapy is a type of therapy that combines elements of solution-focused brief therapy with hypnosis. It focuses on exploring current resources and strengths rather than delving into past problems. The therapy aims to help individuals envision and work towards their preferred future rather than analysing and dwelling on past difficulties. 

Through hypnosis, the therapy aims to induce a state of deep relaxation to help individuals access their subconscious mind and make positive changes. 

Did you know?

Hypnosis, in its true form, replicates the REM (dreaming state) and helps the brain to process thoughts, feelings, and emotions that have built up over a period of time.

A common statement made about elite sport is that it is 10% physical and 90% mental. This couldn’t be more true with elite-level darts.

Solution-focused hypnotherapy can help darts players in a variety of ways, including:

  • Improving focus and concentration during games and practice sessions.
  • Enhancing mental visualisation and imagery techniques for better shot accuracy.
  • Managing pre-game anxiety and nerves to promote a calm and confident mindset.
  • Developing positive self-talk and belief in one's abilities.
  • Overcoming performance slumps and improving consistency.
  • Enhancing relaxation and stress management to optimise performance.
  • Building resilience and mental toughness to cope with competitive pressures.
  • Accelerating recovery from injuries and maintaining a positive mindset during rehabilitation.
  • Promoting better sleep and recovery for improved overall well-being and performance.
  • Reducing and eliminating dartitis which can have a catastrophic effect on a player's ability to play level darts and general mental well-being.

If you would like to understand in more depth how the therapy actually works, please take a look at my article about dartitis, A solution-focused approach to overcoming dartitis! I am currently an official partner of the PDPA and specialise in elite darts performance and dartitis. To find out more about me and how I work, feel free to reach out to me via my profile. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Prescot, Merseyside, L34
Written by Chris O'Connor, MNCH (Reg) HPD,DSFH MAfSFH NCH (Reg)
Prescot, Merseyside, L34

I am an experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist who has now helped hundreds of clients in achieving a better quality of life through Hypnotherapy.
I am passionate about helping and supporting people who suffer with mental health related conditions. I am an official partner of the Professional Darts Players Association.

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