A solution- focused approach to overcoming dartitis!
Dartitis is described by the Collins English Dictionary as "(in darts) nervous twitching or tension that destroys concentration and spoils performance".
What causes a player to experience this issue?
In a nutshell, it is caused due to a build-up of negative thinking which has manifested and led to the player's anxiety levels becoming too high.
It’s all about the brain!
It is important to remember that the brain controls every part and aspect of how we feel, think and act. In layman’s terms, it is easier to learn that we have one brain, but two minds.
The first part of the brain is the intellectual part. The part that you use when playing darts. The conscious part is very positive and is the part which we use when we rationalising events and get things right in life. We do not negate this part of the brain with any other animals.
The second part of the brain is the original primitive part of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for ensuring our survival. Therefore, it is very negative and will always see things from the worst possible perspective.
It’s also very vigilant and obsessive. It is not intellect and cannot innovate. Therefore, it always refers to previous patterns of behaviour to ensure our survival. This is the part of the brain where depression, anger, anxiety and fight, flight, freeze are stored.
We cannot change the past and tomorrow is a blank page which has yet to be filled!
There are two ways in which you can move from the sensible, intellectual part of the brain to the primitive part of the brain and they are as follows:
1. Through a crisis or emergency in which your brain needs to ensure your survival.
2. Through your anxiety levels creeping up over time due to negative thinking!
Just to reinforce: Every negative thought will eventually manifest into anxiety! This has been proven by neuroscientists!
As clever as the brain is, it cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. Therefore, if your anxiety levels increase and you move from the intellectual part of the brain to the primitive part, the brain is unable to differentiate between whether it has been caused due to a life-threatening crisis or emergency or due to a build-up of negative thoughts.
This is why people have panic attacks as the brain wrongly believes that a person's life is in danger, rather than the fact that negative thinking has been responsible for an increase in anxiety levels becoming so high that the person has lost intellectual control and moved away from operating with the intellectual part of the brain.
So how is this relevant to my performance becoming affected by dartitis?
To simplify the matter, if your game is affected by this condition, then you are operating from the primitive side of the brain when playing your game.
You have allowed a nervous, unwanted pattern of behaviour to build up by thinking negatively about things! Whether this is through self-doubt, a lack of confidence or general performance anxiety.
Dartitis should be considered as a darts player's own version of having a panic attack!
How will solution-focused hypnotherapy help me?
It will teach you about how the brain works and how to consciously and subconsciously avoid losing intellectual control through negative thinking and anxiety.
It can help you break unwanted negative patterns of behaviour, such as dartitis, and instead replace them with positive ones of how you want to play! We all have the resources within us to visualise the perfect technique or performance.
It does this by reducing anxiety levels and assisting the brain to make subconscious changes to how they want to feel and act. It can help you perform at your best by teaching you how to focus and be in the ‘zone’ for a longer period of time!
Learn more about solution-focused hypnotherapy.
It allows you to forget about the past and to focus and concentrate on the future. After all, we cannot change the past and tomorrow is a blank page which has yet to be filled!