Avoiding double trouble in the world of darts and events

Rosanna Machado | April 3, 2019


When you think of darts, you probably conjure up an image of a fun game, down the pub with a fair bit of drinking and I’m sure that’s how I found myself competing in a tournament, having played for just four weeks! And whilst fun and drinking were undeniably involved, what I found was a hugely strategic game and some lessons that I could take back into the events world.

Be prepared

Playing in a tournament was more stressful than most events situations I had been in over the last 20 years…why? I hadn’t practiced enough. Four weeks was not enough to master the art of darts.

Within events, things go wrong so it’s best to rehearse as much as you can beforehand to then give you have the headspace to troubleshoot the unexpected. I rehearse everything from difficult conversations to presentations to running through the event minute-by-minute ensuring we have everything covered. And yes, practice has already started for next year’s tournament to give me a fighting chance!

Ability to assess the current situation quickly

I always thought my mental arithmetic was my strong point, but it was tested to the maximum when I had to work out scores and subtract from the current score to work out what I needed in my next go.

Events are equally fast paced – It’s important to be able to assess the situation and work out what is required with a calm and level head.

Have a strategy and but think about contingency planning

And although you may have your strategy about the next score to hit, things do not always go according to plan. I was in awe of darts players knowing the best checkout to go for – a lot of this was dependent on if you miss the one you are going for, will the number you hit still enable you to checkout.

I spend a lot of time in events interrogating event plans, looking at the event from different perspectives and looking at ‘what if’ scenarios to ensure that we are ready for the unexpected. Even if it hasn’t been covered in your planning, there should be a clear chain of command to ensure that problems are escalated and communicated effectively.

Getting the best out of team members

My first darts game was in the mixed triples competition where I was put in a team with two of the best players in Catalonia. In order to get the best out of the team members, I let one of them throw for the bull rather than me, to give us the best chance of winning!

Within your team in events, everyone has different strengths and it’s important to make the most of these to make the event a success.

Keep learning

On my first day of the tournament playing, a woman who beat me was so supportive of my new-found sport and gave me encouragement and tips throughout the week. I was fascinated learning more about which shots to go for and why.

It’s good to be curious and also aware of where you or your team may need more support or training. That could be anything from a mentor to a training course or shadowing someone else in the team for a day.

Time out from work

Playing darts is strangely meditative. Since getting back from the tournament, I have been practicing every day and I find it a good break from work (along with my swimming!)

Events can be stressful and it’s important that you find your time out from work, whether that’s running in the morning or a quick game of arrows in the evening.

Have fun

I knew I would have fun on my holiday but didn’t quite realise how much fun I would have playing darts and how lovely it was to be welcomed into the darts family. I loved learning something new and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.

I have always loved my job and if I can have some fun whilst doing a brilliant job then why not!

Game on!

Tips straight from the Zebra’s mouth

  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
  • Interrogate things from all angles and look at contingency planning
  • Make the most out of all team members
  • Make time for yourself
  • Have fun