December 05, 2021 3 min read
When I wrote my first blog post back in March this year, I spoke about my ambitions to break into the top 16 players in the world in 2021. At the time, such was the level of form I had demonstrated across 2020, I strongly believed I would achieve this.
Unfortunately, things have not gone to plan for me and I have endured a tough few months from a form perspective. There’s no getting away from that and I will front up to any conversation about it. I don’t feel embarrassed or hurt, it is just part of my journey.
It is tough to highlight the exact origins that led to my form deserting me, but it is well documented that I had a bad wrist injury towards the end of 2020 and it was actually touch and go whether I was going to be able to play in the Grand Slam of Darts last year. In hindsight, to top my group in that tournament was a significant achievement as I was in a lot of pain in those matches. Whilst I am fully recovered from that injury now, it did result in me making a few changes that were essential to alleviate the pain. A darts throw has a number of elements to it and when the equilibrium of any of those elements is disturbed it can result in difficulties, and this is what has happened in my case. When a player does not have full confidence and freedom in their throw it is impossible to produce their best.
Such is the unrelenting nature of our schedule, particularly the Pro Tour, it has, at times, been difficult to work on technical aspects of my throw for sustained periods of time because there is always an event, or series of events, around the corner. This is not an excuse, or a criticism of our schedule, it’s just a fact.
I have worked extremely hard on the practice board to reverse my fortunes and am continuing to work with Wayne Mardle. Whilst that hasn’t borne fruit as yet, I do feel my game is in a far better place than it has been for a while. In the Players Championship Finals last week, I started very poorly against Jose De Sousa, but I was proud of how I fought hard to get back into that match and I played some decent stuff towards the end and thought we were heading to a decider before Jose took out a match-winning 118 to beat me 6-4.
I hope my performance levels towards the end of that match set me up for a good showing at the World Championship. As everyone knows, there are no easy games on the big stage, but I’m genuinely looking forward to the event and I know there will be plenty of people there rooting for me. I have some of the most loyal fans out there. You know who you are and I really appreciate and cherish the unconditional support I get.
My management team, Pinpoint Sport, continue to do a fabulous job for me and it is a great pleasure to take on a new sponsor for the World Championship in the form of Chip an exciting London-based start-up who provide their customers with a banking app that saves them money based on personalised real time affordability data.
As with last year, I am trying to give something back to the community whilst I am in London and this year I have decided to go into a local primary school and teach a lesson on how darts can help with maths and give the kids some information on the difference that diversity can make. I can’t wait!
I will sign off for now, but I wish everybody who reads this a very happy Christmas. I’m sure I’ll see some of you at the Palace 😃
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