Farmer, father & BDO World Champion – Scott Mitchell’s career in darts has taken him from driving tractors in Dorset to competing around the world among the best players on the circuit. With a chance at a PDC tour card in this year’s Q School, he shows no signs of slowing down.
On this episode of Perfect Athlete podcast Scott joins me, Chris Billam-Smith, to break down the intense mental discipline and unique physical challenges that make the perfect darts player.
We learn about how Scott’s relationship with alcohol has changed to improve his performance, competing against your opponent in a sport where you can’t physically affect their game, and the importance of learning a multitude of sports at a young age.
“I was playing football, rugby, hockey, cricket, I was in the basketball team, so I was good at all sports, but I really didn’t master any. So I’ve always had good hand eye coordination with most sports, really.” – Scott Mitchell
“If you play bad at darts, you can absolutely throw a wobbler and blame everything under the sun. You can blame a fella cheering in the crowd that’s put you off, but you’ve got to be mentally stronger than that.” – Scott Mitchell
“In this day and age there are a lot more players playing to a standard. There are players in their local pubs and they’ve got family, they’ve got kids, and they can be that good at home. You can play them in a local competition and they knock you out.” – Scott Mitchell
“I’ve taught myself that I’ve only got to be one dart better. So if he’s going 180 and I go 180, and we both do it again, then he misses the 141 and I hit the 141 – I was one dart better. That’s not my fault. I’m just taking the chance that I was offered.” – Scott Mitchell
“I’ve got to be honest, in all the thousands of darts players I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen one dart player throw the same. Similar, but never the same.” – Scott Mitchell
“Fans will come to you and say ‘How did you miss that double 12?’ and I go ‘Oh, yeah, I did miss double 12’ to win a leg, or a set, and that turned the game. For the next three weeks, I’ll be thinking about what that fan said about the double 12, and I’ll practice just double 12’s and make a problem of it. I’ll make an enemy of it.” – Scott Mitchell
“It’s always mind games, especially in sports where it’s one v one, whether that’s boxing or darts or tennis, there’s always mind games going on.” Chris Billam-Smith
“For me I drink the amount that stops my mind from telling my hand not to do something. It’s just to delay a reaction. That’s the way that I see drink as an advantage. That doesn’t mean ‘15 pints, 20 Jack Daniel’s on top, let’s go and play darts’ because it’s just not possible.” – Scott Mitchell