At first notice one thing: Talking about energy always means talking about
motivation, too! A player who is hardly motivated will find it very difficult
to play at a high energy level.
What is energy? It's mostly about how you feel during a game and how
you handle the situation. Players who are aware and concentrated play at
a high energy level. Players who don't care much about what's going on
are at a low energy level. In sports psychology energy is also defined
by a positive - negative environment. Therefore your energy state can be
described in four ways: High positive (A), high negative (B), low positive
(C), low negative (D). These for "sectors" are put in the diagram belowe.
The smiles in the diagram tell you how you feel when you are in a particular
High and low:
Understanding the difference between
high and low energy is relatively easy. A player at a low energy level
doesn't care much about the game's outcome. Perhaps you will know this
situation from days you haven't been motivated much or when you are tired
or bored. High energy means full concentration, awareness of the game and
lots of motivation.
Positive and negative:
Negative energy is a little
bit difficult to understand. It occurs when you absolutely want to win
and try really hard for it. You don't have fun along the game, it's more
like pushing and working hard, fighting all along. It's a kind of "Thomas
Muster Game" when you compare it to Tennis. High positive energy is more
like typical "Andre Agassi": Having fun along the game, everything is going
easy. Much concentration and awareness, sure, but with a touch of "easy
- going". Most sporters describe this high positive energy simply as "fun"
along the game. You love darting, you like playing, even if it's a tough
The important thing on this subject now is that three energy situation
types (B-D) effect your game, allowing you to play only at a particular
percentage of your 100 per cent capabilities. Let's have a look at the
Type D, low negative energy:
This surely is the worst case that can happen. Immediately try to raise
your energy! Bad concentration, bad thoughts In this energy state you usually
can't play at more than 50-60 per cent of your capability.
Type C, low positive energy:
Nearly the same as type D, but it is a little better to move to the
type A optimum.
Type B, high negative energy:
Second best energy state. High concentration, but very negative thinking.
Normally combined with tension. Most players can achieve up to 80 per cent
of their maximum capability.
Type A, high positive energy:
Best energy state. Can be best described as "having fun on what you
are doing". 100 per cent play possible.
Moving from one energy state to another
Low to High
Try to concentrate more. Try to have fun. Don't you like darts playing?
I'm sure you love it, otherwise you wouldn't be there!
Negative to Positive
This maybe difficult, but it is possible. Try to control these negative
thoughts you have. Isn't it fun simply playing darts?! Refer to the "Tension"
issue in the archive section below, you may find useful help there, too.
Negative energy often occurs when the game isn't running too good for
you. Good players manage to stay in a positive energy sector, no matter
how the game's standing is. If you are angry because your game is a little
(or a lot) faulty, then try to encourage yourself. Mentally strong players
see their mistakes as a chance to show their strength and still win the
game. That's one of the key points in sports psychology, and the only way
to perform that way is to play at the "A" energy state!
Mental Quickfix Program
Karlheinz Zöchling, Vienna, August 29, 1996