The Advice Corner: Randy Van Deursen
In 2012, I was presented a random offer from a publisher to write a book about darts for them. They wanted a “How To” book, but any content after that, was my choice. When I started writing it, I knew one thing was certain, and that I wanted a section in the book devoted to advice from top players. My time was limited, so my player options were limited too. There were so many players out there that I wanted to talk to about this. And I know many players out there wanted to hear what these top players had to say. I was told many times that I could probably write an entire book just on player advice. But I ended up limiting the chapter to 25 of the top players in North America, with a variety of steel tip and soft tip players, and both the ladies and the men. Starting with this blog, I will be sharing what those 25 players had to say. These are the exact copies of what is printed in the book for your enjoyment. During the course of this blog, I will also be reaching out to many other players to get their “advice” as well. So enjoy! And stay tuned for more!
Randy Van Deursen has the honor of being first. Randy has a very impressive career in soft tip darts. I didn’t know him well, the usual Facebook friends in common, but that was about it. Yet he was still gracious enough to take some time to offer this advice to new players for the book.
Randy has been playing darts for 24 years! He is currently sponsored by Dynasty Japan, L-Style, Dart Brokers and Ultimate Team Gear (UTG).
Randy’s equipment of choice is the 18 gram Big Dog signature A-Flow barrel made by Dynasty, Signature Big Dog L-Style Flights, L-Style Shafts and L-Style Lippoint dart tips.
The question is: What advice would you give to a new player?
“Over the years I did get a lot of people asking this question. There are two things that I believe will help players become the best they can be. The first step is to find a player that has the same passion for the sport as you do, who is also very close to your level of skill at the game and make that person your practice partner. If you play against someone who is significantly better than you are and you subsequently get beat all the time, it may eventually deter you from playing and you could wind up quitting all together. On the other hand, if you practice against someone that is considerably below your skill level you may run the risk of picking up some bad habits or you could find yourself becoming a lazy player simply because you are not being challenged and you don’t have to try as hard. By finding a practice partner with the same level of skill as your own you will both grow together. If at some point one becomes a little better it will force the other player to practice that much harder in an effort to get better than the other player. This back and forth battle between you and your practice partner will help you both climb the ladder to greatness. The second thing I tell people is to go out to different locations (if possible) to get the experience of playing against other people. There is a tendency for a lot of people to just go to their local bar and play the same people, never venturing out of their little dart world to see what else is out there. This could hinder a player from really reaching their full potential. To really get to the top of the game a player needs to get out and experience what it is like to play other players from all over the globe. These will not only help the player find out where they stand in the game, but they could also pick up some valuable new ideas on strategies to help their game. There is a whole big dart community out there with thousands and thousands of players. So get out there and experience it to truly become the best dart player you can be and by doing so you will develop some great friendships along the way that will last a lifetime.”
Anne Sleepy Kramer
The Ultimate Book of Darts