Aim for perfection with SAFSA darts players

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27 Dec 2019 | PEOPLE

Aim for perfection with SAFSA darts players

Military Expert (ME) 4 Andrew Ho and ME3 Devarajan give tips on the art of darts.

// Story Chia Chong Jin

// Photos Kenneth Lin

// Videographer Peter Cho

Just like any other sport, being good in darts requires consistent training and practice. The duo and their SAFSA darts team members train up to twice a week, and compete in a local league where they play once every week.

ME3 Devarajan (centre, holding trophy) and ME4 Ho (second from right) with the SAFSA darts team, which clinched gold at the 2019 Public Service STAR Games Darts Tournament.

For those who are unsure about the competitive standards: Most professional steel-tip dart matches are "501 up" - each player starts with a score of 501 and takes turns to throw three darts.

The score for each turn is calculated and deducted from the player's total. Bullseye scores 50, the outer ring scores 25 and a dart in the double or treble ring counts for double or triple the segment score.

The main objective of the game is to be the first player to reduce the score to exactly zero, the only caveat being that the last dart thrown must land in a double or the bullseye.

Both ME4 Ho and ME3 Devarajan emphasised the importance of enjoying the game and not letting stress affect your performance.

Watch as they talk about the important qualities a dart player must have; the difference between steel-tip and soft-tip darts; and give tips on picking up darts as a competitive sport:

In case you can't view the video, here are the tips they mentioned:

1. Learn how to do mental calculations quickly. Soft-tip darts are commonly used on electronic dartboards which can automatically keep score for you. When playing with traditional steel-tip darts, it is important to be able to calculate the score quickly in order to better analyse the game and not lose momentum.

2. Practise with a purpose. In a real dart competition, the player often feels immense pressure as everyone will be watching the individual. It is important to include mental training in your weekly practices, so that the pressure does not get to you during crucial moments.