Phil Taylor reveals the pre-game rituals that make him a winner
For those of you getting a bit nervous at the prospect of walking to the oche at a packed Alexandra Palce in the Ladbrokes Lads Cup, you could do a lot worse than listen to a certain Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.
Lads Cup expert Taylor has won 15 world titles and over £1 million in prize money, making him easily the most successful player in the history of the game. However, not even he is immune to nerves before a big game.
He said: “My pre-match practice is important. I talk and play and then I go a bit quiet. Mentally, I want to be ready. I am just lining things up – my arms, shoulders and eyes. Make sure there’s no ones or fives. Stay nice and loose, feel good – it is all about the complete package up there.
“I have to be robotic, like a machine. Once I am playing, I don’t notice the crowd. They are not there for me. I don’t interplay. Some players are upset by the obscenities. Not me. I’ve heard it all before…
“The pressure is on my opponents. Eric Bristow made me into a winner. He taught me to have a winning mentality and behave professionally.
“That’s why I’m careful. Those walk-ins can be dodgy. I can’t afford to get my hand cut. I shake hands – left only – with the kids and touch knuckles. I’ve got my darts in my pocket and I know I’ve to go on stage and perform.
“I get the butterflies, feel excited, the same as always. I thank everyone for coming. ‘Have a good night’… ‘Nice to see you here’ and then we start.”
Taylor is currently massive favourite for the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at 8/15 and you could be joining him at Ally Pally if you enter the Lads Cup.
All you need to do is fill out this application form to be in with a chance of claiming free entry to the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship, £250 expenses and a host of other brilliant prizes for you and three mates.
So, what are you waiting for?