Wayne Mardle is a retired professional darts player from the PDC and is a 4-time PDC World Championship Semi-Finalist. He is currently a commentator for PDC events on Sky Sports and one of darts most renowned pundits. His Hawaiian themed dress code and his personality on stage made him one of the most popular players on the darting circuit.
I’ve regularly followed Wayne on Twitter and have always tried to use the tips he gives out to bettering one’s game. Whether it be throwing mechanics, mental tips or just general know how. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to rack his brain a little bit – So I did.
1. How long have you been involved with Darts?
I started playing at the age of 10. My dad played and I started watching him. I become hooked pretty quickly. I love the look of a dartboard. So many vibrant colors.
2. You were quite an accomplished darts player. You are now an accomplished commentator and darts pundit – how has the transition been?
It’s all about timing. I was at the very end of my competitive career when Sky Sports asked me if I wanted to do commentary and punditry. I jumped at the chance. The transition for me was simple, I effectively left one job to do another.
3. What were the hardships you faced initially in your darting journey and how did you overcome them?
The hardest time was deciding to leave my full time job to become a full time darts player. You’re literally relying on winning games of darts to pay the bills. I was lucky because I hit the ground running and quickly established myself as one of the worlds best. But the worry was that I’d pack in a good job and fail as a darts player.
4. What was your practice schedule when approaching a tournament and when not?
I never changed routine. Tournament time or not. I’d play for about an hour on the treble 20, treble 19 and 18’s. Have a break for an hour then do finishes from 41 to 100. On tournament day I’d just break the routine up into 20 minute on and off chunks. Never play for hours on end without a break. Fatigue sets in and bad habits are gained.
5. Help us look inside your head – How different was your mental approach towards a practice session and a game?
I think I’m different to most player. Most you throw. I wanted to throw better. By that I don’t mean more accurately, that will come if you literally throw the dart better. I was all about having a rhythm. Rhythm for me is a forgotten necessity.
6. Most darts players have a schedule before match day or on match day, some call this superstition, others call it routine – What do you think is the ideal way to get yourself ready for match day and how do you think it would help?
There’s no ideal. But definitely don’t over practice. Being sick at the sight of a dartboard before you’ve even played isn’t a good start.
7. Darts is mental game as many people who play it eventually realize – How do you fight back when you’re down in a game? Is there any way in which you can explain – How to handle pressure in such moments?
Back to rhythm. Rhythm and routine. By having both of these working you’re eliminating certain variables like hesitation. Decision making.
8. What would Wayne Mardle do on a day off?
Walk our dog, Sherlock. Go for a round of golf and finished off with a nice family meal.
9. Are there any sports you enjoy and keep a track on apart from Darts?
10. What are the most important aspects of a player that a newcomer should try and learn if they want to get into the sport of Darts?
Be realistic. Don’t believe the hype around you. Listen to those that have more knowledge than you. Don’t be afraid to lose. And most importantly don’t be afraid to win.
11. What’s your fondest memory so far from the time that you’ve played Darts?
Playing for England. The team environment really suited me. Darts is such a solitary sport normally. The team events bring everyone together.
12. What memory do you regret or wish you had a do over?
I wish I’d have joined the PDC sooner.
13. What’s your darts nickname and how did it come to be?
Hawaii 501. I wore Hawaiian shirts. Bobby George actually thought of the nickname.
14. What darts do you use currently?
Legend Darts. Hawaii 501 signature darts. 22 gram.
15. Who is your favorite Darts Player?
Michael Van Gerwen. He’s a brilliant ambassador for the sport.
16. What’s your favorite double?
Double 18. I’m still the worlds best D18 hitter.
17. What’s your favorite finish combination?
104. 48 16 Tops.
18. Who according to you has the ideal throw in the world of darts today? Further to this – who do you think has a throw tailor-made for their own style?
Ian White’s throw is fantastic. But my favorite is Lourence Ilagan.
19. Which is the greatest match you have ever been a part of?
2008 world darts champion QF. I beat Phil Taylor 5-4. An amazing day.
20. MVG, Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Michael Smith – Who do you think has underachieved so far in their career? Or do you think there is someone else who has shown otherworldly promise and not delivered?
Michael Smith is the biggest under achiever so far. I say so far, because I’m absolutely certain he’ll win a world championship sooner or later.
21. Peter Wright did something amazing just a few months back bagging the honor of being called a World Champ and writing his name down in the history books. Who do you see down the line that is destined to be called a World Champion?
22. You are arguably the most famous darts coach and you’ve helped many players sharpen up their games – what in your eyes is the easiest and hardest facet of the sport to teach a player?
The harder things for many coaches is individualism. No two players throw the same. This means there is no one fix. The thing every single player should do is, have a stable base. Move just the forearm, not elbow, not shoulder, and follow through with pace to an extended release leaving the arm and hand pointing towards the target.
23. With darts becoming a global sport and the rise of many players all around the globe – who have you seen so far that has the tools to take the next step into the pros?
Tough one. I really like Keane Barry. His attitude is good.
24. Father time is undefeated – When it’s all said and done and you do retire from all facets of the sport what do you wish you had accomplished in its entirety?
I want to be remembered as someone who loved the sport and tried to get others to enjoy it. My aim is to entertain.
25. Your last thoughts – Do you have anything that you would like to say to whoever reads this interview?
Yes. ENJOY THE GAME!!!!
If you want to get to know Wayne a little more you can visit his website https://www.waynemardle.com/ or you can add him on Twitter – @Wayne501Mardle