Questions to Larry Butler and Darin Young

After the PDC World Cup and arranged by Scotty Burnett members of the Reddit forum could ask Team America Larry Butler and Darin Young some questions. Here the Result.

scottyb1001United States of America: I will start us off. First thanks Darin and Larry for doing this.
Playing well under pressure. This questions gets asked a lot, with lots of different answers. Is there anything you do differently preparing for a big event/match? Mind set, practice etc...

darinyoung: No Scotty, I go into every match with the same mindset.

WorldWideDarts: When you guys are preparing for a big match like this are you using a raised oche? The reason I ask is because I noticed Larry still looking at his feet a lot like he was setting up on a non raised oche. PDC pro's don't look down at their feet as they are used to a raised oche. They are focused on the board.

larrytbutler: We do practice and compete with raised oches. I typically stand 1/2 - 1 inch behind that oche.

darinyoung: I don't see any different as tap my foot against the oche and shoot.

DanTheStripeUnited Kingdom: Thanks to you two for doing this, and thanks to Scotty for organising this. I have a few questions:
What was your reaction when you found out you were playing the Netherlands?
What was the accomodation like?
When the crowd started booing because the TV's had gone off, how confused were you
Thanks lads.

larrytbutler: I knew we had a tough match but I believed we could win. The hall was comfortable and the practice room was fine. I wasn't confused at all. I was watching the televisions because it is easier to see where the darts were landing. I knew what had happened

DanTheStripeUnited Kingdom: Nice one, thanks for answering.

DegenGAMBLOR: Darin, having been at the PDC Worlds almost 'pre-boom' and also at the Circus Tavern, and also playing at the Ally Pally 'post-boom', how do you feel about the way darts fans behaviour is affecting the game?
Are Hearn and Co, by not discouraging it any more (far fewer referees asking for best of order), actually fuelling the fire, and could it get even uglier than it did for Adrian Lewis in Scotland during the Premier League a few years ago?
Sorry for the lengthy question, but the crowds are the televised PDC events are something that have, for me, ruined those events over the last few years and have detracted from my viewing experience.

darinyoung: I agree that the crowd is out of hand and disrespectful to the players, on the other hand the spectators have grown in attendance since I began playing overseas. So I understand that this is a money maker and is helping darts as far as prize money goes and if a new player is born out of a first time experience than even better.

DegenGAMBLOR: Larry, winning the Matchplay in '94 is quite possibly one of the biggest upsets in darts (perhaps aside from Taylor's inaugural title?). Do you think that such a shock can happen again in the game on such a level, or are the elite players now just too far ahead?
And, to both Larry and Darin, who should we be looking out for to cause that upset?
Thanks again!

larrytbutler: Upsets can always happen. It is unlikely to happen unless players have the opportunity to play similar events. The newly formed CDC can possibly have an impact on the way N. Americans play the game of darts I didn't feel like winning the Matchplay was an upset though If I had to pick an American that I think has improved the most in the past few years, and who's game is approaching World Class on a fairly consistent basis it would be D.J. Sayre

scottyb1001United States of America: Totally agree about D.J.!

DegenGAMBLOR: Thanks for answering, and I'll keep an eye out for DJ Sayre
And sorry for being a bit cheeky and saying it was an upset! :)

thisguy54703United States of America: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. I am attempting to transition to steel tip from soft tip (I live in north-central Wisconsin and good luck trying to find a steel tip board not in your home). I can't seem to gain much traction and find my overall form is getting worse, even on soft tip.
Do you have any tips for transitioning to steel tip from soft?
Any advice to get over the mental aspect of seeing your average drop from over 100 to 70? I feel my confidence could be a big factor here.
I have a lot of passion for the game but only have been playing for four years or so. I see a lot of guys getting burned out that started close to the same time as I did. Is there any advice to provocatively prevent burnouts?

larrytbutler: I'm not sure that there is any physical transition from 1 game to the other, but some math practice might be necessary. A lot of players put too much importance on averages. I believe darts is a simple game.Your focus should be on where you want the dart to land, 1 dart at a time.

darinyoung: I don't see much difference in transitioning from one to another. As far the confidence issues, I have gone through slumps one time or another and my confidence has been tested. You just have to believe in yourself, think positive and push on through. Easier said than done but it's a tough question to answer.

Rustybarge: Hi Guys, I would like to ask how you develop line in your throw , as it seems to be the hardest thing to achieve.
Is body line important like in archery, or do you just throw the dart down the sight line using your arm and wrist position?

darinyoung: Not quite sure what you mean by "line". If you mean stance than I believe you have to keep you body as still and grounded as possible and only allowing you arm to the work.

larrytbutler: you should strive to keep your upper arm parallel to the floor, and your forearm perpendicular to the floor. Find a comfortable grip on your dart and try not to move your fingers through your stroke. Imagine your arm as a catapult , with the least amount of movement possible. Keep your eye on your target and your fingers should be pointing at the board.

Grimmbles'MURICA!: Do you drink any alcohol when playing?
You guys have to have played each other a fair bit in tournaments by now, how do those matches generally go?
What's it going to take for high level steel tip darts to catch on here in the US? I know they've tried a few times already, but with it becoming bigger and bigger over in Europe since then it seems like there would have to be a way to make it work.
How badly would you two whoop on England/Netherlands in Cricket?

larrytbutler: I will have a drink while playing. I think we both try to put up our best stuff. The CDC is a good start to grooming N. American players to be more competitive. It really needs to start at the league level though. Leagues need to get back in the business of promoting the game.

darinyoung: Yes, most players at all levels drink when they play. It's that fine line you have to look out for.

Grimmbles'MURICA!: Yeah I'm trying to apply some math to getting that fine line worked out recently=) Bought a little breathalyzer and seeing if I can get it all worked out physically, mostly just for my own entertainment.

iretecdc: What would say to the Up and coming players of the US to inspire them to play PRO DARTS

darinyoung: I would tell an upcoming player to keep testing his limits by playing the tournaments with the top players as this will improve his/her game. If you want to be the best you have to play the best!

larrytbutler: David, I honestly don't know what I'd say. Pro Darts doesn't really exist in the USA yet. You, Anthony and Peter are working to change that.

shakeyjakeUSA: Since Dartslive moved into the United States I've noticed many more Asian companies sponsoring US players. Was this all in my imagination or was there really a large improvement in sponsorship opportunities?

larrytbutler: I'm really not sure

Grimmbles'MURICA!: Scotty would probably have a better grasp on this, he's pretty tied in to the business side of things.

darinyoung: A lot more opportunity for N. American darters once these companies branched out. I don't know if it had anything to do with DL or not.

scottyb1001United States of America: A couple forward thinking Asian companies broke in the USA before Dartslive (or Phoenix) made any type of impact. It was clear in Asia that the "big 2" board manufacturers were soon making the move to the US. Dartslive did it by inviting a few US players over for the 1st (technically 2nd) World event several years ago. Phoenix through being a board sponsor for the ADA World Cup, US players were exposed to their board. Through this, Asian product manufacturers were exposed to some of the better US players at the time, and took advantage. Then the big push from Dartslive and Phoenix happened and the Asian product manufacturers followed. uhhh yeah.
TL;DR Dartslive did play a part, but was not the sole factor.

fac3United States of America: Thanks guys for doing this! Who are some of the best players that we don't know?

larrytbutler: Well, since I don't know who "we" is you may or may not be familiar with these names. There are many talented dart players in the USA that don't have the opportunity to travel like others do. There would be many very successful darters if they did have opportunitys to travel. Nick Linberg from Ohio is a very good example. He doesn't travel much, but when he does, he has a lot of success. Nick won the cricket singles in Las Vegas this year.

darinyoung: There's a long list of players across the country, too many to mention, that do not travel enough to be well known. I believe this is mainly due to job, family, money etc. If everyone had the same opportunities you'd be surprised who the top players would be.

scottyb1001United States of America: Do you find it difficult to switch from soft to steel?
Do you use the same dart?
Conversion point?

larrytbutler: I don't have much difficulty transitioning from soft to steel and back. I use the same barrel (with fixed points for steel) and use speed flights for soft tip to compensate for the added distance.

KMACK313: OK this may be a common question to you both. Which do you prefer to play tournament wise and which do you prefer to play just for good old fashioned fun with nothing on the line? Soft of Steel tip. :)

larrytbutler: I started playing steel darts first, but I enjoy competing in both. I play casually on both soft and steel boards.

darinyoung: No preference here as far as competition goes. For fun I prefer soft-tip with all the different games and opponents available online.

Game_Of_Throws_Wales: Hey guys thanks for doing this. This is my question, most of the top players in professional darts are from Europe, except for world cup and qualifiers for a few of the big tournaments we don't much of worldwide players.
Do you think darts is getting big enough in Americas, Asia etc. that there could be players who will challenge for major tv tournaments?
Do you think pdc does enough to promote darts worldwide, what could they do?

larrytbutler: I'd like to see the PDC become more involved in the grassroots game and encourage and promote local and league play.

_Game_Of_Throws_Wales: Ok thanks for answering. The pdc development tour really seems to be helping youngsters here in uk. Do alot of youngsters play darts in u.s? How is darts received, is it shown much?

Thanks again.

larrytbutler: Youth do not have a lot of opportunity to play in the US. Not nearly as many as I'd like to see playing. If you mean television, darts are not broadcast at all. Dart fans and player depend on internet streams to see the games.

darinyoung: The only way to challenge for major PDC tv spots overseas is to play the PDC circuit. Unfortunately this involves a huge cost and a lot of time away from family.

_Game_Of_Throws_Wales: Thank you for your answer.

willgray89England: What's the best stage you've played on in terms of fans interacting with the players/cheering when they should and showing respect when they should etc? Do you enjoy playing to a rowdy crowd or does it put you off? I saw you getting off the metro in Frankfurt and those German fans were absolutely quality... And that's coming from a Brit!

larrytbutler: I enjoy playing on the big stage in Asia. The travel to get there though, not so much

darinyoung: I enjoyed the Grand Slam in Wolverhampton. The crowd was smaller than the Ally Pally but seemed to be much more respectful of the players. I really don't mind the rowdy crowd as its basically just white noise. So no preference there.

Seibucat: As it relates to the quantity of high caliber tournament players in the US
Larry -- Now compared to 20 years ago.
Darin -- Now compared to 10 years ago.

larrytbutler: I think there were a lot more high caliber darters 20-30 years then there are today

darinyoung : I believe there were more players in general 10 years ago. As far as the caliber goes, I don't see that the level of play has changed here, just number of top players has decreased.

russellvt: Hi guys... and thanks for doing this... and thanks to Scotty B for getting this setup.
Can you describe your "normal" practice routine, just to "keep your stroke" and stay on your game? Like, how often and for how long do you practice per week?
What are the best tips you can give to younger, less-experienced players to help them bring better consistency in their game?

darinyoung: To be honest I don't practice as much as I should. I play league and so many events throughout the year to keep me in form. I would tell a less experienced player to just keep throwing as everyone is different. Try not to get frustrated and stay positive.

FocusgfySteel-Tip: Are you guys training any differently than you would for a standard American format tournament. Like say ghost on the coast or cherry bomb.

darinyoung : No difference for me. I go into every tournament with the same mindset.

larrytbutler: Not really

FletcherMiller: Game improvement questions (sorry for so many): I've been throwing multiple times a week for around an hour (sometimes more), but I can't seem to get consistently better. How did you improve your own darts game initially? Did you change your technical approach to your throws over time?
Finally, the one thing I cannot for the life of me figure out: how "hard" or "fast" are you throwing your darts? On TV it looks like the pros throw their darts very fast/hard. But I taped myself throwing and my throw looks a lot "faster" than it feels. When you throw, do you see the dart "arc" toward the target, or does it appear to go straight into the board? I'm trying to figure out how it should "feel" when I throw the darts.

larrytbutler: I spent several years watching others play. I adapted my own style by trying to duplicate the throws of successful darters. Of course I have tweeked some things over the last 30 years, but always keep the notion of "the less moving parts the better" No matter how hard or fast you throw, you should strive to throw each dart the same way to develop consistensy

FletcherMiller: Thanks for the answer!

darinyoung: I saw improvements in my game from attending tournaments and playing in competitions. As far as your practicing an hour a day, make sure your practice is the same as it would be as you were playing an event (no cell phone etc). Set goals for yourself. My throw has not changed that I'm aware of. As far as releasing the dart I don't pay attention to how hard or how fast I throw. The only times I will notice id when the venue has a lot of air throw and will adjust my throw accordingly.

FletcherMiller: Thanks for the advice!

Ericsickler: Darin, what does your usual practice routine consist of?

darinyoung: Eric, I don't practice as much as I used to, as I attend so many more events than I did in previous years. Playing in these events counts as much as practice for me.

robethington: For both of you, what were some of the "tactics" that have been used against you while playing overseas matches. 'Slow playing' is probably one of the more common ones but was interested in any other funny measures your opponents took to try and throw you off and/or take you out of your game. Thanks.

larrytbutler: I haven't experienced any issues with opponents playing in Europe or Asia. The most distractions stem from the spectators, as is widely seen both in PDC televised events, and WDF/BDO events

darinyoung: I haven't experienced any tactics from any players overseas. I agree with Larry that all tactics seem to come from the spectators.

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