Michael Smith is excited about the return of crowds to major tournaments. ‘Bullyboy’ hated playing to empty venues during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t like it,” he says stuff.co.nz. “I’ve actually put a lot of time into my life so that I can finally play on a big stage in a room full of people. When no one’s sitting there, it’s like practicing alone in a bedroom again.”
Smith now holds seventeen ranking titles. Won two World Series and played in two World Cup Finals. The 31-year-old Englishman argues that dedication is key to reaching the top of the game.
“Our schedule is so busy, we only get three weeks off a year. It’s not just about throwing a dart, it’s about what else you can do and what you have to do. If you’re not with the media or the fans are working together, you’re not going to get the support of the audience, you’re not going to get the support of the audience. Otherwise, you won’t have confidence on stage… It depends on how you express your personality on stage. Fans.”
According to Smith, it takes more than talent to reach the top of the world. Eighty percent mind. Ten percent is easier when you have to move your hand up and down. You always have to be one hundred percent and think you’re not going to miss. If it’s good mentally, it won’t go wrong technically.”
The former youth world champion finished third at the New Zealand Darts Masters this weekend. Smith also appeared at the Queensland Darts Masters and the New South Wales Darts Masters earlier this month, but without good results.
“My target was to win at least one of the three tournaments in Australia and New Zealand. Having failed in the first two attempts, this is my last chance. I have to keep my leg stiff now.
“Introvert. Communicator. Tv fanatic. Typical coffee advocate. Proud music maven. Infuriatingly humble student.”