"Felt like people were laughing at me" - Stephen Bunting credits sports psychologist with saving his darts career

Reigning Masters champion Stephen Bunting has revealed that he almost quit darts altogether after failing to win a match at the World Darts Championship for three years. He cited his decision to see a sports psychologist as the main reason for his recent revival.

Bunting made these statements on the brand new darts show Club 501. This program on William Hill's YouTube channel is presented by former dart player and darts analyst Wayne Mardle. “Five or six years ago I was thinking about just walking away from darts. I was walking into venues feeling like people were laughing at me and I just didn’t want to be there anymore. My form was so bad and I was going home and taking it out on my family. I needed to do something,'' Bunting recalls.

The former Lakeside champion then decided to see a sports psychologist. ''I went to see a sports psychologist and he trained my brain to think about the positives, because every time I was playing darts it was all negative. That was a massive help. I have progressed since then and I’m now seeing a hypnotherapist as well which is really helping and it’s taken my game to another level.”

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Bunting bounced back to take Masters glory in 2024

Bunting better than ever and chasing return to Premier League

Bunting reached the fourth round of the last World Darts Championship and managed to win his first PDC major at the Masters in Milton Keynes in early February. At that tournament, "The Bullet" won over Michael van Gerwen in the final. The 39-year-old Englishman believes his game is better now than in 2014, when he won Lakesdie. A return to Premier League Darts is his next goal.

“I believe I’m better now than I was when I won the world title 10 years ago,” he explains. “I feel like a better player and my form is very consistent, which it needs to be to win any title. I won my first major on the PDC this year at the Masters and to win that was a special moment for me, especially given the way I did it beating Michael van Gerwen in the final."

“I believe there’s a lot more to come from me. I’m more confident these days than what I have been in the past and that’s a stepping stone for more success," Bunting concludes. "I’m trying to get back into the Premier League and I believe my game is only going in one direction at the moment.”

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PDC Wayne Mardle Stephen Bunting

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