The Big Interview with Bob Anderson
Unicorn Darts prize winners:
Phil Wakeman, Artem Panasenko, Simon Smith
All win their choice of Unicorn Darts.
From Phil Wakeman, West Midlands:Hi Bob, with all the successes you have achieved during your long and illustrious career in darts do you have any regrets at not winning any particular competition such as the News of the World title?
BOB ANDERSON: None, really. I'm afraid I couldn't really get excited about the News Of The World. Best of 3 legs from 8 feet.
From Nicolai, Germany:Hi Bob, I got 2 questions, first do you still have something to prove to yourself or to others as far as you're concerned, or is that pretty much resolved? And second Is there anything that you used to do on the oche that you now say, "I can't do that anymore." for example very difficult finishes?
BOB ANDERSON:I am happy with my achievements and no finish worries me.
From Matthew Connor, USA: What are some of the strategies you employ to overcome any frustration you may feel from a bad game or practice session? How do you avoid getting down on yourself?
BOB ANDERSON: Hi Matthew, thank you for your question. First of all every player has bad days where they can't hit anything. I always find the best policy for me is to dust yourself down and get on the practice board the next day and put the things right where you were going wrong, until you can't miss. Try to learn from every game you play, why you lost and how to put it right next time. To avoid getting down on yourself practice with another player and try to help and be there for each other. DonÃt beat yourself up if things donÃt go your way. After trying and trying always remember you can achieve anything if you want it enough and you only get out of life what you put in.
From Jordan Ward, Dorset: Do you think that karate training in self-control and concentration has helped your darts career?
BOB ANDERSON: Hi Jordan thank you for your message. I think the Karate helps me a lot mentally, in terms of concentration for darts. Also I used to fight in front of a lot of crowds for myself and for Kent, so you have to be confident and not let the crowds get on your back, so I'm sure the training helped me with my darts.
From Mark Scallan, Manchester: My question to you is after your appearance in the world final, did the players attitude towards you change, ie was there a lot of jealousy, with you getting success so early? if so how did you react to this?
BOB ANDERSON: Hi Mark, thank you for your question. Good question! I did notice straight away changes in some of the players and the public's attitude towards me. When it was players I'm sure it was jealousy and at first it did get to me because it was not fun and from some it was nasty. Without naming names or going in to too much detail I was dubbed 'one trick pony' from many players as a laugh, all the way down to anonymous emails flooding in, through to death threats. At first this would really get on my back and in the end I had to close down the message board on my website. Nowadays amongst the players when they have a little dig I just simply say come back and judge me when youÃve made a world final.
From Lewis Whybrow, Blackpool: What did it feel like to have been offered a sponsorship from Unicorn?
BOB ANDERSON: Hi Lewis, thank you for your message. When I was offered sponsorship from Unicorn it was a great feeling to be on a team with some of the world's best players and it gave me the chance to play darts at a professional level. To be part of the team with the greatest darts manufacturers in the world is great. They have been great to me and looked after me from day one and I am grateful Unicorn gave me the opportunity to play darts when no one else did. I could not afford to play darts at the time as I was scraping by on minimum wage - 5 days a week, 9 hours a day.
From: Charis Mutschler, Germany: Hi Kirk, as you are one of the young players in the circuit and you already proved your talent what do you feel are the biggest problems to overcome to settle in the PDC circuit? And do you think the problems wouldnÂ¥t be as big in the BDO?
BOB ANDERSON: Hi Charis, thank you for your message. When moving to the PDC you cant go in to a competition being scared thinking, "I donÃt want to draw him" or when playing a match thinking, "I'm not going to beat him". You have to have bags of confidence and not be worried about anyone. You have 3 darts in your hand just like the other player and it's what you do with them. I think this would be the same wherever you play darts in any organisation.
From Frazer Gunn, Edinburgh: You have recently become a Father and it must have been a real challenge for you combining being a new parent and trying to maintain the high standards that the PDC require. How many hours do you practice for each day and do you change your practice routines on a regular basis?
BOB ANDERSON: Hi Frazer, thank you for your message. Becoming a dad is a challenge trying to juggle regular practice times with feeding etc. I still fit in roughly 3-4 hours a day but divide it in to separate sessions, an hour on, an hour off. I also prefer to practice with a good practice partner - The only time I play the other half is when we play to see who does a job in the house or strip darts! I feel its better to play with someone who is better than you to improve your game. I work on every area around the board finishing, 501, doubles etc. When playing in the spare room I make sure I throw every dart like itÃs a match but I have the radio blaring out.
From Andy Fairclough (Superstars of Darts).: Kirk, what are your ambitions for the rest of the year, given you have a mammoth amount of money to defend in the 2010 World Championship?
BOB ANDERSON: At this moment in time my ambition is to do well in Players Championships to get into the World Matchplay and World Grand prix and also to do well in the UK Open at Bolton to get some ranking money. I'm not thinking of defending the 50k, I'm concentrating on picking up money asap to keep me in the top 32 and then when Ally Pally comes round again to look for a quarter final spot at least.
Do you think that following your success in the 2008 World Championships that people then expected too much from you too soon?
BOB ANDERSON: I think many people expected me to be doing well and I must admit I thought I would as well, a lot better than what I am doing. It can be extremely frustrating knowing how well you can play and not producing the results, as I know I have it there.
What changes have you made over the past year or so to try and improve your darts or professionalism. Have any of the pro players helped you? If so, who and how?
BOB ANDERSON: Yes, I have made a few. I believe in professionalism 100%. I'm now in bed early and eat sensibly before a competition. I hardly go out like I used to do. I was quite fond of nights out on the town and weekend benders with the lads. I've had to cut this down massively. It's no good turning out to play darts and not feeling 100%. I've also tried to keep fit as you can be at a venue for 9.30 and and still playing in the evening. The image of darts has changed form the days of drinking till 3 in the morning and I believe now you have to be fit as a dart player.