How often have you heard it said that a big part of what sets the most successful competitors apart from the deadwood is knowing how to win.
That may mean Dean Rock spending endless hours kicking placed balls or Rory McIlroy tinkering with his golf swing or the likes of Paul Townend watching replays pre and post racing.
Or the greatest example there could possibly be, a darts player tinkering with their arrows between one tournament and the next. Except in the case of 2020 World Champion Peter Wright who has been known to change his equipment between one leg of a match and the next. Thus giving the impression that he makes more alterations than a dress maker and has more tools than Inspector Gadget.
There’s an old saying which to paraphrase says if there’s nothing wrong with something or a situation, leave it alone. So, it’s probably fairly indicative that something was considered to be wrong when Michael Van Gerwen not only is changing his darts but announced publicly that he was doing so.
Speaking ahead of the Ladbrokes Darts Masters, the dynamic Dutchman said: “It’s been a longer break than I’m used to but I’ve not been sitting still. I’ve been to Winmau [Van Gerwen’s darts manufacturer] and we’ve been busy producing some new darts for me,”
Several times in recent months mention has been afforded to the fact that MVG had lost his veneer of invincibility. That is not to say he has become a bad player or anything like it, but, there is absolutely no way you could envision Dave Chisnall beating the Green Machine, let alone 5-0 and certainly not in the World Championships.
Van Gerwen is a proud man and a fierce competitor and it was always likely that whatever remedial action he deemed required would be instigated quickly. Hence his commenting that ” “I tried to do it last year but it didn’t work out as I wanted. I take the blame for that and I need to make sure it doesn’t happen this year.” And by the sound of things he’s as hungry as ever to get back winning titles.
“Last year is gone. You always need to look to the future and make sure you’re ready for the new season,” Van Gerwen continued.
“The Masters is a nice tournament to start the year. It’s not ranked but it’s still an important one to see where you stand at that moment.
“The Masters has all the top players in a nice format so it’s something for everyone to look forward to.
“The break has given me time to prepare and make sure I start of the season well.”
He hasn’t gone away you know.