ADA Monthly Professional - Bill Schweikart
We'd like to introduce everyone to Bill Schweikart, the American Darter's Association November Monthly Professional. As part of GLD Product's partnership with the ADA they have put us in touch with Bill so he could give us a quick look at his involvement in darting.
"Each win and loss play a role in molding me into the darter I am today."
- Bill Schweikart
How did you first get into darts?
In college, my roommates and I hung an electronic board as a way to pass time and decide who was doing what chores around the apartment or purchasing the next case beverage of choice. Eventually we would visit the local watering hole and play others for drinks. Good thing for us we were able to get by many nights with the $5 cover and a couple dollars for the coin drop.
After college I took about 5 years off darts to start my career. One day a friend asked me to go hang out at a Steelers bar - no, not a fan of the team but the bar had a good atmosphere - in northern Virginia.
When at the bar I was introduced to a girl who was also there to watch the Steelers and celebrate her birthday. After having a couple drinks the girl, now my wife and her friends were headed to another bar to watch more football and check out the dart league. I jumped on the offer to go hang out with her and perhaps see some darts to find out what leagues were all about.
While there, a team that had a couple of her friends on it were short a player and asked me to throw. I informed them that I had not thrown for over five years, and the last time I threw was soft tip, as I had never touched a steel tip dart before.
I will never forget their faces at that moment and at the end of the night when they asked me to show every Sunday evening as I went 6-0!
What specifically about darts drew you to it?
I find it fun and enjoy the social aspect. Darts was my icebreaker and continues to be my social outlet to get away from life’s troubles and deltas.
What is a story you have of a game or moment throughout your darting career that really sticks out to you?
Each win and loss play a role in molding me into the darter I am today. Of course, making pro list at bull shooter in Pittsburgh PA, becoming an ADA pro winning multiple events at Nationals in multiple years including 501 singles last year, winning Maryland State doubles, pro doubles at PAMMA, etc., is good too.
Meeting people from all over the United States and world having the social life and being part of darting community is the best. What tops all that is Virginia Beach hearing the likes of Larry Butler, Darin Young, D. J. Sayre, Gordon Dixon, etc., talk about some Facebook live videos that myself and the two other usual suspects, Broc Lawrence and Dan Shields, made back in 2017 and again in 2018.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in darts but doesn't know where to start? Like how to get started, what to focus on first, how to connect with other players?
I have had several conversations with new and avid darters a like. That is how the darting community is: people from all walks of life all having a love for this sport. Sure, there are some that are not as approachable as others like in any community, but don’t hesitate to ask a question and listen to advice.
Take what works for you and become who you want to be in the darting world. Like anything in life if you want to be good at it you will need to practice, but most players do not look down on any player if their level is not elite. We all have to start somewhere and even those that don't produce wins still go to tournaments.
With that said, if someone is looking to improve their game to go beyond the love and social aspect, I would give them this advice. Find a local tournament, something a little larger than league or LOD, speak with the dart vendor, ask to try different sets of darts and keep trying until you find a set you like. Practice and have fun!
As someone with kids, are you hoping your kids get involved with the sport? If so, can you elaborate on when you think it’s a good time to get kids involved in darts?
Yes, I think sports are good for kids and glad both of mine are involved. Sports help you deal with diversity, life's unfortunate trials and gives you a good release. Kids with darts, I think that too is good.
I enjoy watching youth compete in darts at the youth events or with the adults when able. Yes, I have had some strong matches against our youth even taking one not as serious and losing intentionally or not. Darts is probably one of the few sports that I feel you can never start too early and can play well beyond your prime.
No my kids do not play competitive darts, however when we get the opportunity to enjoy a leg or two of darts together we use the dry erase, as another big part of the game is math and darts helps with their math skills.
Is there anything you'd like to say about darts in general?
I would like to say thank you my sponsors, supporters, and to that special someone who shared their beer with me on their birthday because I love her still. I mean look at all that I have answered in these questions.
If it were not for them, I might not be having this interview now!
We'd like to once again take this time to thank Bill for taking the time to talk with us a little bit about darts. If you have any questions you'd like to ask the pros feel free to leave a comment, and if you think you have what it takes to be a pro darter and want to learn more, click HERE.