Darts prodigy Luke Littler reveals his minimalist coaching regime

  • Luke Littler reached the ultimate of the World Darts Championship final December 
  • The teenage has since received his first skilled title and over £200k prize money 
  • But, chatting with Mail Sport, he revealed he solely practices briefly to loosen up 

An atypical teenager is working via the elements of a typical day in his life. As a recipe for sporting brilliance, the routine is somewhat like Luke Littler himself – distinctive and fairly astonishing.

He begins his description along with his nights, which occur to imitate his afternoons, and mixed they provide an intriguing portrait of the dartist as a younger man. They may also elevate a thought: if he’s this good at darts, one can solely think about how efficient he should be with a online game controller.

‘I do not know why however I’m all the time up till, like, 2am or 3am on my Xbox,’ Littler tells Mail Sport, and it’s hardly value recounting at this level, earlier than we get into the small print, that he’s a lad who solely turned 17 three weeks in the past.

Or to place it one other method, he’s a prodigy who final month reached the ultimate of the World Championship at 16 and a fortnight later received his first skilled title after 10 minutes’ apply. We largely hadn’t heard of him eight weeks in the past and at this time he has 1.1 million followers on Instagram, £220,000 in prize-money and was lately granted a personal viewers with Sir Alex Ferguson.

But let’s return to that routine to see how he has constructed it. 

Darting sensation Luke Littler has revealed he practices for just 20 to 30 minutes every day

Darting sensation Luke Littler has revealed he practices for simply 20 to half-hour day-after-day

Littler, 17, shot to stardom overnight after reaching the final of the World Darts Championship

Littler, 17, shot to stardom in a single day after reaching the ultimate of the World Darts Championship

His rapid rise saw him invited to attend a Manchester United game and meet Sir Alex Ferguson

His speedy rise noticed him invited to attend a Manchester United recreation and meet Sir Alex Ferguson

‘I get up at 1pm or 2pm and I do the identical day-after-day,’ he says. ‘I’d must get in a routine of going to mattress at a standard time – I by no means see the morning. I rise up, I am going on my Xbox, once I become bored with that, I am going on the apply board, and once I become bored with that, I am going again on my Xbox.’

And that apply? What does it appear to be in a nuanced, capricious recreation the place Phil Taylor, the 16-time world champion, would do upwards of 10 hours a day in his storage to remain on the wave? ‘Maybe 20 minutes or half an hour,’ he says. ‘Just to maintain my arm free.’

It’s exceptional, actually. It’s baffling and good and open to all types of misinterpretation, as a result of the geniuses of sport normally are.

To Littler, his day-to-day goings on are ‘quite a lot of the stuff {that a} 17-year-old boy would do’, and that’s about proper for a few of it. But the remaining is the stuff of a phenomenon. Of a Warrington lad who does not appear to waste many ideas about why all of it works, solely sufficient to know that when he desires a dart to go someplace, it normally does. We will return to that as a result of it’s fascinating.

For now, the upshot of his presents has been extraordinary, each for his success and the eye it has delivered to Littler, the brand new face of a sport that has by no means earlier than generated this stage of curiosity.

He has launched these boundaries outwards – his loss within the World Championship closing towards Luke Humphries was watched on Sky by 4.8million folks, the biggest non-football viewers within the broadcaster’s historical past, eclipsing the Ryder Cup and Ashes. 

On a typical day, Littler will rise after 1pm and practice just to keep his throwing arm loose

On a typical day, Littler will rise after 1pm and apply simply to maintain his throwing arm free

Littler is the new face of darts, a sport that has never before generated this level of interest

Littler is the brand new face of darts, a sport that has by no means earlier than generated this stage of curiosity

James Maddison invited Littler to a box at Tottenham Hotspur's stadium earlier this season

James Maddison invited Littler to a field at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium earlier this season

By then darts had lengthy outrun its patronising, dated fame as a pub recreation, however Littler has crossed over to new locations completely. 

Rise of ‘The Nuke’

2008 Begins throwing darts on a magnetic board whereas nonetheless solely 18 months previous.

2012 Hits his first 180 aged six.

2017 Coaches at St Helens Darts Academy begin to discover Littler’s expertise.

2020 Covid-19 forces the nation into lockdown and Littler spends hours taking part in towards his brother, Leon.

2021 Wins the England Youth Open and claims his first senior title – the Irish Open – aged 14.

2023 Leaves college in the summertime earlier than making historical past later the identical yr by turning into the youngest finalist on the World Darts Championship.

2024 Claims first senior title after beating Michael van Gerwen to win the Bahrain Masters.


A few weeks in the past that prolonged to an invite to fulfill the Manchester United squad, the place he took on Harry Maguire and Christian Eriksen in a problem. After Maguire set a nine-dart goal of 171, Littler threw a 180 along with his first three and the sport was over.

‘To be sincere it was good to get out of the home,’ he provides, and that is simply the deadpan method of a man who left college with one GCSE, has magic in his arms, and has discovered the entire enterprise in his identify a bit bemusing.

‘I help United so it was good to fulfill my idols at my dwelling membership,’ he provides. ‘It was a great day trip. I watched them prepare for a bit however it was raining and I went in after they began doing techniques and all that stuff.

‘I additionally met Sir Alex at United-Spurs a number of weeks in the past. That was good. My dad had seen their glory years, witnessed ’99, and so it was good for him to fulfill him. It was good to talk. I did not get a lot out of him, reason behind his accent, however he did say preserve going and keep on with it.’

That expertise, and the broader glare on him since that World Championship at Alexandra Palace, has been ‘loopy’, as Littler describes it. He is generally snug – ‘the extra I win, the extra consideration I get, so I simply get on with it’ – however it has additionally been a contact suffocating. He tells a narrative about taking a one-week break in Wales after the worlds that helps the purpose.

‘It was the center of nowhere, I could not even inform you the place, and I obtained recognised exterior Asda,’ he says. ‘Soon as I walked in somebody needed a photograph. I needed to go and sit within the automobile!’

Littler has admitted the wider glare on him since his Alexandra Palace heroics has been 'crazy'

Littler has admitted the broader glare on him since his Alexandra Palace heroics has been ‘loopy’

Littler also posed for a photo with Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford

Littler additionally posed for a photograph with Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford

Humphries, the world champion and a great type, has taken to maintaining a tally of the child he beat on the Palace. ‘We ought to look out for him,’ he instructed Mail Sport final week. ‘He has dealt with it so nicely however it’s a lot.’

Comparisons with Emma Raducanu are truthful to some extent, if not essentially for the magnitude of their relative achievements and highlight – Raducanu’s experiences exceeded Littler’s on each counts – however for the cautionary notes of how shortly it could possibly go south in sport. If that is a priority for Littler, he hides it successfully. 

Actually, he does not appear bothered by a lot: ‘I’ve not likely regarded into something like that to be sincere.’

Is he aware of her story? ‘Not actually.’

You need to giggle at that. Just as it’s a must to heat to his indifference to the fuss.

So far, his sporting performances may be plotted on a steep, upward curve – after that World Championship closing, Littler beat Humphries and threw a nine-darter in successful a title in Bahrain, having practised for 10 minutes on the again of his week off. He then made one other closing per week later within the Netherlands and has since crushed Humphries twice extra on his debut within the Darts Premier League.

The prodigy's sporting performances to date can be plotted using a steep, upward curve

The prodigy’s sporting performances so far may be plotted utilizing a steep, upward curve

Declan Rice and Aaron Ramsdale pulled Littler over at Arsenal's team photo to take a picture

Declan Rice and Aaron Ramsdale pulled Littler over at Arsenal’s crew picture to take an image

Even if we are able to safely assume the curiosity will dwindle, that the novelty will fade, there isn’t any present proof to recommend his recreation will not go the space. 

Which takes us again to the topic of how he has sculpted a expertise that was all the time apparent, rewinding to a time when he was a baby getting in Under-21 groups and thru to an adolescent cleansing up world youth titles.

‘I’ve all the time been OK on the recreation,’ he says. ‘I began within the pub leagues once I was round 10 and earlier than that I used to be within the St Helens Dart Academy, each Monday from 6pm to 10pm. I assume folks seen me. I’d beat adults and generally there was a response.

‘I feel an enormous factor was after we first went into lockdown (in 2020) I used to be doing 4 or 5 hours a day as a result of there was nothing else to do.’

What follows is as near an ideal description of uncooked sporting presents as you could find inside quick solutions.

Littler cannot remember the last time he felt nervous - but this is no brag, it is simply just him

Littler can’t bear in mind the final time he felt nervous – however that is no brag, it’s merely simply him

‘Now perhaps it’s 20 minutes or half an hour,’ he says. ‘Because I’ve my expertise I do not actually need to do foolish hours once more.’ In a separate remark he’ll add: ‘The arduous work paid off and I needn’t overdo myself any extra.’

It could be very totally different to the likes of Taylor, however it additionally rings of Ronnie O’Sullivan, who instructed Mail Sport final yr that he regrets tinkering along with his recreation and shedding himself to technical obsessions. 

If he had his time once more, O’Sullivan stated he would stay the 14-year-old boy who performed on intuition and really feel and keep in that house so long as he might. At 17, Littler is in that zone, the place if it really works, it really works, and if it really works, why change it?

‘I do not even bear in mind the final time I used to be nervous,’ he says, and it is no brag. It’s simply him.

Some boring souls would possibly mistake it for complacency. Others would see it as genius they usually have Littler’s outcomes on their facet of the argument.