‘It’s too much’ – Price not a fan of new Premier League darts format
Gerwyn Price is going through a tough time on and off the oche and says he will take longer to avoid burnout from the rigors of the Premier League – with the new format adding to his pain.
Price has struggled since sustaining a throwing hand injury, and although the broken bone is on the mend, it has created a psychological barrier which means the Welshman struggles to throw his darts properly .
His loss of confidence in his throwing and resulting drop in form puts him well down the Premier League table and nine points from fourth place – with the top four at the end of the season battling for the play-offs for the title.
The PDC introduced a new format this year, with the eight Premier League players playing a short knockout tournament each week to claim weekly points and bonus cash.
This is in contrast to the usual format of round robin matches which only saw players in action once a night, and the new format is something The Iceman hasn’t really warmed to.
Price is not a Premier League fan
Price has had some success at this year’s event, including throwing two nine-darts on the same night in Belfast in his only weekly victory, but feels the workload is unsustainable.
“I’m not a fan of it,” Price told Online Darts TV. “Playing three games in one night and then playing the Pro Tour events at the weekend, it’s not just about that night in the Premier League. I think it’s just a little too much.
“If it’s going to be that format, it needs to be a bit more equal in terms of the draw. So I think they should go back to the old format of playing one game a night.
“I think it’s too much for the players to play all these games on a Premier League night. Premier League teams wouldn’t play three games a night, football or rugby.
“You prepare for a game and you pretty much know when you’re playing, but with all the extra games it’s just difficult.”
Too many tournaments so Price will take a break
Although PDC darts are thriving and producing more tournaments, Price feels there is too much for players at the top of the game and so is taking steps to avoid burnout.
The 37-year-old says that while events like the Premier League are fun to play in, he prefers big ranking events.
“I love the Premier League and would love to get to the play-offs, but sometimes you just lose a bit of motivation, the crowd with me obviously doesn’t help when you’re playing week after week.
“But I love playing in the big ranking events, that’s the bread and butter of the PDC, that’s what earns your living. So that’s what I’m looking at, staying in the top eight, the top four and it makes everything else a little easier.
“There are too many tournaments, that’s why I’m missing some upcoming events because it’s too many and with this injury I’m wearing myself out.
“You feel like you have to go to every tournament and chase after ranking points but I’ve realized you can’t do that because you’ll burn out so I’m going to have to miss a few ranking events, wait for the first one minister The league is over, so recharge the batteries for the big ranking events to come later in the year.”
The price is just not right with a hand injury
The hand injury that has plagued Price recently isn’t just physical, as he says it has mentally hampered his game as he struggles to throw darts properly.
“As soon as I knew my hand was broken, these demons entered my head,” Price added.
“I just didn’t know what to do for the best, I thought every time I threw I hurt my hand, so I just didn’t know what to do.
“The hardest part of this game is the first two inches, throwing darts is the easiest part, it’s how you think about everything.
“And when my mind isn’t right, my darts aren’t right, and that’s how it has been for the past two weeks.
“So as soon as I know my hand is 100%, my mind will be 100% and I’ll be back.”
Premier League darts are simply relentless – Awards
While Price insists he is slowly getting back to his best as the hand injury improves, he says the Premier League are offering no respite to try to fully resolve the issue.
The former world champion and world number one hasn’t given up on making the play-offs, but there will be a sense of relief when the Premier League ends, one way or another.
“Every week I’m getting a bit better – I just need the Premier League to hurry up and finish, then I can lean in and get into the ranking events.
“The Premier League takes you away, it doesn’t give you time to relax or fix things, you’re constantly on the move, so I’m looking forward to getting into the top four, but if not advancing.
“I haven’t given up – I’m more than capable when my mind and my game are good, but I’m not good right now.”
Price also said his boxing career was over before it even started – after he pulled out of a boxing charity event on medical advice while training, when he insisted he did not hurt his hand.
“I didn’t hurt my hand boxing, despite what people think, and I’ve retired from boxing now on medical advice. I thought I could mix the two when I was training for boxing, but I think it bothered my darts a bit, as well as my hand.
“But I’m done with boxing now and it’s just darts from now on.”
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