Once you join an axe throwing league, it’s only natural that you’ll want to up your game. No one likes losing each week, so how do you become a top-level thrower? We’ve pulled together some advice on how to become a champion axe thrower. By the end of this page, you’ll have a strategy for leveling up.
How do I become a champion axe thrower?
To become a leading axe thrower, you’ll need to practice a lot, focus on developing a consistent throw, and work on mental focus. You should also seek feedback from talented expert throwers, compete regularly, and focus on milestones.
1. Practice relentlessly
As with all sports, a huge amount of regular practice is the key to becoming a better thrower. Natural talent will only get you so far.
When you practice, don’t be afraid to experiment with different areas of your game like techniques, stances, hand positioning. No area is off-limits. Maybe test if you get better accuracy with your front foot off-center or directly in front of the bullseye.
You can also test out different axes to see if a longer or short handle works best. Does a lighter axe head provide better accuracy?
The goal of practice is to find the best combination that leads to repeatability. Keep practicing until hitting the center comes naturally.
Tip: If you’ve got the space, consider setting up your own target at home to practice for free. Take a look at how to paint an axe target here.
2. Focus on consistency
Once you’ve developed a winning throw, it’s crucial to keep it that way. Many throwers unknowingly make subtle changes and mess everything up.
Keeping everything written down helps. For example, write down the exact distance for positioning the feet. You may want to mark the axe handle with exactly where your hands go.
Stick to what works consistently and if errors come into your game, revert to the notes.
3. Develop mental focus
On competition day, we may throw badly even after a lot of practice. If your notes tell you that you did everything right, maybe it could be mental focus that’s the problem.
Whether you have nerves with people watching or there are added distractions, it can really throw you off your game. The best athletes in any sport know the power of focus.
Set aside time each day to imagine in your mind throwing accurately in competitions. Make sure it’s crystal clear in your mind. Do the same thing at practice. It’ll give you a winning edge and then on the big day, repeat what you imagined. This trick is surprisingly effective and helps keep you focused on the prize.
4. Ask for feedback
It’s hard to work out areas to work on when you’re the one throwing. Instead, ask a knowledgeable axe thrower to watch your technique. They will probably notice something that needs improving. At the very least, they’re sure to offer something that’ll help you improve.
5. Compete as often as possible
There’s no substitute for competing in throwing leagues and any other competitions you can get to. Practicing on your own is useful, but it’s much different when the pressure of competitors and spectators gets thrown in. The more experienced you get the easier competing will get.
6. Set milestones
Setting milestones is an excellent way to progress from where you’re at now to champion level. We all want to throw a perfect score and that’s a great stretch goal. But to get there, smaller goals along the way will need to get ticked off. Milestones are excellent for motivation and stop you getting frustrated and disgruntled when the end goal takes longer than expected.
Effective milestone setting means you slowly raise the difficulty of each step. We’ve mapped out some suggested milestones below, but you can adapt this to suit your requirements.
- Throw 5 bullseyes in a game (Natural Perfect Game)
- Throw two consecutive Natural Perfect Games.
- Throw all 15 bullseyes in a match (Natural Perfect Match)
- Throw 48/60 bullseyes which is an 80% success rate.
- Throw 4 bullseyes followed by a clutch.
- Throw your first 81.
Keep in mind that milestones should always focus on your personal game rather than match wins. Your win rate doesn’t provide accurate feedback as your competition may be much weaker some nights. In other words, you may not have improved, it’s just that your opposition is not on their game.
If you don’t know a bullseye from a clutch, be sure to read our guide to axe throwing scoring. We cover off how it works in the major leagues.
Axe throwing is a fun activity when it’s your first time or you’re relaxing with friends. But once you enter a league and start competing, all that changes. Of course, it’s still enjoyable, but if you get beaten every time it’s not so good.
To become a winning axe thrower at competition level, you need to adopt a winning strategy. A lot of practice will help along with focusing on developing a consistent throw. Look to increase mental focus and seek feedback from talented expert throwers to make further gains in your axe throwing. Finally, compete regularly and focus on milestones.