Devon Petersen: The sharks are circling MVG

DARTS World columnist Devon Petersen is still going strong in the UK Open, his recent column  gave a few reasons for his improvement and the slump of Michael van Gerwen:

IN my first Darts World column back in September, I stated that as far as Michael van Gerwen was concerned, there was blood in the water. And the sharks were circling. It turns out I wasn’t far off the mark.

MVG was definitely wounded by losing the Worlds to Peter Wright and then missing out in the Matchplay and Premier League. He lost that awe about him, the walk-on fear.

Maybe, just maybe, without that haunting Seven Nations Army theme booming into a packed crowd arena, he was less frightening to face. Whatever has caused it, Gerwyn Price was the hungriest shark of the lot. This is why sport is so fascinating. This is why I love studying the psychology involved in becoming a top sportsperson.

There are now so many question marks hanging over Michael. Every pundit is having a dig at him. But he has been an incredible player over sustained seven-year domination of the sport. Is he going to slip away quietly? No chance. Michael will be hurting but most probably every single day he is gaining more fire and hunger to come back and shut everyone up. He is still playing extremely well and I would think another hot streak will return.

Phil Taylor was the greatest of all time and always will be. His greatest asset was the ability to reinvent himself, come back stronger, and constantly stick two fingers up at his critics who were always desperate to write him off. Now it’s MVG’s turn to do the same. Watching that story unfold is what makes sport so great.

My passion is reading books and listening to podcasts of sportsmen and women. I pick up little tricks and ideas. Giving your mindset an edge over an opponent in darts is worth two or three legs a match at least. These are elements I am working on every single day of the week. Plenty of people keep saying to me that 2020 was a great breakthrough year for me. Nonsense. It wasn’t a leap merely a small step of progress to where I wanted to get to.


Don’t get me wrong, I was delighted to win a European tournament. But for the level I am reaching for, that is just the start of the journey. Talk is very cheap in sport. It’s all about performance and the right conditioning before, during, and after the competition. I am consumed by the enjoyment of challenges put in front of me every day.

Of course while not in events, it has allowed some great progress in delivering the entire package off the oche. It’s awesome that I have got a new two-year partnership with Volcano Sports. I see this as something of a landmark deal in darts, I cannot think of many darts players who have secured this kind of partnership with a clothing manufacturer. I am also super happy that it is a South African company. Onwards and upwards. Devon.


Devon Petersen’s column appeared in full in Darts World 573:

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