|Interview Paul Nicholson||Back||1||2||3||4||5||Forward|
How is your relationship with Simon Whitlock? Are you more rivals or are you friends? Who do you think is the better player - you or Simon?
Simon and I get on extremely well and contrary to reports on forums we've never had any arguments and we have a lot of respect for each other's game. We'd never even played each other until August, and it's fair to say he got the best of me that week, but it would be wrong to say who is the better player. I am higher ranked in the world, but that's because I have the luxury of playing the Pro Tour more than him. I wish him all the best in his endeavours because he is an exceptional talent.
A lot of people were rather astonished from your first appearance on the stage - you didn´t seem to be nervous or unsure at all. Was that true?
I was quaking in my boots! But as soon as it was 'game on', I knew what I had to do and my first three darts on TV were a 180. I knew then that I could do it and had to keep it going.
Would you say you´ve naturally got a lot of mental strength? Or do you do some kind of mental or emotional practice?
I do now, because I've had a lot of personal trauma in the last couple of years and I've had to get mentally strong. In the lead-up to darts matches, the use of music does help me with my mental strength.
How much and what do you practice? Have you some kind of practice schedule?
I tend to go between 20 and 25 hours a week, not including Pro Tour events. That also doesn't include fitness work, which is between six and ten hours a week.
How did you manage to practice while you stayed over in the UK?
I've got a lot of friends in the north-east who were willing to practice with me, and playing local competitions does assist you with match practice. In the north-east where I'm from it's a hotbed of talent. The times when I need to get focused, I tend to practice in the house on my own.