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Stephen Bunting: Cazoo Darts Masters winner on how hypnotist helped turned his form around | Darts News


New Masters champion Stephen Bunting opened up on how a hypnotist and sports psychologist stopped him from feeling “like everyone was laughing at me” and potentially quitting darts as he celebrated his first televised PDC title.

Bunting, the 2014 BDO world champion, beat Michael van Gerwen 11-7 in Milton Keynes on Sunday night to win his maiden TV event since joining the PDC a decade ago.

The 38-year-old said: “I was ready for walking away. It was awful, I was walking into events and felt like everyone was laughing at me.

“I felt like no matter what I was doing that everything was going wrong. I was taking it out on my family and locking myself away. I was depressed, it was an awful place to be.

“Thankfully the psychologist and hypnotist over the last few years have helped.

Bunting: I have stopped looking at the negatives

“I was against it at first but I thought I needed to do something and that was probably the last step that I could take and I went. He taught me how to think not just about darts, there’s other things than darts, your family, your home life.

“I know they say in Peter Pan you think about happy stuff and you can fly but it is the same sort of logic in darts. If you turn up and are feeling happy and good then you can win anything.

“The hypnotist helped me with my sleep. That’s the biggest thing for me, a one-hour session with a hypnotist is a four-hour REM state so it helps you to focus, it helps you look at all the positives and stop looking at the negatives.

Stephen Bunting beat Michael van Gerwen to claim his first televised PDC title
Image:
Bunting beat Michael van Gerwen 11-7 to claim his first televised PDC title

“Your mind is 95 per cent negative so sometimes every one of us will be in the negative side of the brain without even knowing it. I don’t think there are many players who have dipped into that side.

“To have that extra one or two per cent that helps. As you can see I am a champion now, so I’m just happy.”

‘I might give trophy back if Klopp stays at Liverpool!’

Bunting also said he would consider giving his trophy back if it meant Jurgen Klopp decided to stay at his beloved Liverpool, with the German recently announcing he would leave Anfield at the end of the season.

“I might give my trophy, but I wouldn’t give my title back,” Bunting added. “I actually felt like I lost a family member. I was away in Ireland when I heard the news and I was absolutely devastated.

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After the announcement that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will leave the club at the end of the season, here’s a look at some of his best moments in press conferences

“I don’t think there is a manager in the world that could take his place. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Liverpool. Even the Premier League will miss him.

“I am going to go to the [Carabao Cup final against Chelsea]. I have got a ticket for the last game of the season, so I will be able to pay my respects and see him off. It is emotional for any Liverpool fan.”

Watch Night Two of Premier League Darts 2024, from the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, live on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm on Thursday or stream with NOW.

A live blog will also run on skysports.com and the Sky Sports App.

Premier League Darts – Night Two in Berlin

Nathan Aspinall vs Michael van Gerwen
Michael Smith vs Gerwyn Price
Luke Littler vs Rob Cross
Luke Humphries vs Peter Wright

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