Belfast Telegraph

Bullseye! How a Belfast hypnotherapist turned Scott into darts champion

By Amanda Ferguson

He was once known as a mild-mannered gentleman - now he's a fired-up world champ.

Darts player Scott Mitchell clinched his first BDO world title in style after turning to a sports hypnotherapist from Belfast for help in turning into a mean throwing machine.

The 44-year-old genial Englishman, known as Scotty Dog, has been working with Stephen McKibben for 18 months to increase his confidence and gain focus and composure when competing.

And clearly it was working at the Lakeside on Sunday night.

Ahead of Mitchell's thrilling 7-6 final win over three-time winner Martin 'Wolfie' Adams, Mitchell had a 45-minute phone consultation with the Ballygowan-based sports hypnotherapist to ensure he was the "boss on the oche".

Mitchell was on fire in the final, beating Adams in emphatic style.

The landscape gardener from the New Forest won £100,000 which is said to be going toward a new tractor for his family farm.

Last night, Stephen McKibben of Assured Hypnotherapy Clinic explained to the Belfast Telegraph how he has turned Mitchell from the 'mild-mannered gentleman' everyone is familiar with into the "boss on the oche" who takes no prisoners.

"I've been working with Scott for about 18 months," he said. "I do personalised recordings for Scott and he phones me before games.

"He called me before the final and we chatted for about 45 minutes.

"He told me he wanted to be in control and boss the game.

"I changed him from the mild-mannered, nice, total gentleman he is to be the boss on the oche." Stephen has worked with darts players such as Tony O'Shea, Darryl Fitton, Ross Montgomery and Gary Robson, plus other clients across the UK and Ireland including snooker players, kickboxers, mixed martial arts fighters and even a PGA golfer.

"Lots of people use sport psychology and hypnotherapy to help with consistency," he said.

"I relax people and tap into their active, conscious brain.

"All the great sports people have a really strong mental game."

Since Mitchell's win, Stephen has been inundated with requests for help from other darts players and also members of the public.

"The response has been fantastic," he said.

"Scott called me after the win and he is so pleased."

You can follow Stephen on Twitter @hypnoman1 and for more about his work visit

5 ways to be boss at the oche... or anywhere else

1 Slow your breathing down.

2 Play the board not the player. A lot of people get overwrought by the occasion. Everybody is equal. You both have three darts.

3 Focus and compose yourself.

4 Make every moment count. Every dart is an important dart. Each moment is the most important one.

5 Ignore your opponent's scores. Forget about the competition. Concentrate on your own score.

Belfast Telegraph


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