2024 UK Open: Dmitri Van den Bergh and His On-Stage Battle with Mental Health

Dimitri Van den Bergh secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Ladbrokes UK Open with a gripping sixth-round win over Jonny Clayton. Van den Bergh's triumph highlighted the pivotal role of sports psychology in his career, emphasising the transformative impact of seeking professional support. His success serves as a testament to the power of mental resilience on the darts stage, inspiring athletes worldwide to prioritise their mental well-being.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-03-02

Wade McElwain

6 minutes read

Dimi Dances into the Quarters

Belgian darts sensation Dmitri Van den Bergh showcased both his skill and mental resilience as he secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Ladbrokes UK Open at Butlin’s Minehead. In a gripping sixth-round match on the mainstage, Van den Bergh faced off against Welsh contender Jonny Clayton, setting the stage for a thrilling encounter.


Van den Bergh wasted no time asserting his dominance, surging to a convincing early lead against Clayton. Despite Clayton's valiant efforts to stage a comeback, the Belgian remained composed and focused, utilising his newfound mental edge to maintain his advantage on the scoreboard. Ultimately, Van den Bergh's determination paid off as he danced over the finish line, clinching victory with a remarkable 10-7 score line.

All Alone on the Oche

Reflecting on his mental journey and the importance of sports psychology in his career, Van den Bergh emphasised the solitary nature of darts and the immense pressure it entails. "As soon as you get on that stage, it’s the only place in the world where you’re alone," he remarked post-match with SportsBoom.com, highlighting the isolating nature of the sport. Recognising the need to overcome stage fright and mental hurdles, Van den Bergh turned to a sports psychologist for guidance.


"I was always against it on the stage, and thought I cannot do it by myself anymore," Van den Bergh admitted. "When I’m not strong enough to bring myself up and compete, my sports psychologist helps me with that. I now feel different, think different and now play different.” Through the support and strategies provided by his psychologist, Van den Bergh has experienced a transformative shift in mindset, enabling him to approach the game with newfound confidence and clarity.



Image credit: PDC

The Role of Sports Psychology

Van den Bergh credits his sports psychologist for providing invaluable support in navigating the pressures of professional darts while maintaining balance in his personal life. Through their guidance, Van den Bergh has learned to focus solely on his performance on the stage, setting aside external distractions and pressures. "We all want to play as good as we can and win everything, but you can’t ever think further than that," Van den Bergh acknowledges. 


By working with his psychologist, he has honed the ability to compartmentalise, allowing him to immerse himself fully in the game without being weighed down by outside concerns. This mental shift has not only alleviated the pressure on his shoulders but has also empowered him to achieve a healthier balance between his career and personal well-being, ensuring sustained success both on and off the stage.

A Wider Impact on the Sport

“Walking up to the board puts you under the biggest amount of pressure you can imagine, but now I am happy with it," Van den Bergh explained, underscoring the profound impact of his mental health journey on his performance. Encouraging other players to consider seeking similar support, Van den Bergh highlighted the success stories of fellow athletes who have benefited from sports psychology. “It’s not just me finding a sports psychologist has helped. Gabriel Clemens reached the World Championship semi-finals because he was working with a psychologist, and Nathan Aspinall won the World Matchplay too”, he added. 

Van den Bergh’s Newfound Mental Edge

As the Dreammaker progresses further in the tournament, his triumph serves as a testament to the power of mental resilience and the invaluable role of sports psychology in achieving peak performance on the darts stage. With his newfound mental edge, Van den Bergh stands poised to continue his impressive journey at the 2024 Ladbrokes UK Open, inspiring athletes around the world to prioritise their mental well-being in pursuit of excellence. 

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.