Every archer’s ultimate aim is to improve their shooting accuracy. However, while you put in a significant amount of effort to hone your skills and improve your shots, some fundamentals also need to be covered for you to truly become an expert marksman.
Eye dominance is one critical factor that can significantly contribute to an archer’s shooting accuracy. Understanding it will go a long way in helping you to master your bow and arrow - which, in turn, will significantly bolster your accuracy while in the field.
So, what is eye dominance, and how do you determine your dominant eye? We’ll examine all you need to know below.
Eye Dominance: What Is It?
Eye dominance and natural handedness are pretty similar. Just like most people preferably use one hand over the other to carry out tasks, most of us also have an eye that works harder than the other. Even though we use both eyes to see, the dominant eye naturally focuses on an object or aiming point.
Eye dominance is a critical piece of shooting accuracy that every archer should be aware of as it affects how you shoot. Shooting with your non-dominant eye can make archery seem extremely frustrating and more challenging than it should. This is more reason you should determine your dominant eye and make necessary adjustments to your shooting techniques.
Hand-Eye Coordination Isn’t A Given
For most archers, the dominant eye is usually the same as the dominant hand. Studies have shown that 90% of humans are right-handed, and ordinarily, that should mean most archers will also be right-eye dominant. However, this isn’t always the case. While most people are right-hand dominant, it has been found that only about 70% of people are right-eye dominant. This means there are people whose dominant hand and dominant eye do not match.
Then, there are ambidextrous people - basically, people comfortable using both hands. Even if you don’t have a problem with hand dominance, you should still find out which eye naturally improves your shooting aim.
Determining Eye Dominance For Shooting Accuracy
Whether you’re ambidextrous or not, you now understand the importance of eye dominance to an archer. Fortunately, there’s an easy test you can perform to find your dominant eye.
- Find an object to aim and stand some feet away from it
- With both eyes open, point towards the object
- Next, close one eye. Repeat the process with the other eye closed
- You’ll find that your finger stays on the object with one eye closed while it moves when the other eye is closed. Your dominant eye is that one that was open when your finger didn’t move.
Another eye dominance test involves forming a circle with your hands. You might want to check that out as well to confirm the result from the first test.
If the test shows that your dominant eye and dominant hand aren’t the same, then you can make some quick adjustments to improve your shooting accuracy.
First, you could find a bow that matches your eye dominance and try to retrain yourself to shoot with your non-dominant hand. This will take a lot of time and relearning, but it is not impossible. While it may not be the best option for everyone, you may need to consider this route if your eye dominance issues are severe.
Another option worth considering is using an eye patch. If you’re already comfortable with your non-dominant eye or are ambidextrous, you could use an eye patch over the dominant eye so the non-dominant eye can lead the way. The eye patch won’t block out all the light but will block out just enough to cause your non-dominant eye to take over, remedying the eye dominance issue. In the long run, your non-dominant eye muscles will get stronger, and your muscle memory will take over.
Lastly, you could close the dominant eye and let the non-dominant eye do the aiming. For most archers, this is the easiest option and, sometimes, has the best results.
Although these methods reduce your field of view while shooting, they will help you deliver more accurate and repeatable shots as you aim to hit your target.
The Eyes Don’t Lie
Eye dominance is quite important for you as an archer. One of the most critical parts of shooting is finding a natural fit with your bow, and understanding your dominant eye helps you to achieve that much faster.
Now, having successfully determined your dominant eye and identified the necessary adjustments you’d be making with your shooting techniques, we believe you are well on your way to optimizing your shooting accuracy and improving your overall archery experience.