Need To Find Out Which Eye Is Your Strongest? This Eye Dominance Guide Will Help!
The aim of this guide is to teach you how to find out which of your eyes is the most dominant. This is so you can make sure you are able to aim better and therefore make you a better archer. If you struggle to aim then you will find it harder to hit the target.
What is Eye Dominance?
Eye dominance is measuring which one of your two eyes is stronger than the other. It is often also known as Eye Preference. You only use one of your eyes to actually focus on objects, it is the dominant eye that does just that.
It works very similar to knowing which hand is your strongest, whether it’s your left or your right hand. If you are right handed you will instinctively use that hand to perform tasks.
You might think i’m right handed so therefore my right eye is stronger, this is not the case. Your dominant eye is not always the same. You are going to be using your dominant eye to aim, so as an archer it’s very important to know which is which.
Why is Eye Dominance Important In Archery?
As I said you use your dominant eye to aim, so when you have a bow and arrow in your hand and you are peering down at the target…You NEED to make sure you are using your dominant eye, it can really impact your ability.
When I first experienced archery it was at an activity centre. I was asked if I was left or right handed and was passed the bow (it was a right handed bow). I would then close my left eye and fire. I did okay but didn’t get anywhere near the centre. I still enjoyed it alot!
A few years later I went to a different activity centre whilst on holiday and again did some archery. Again I used a right handed bow and closed my left hand, a little into the session the instructor asked me to do a test to see which is my dominate eye. It turns out that my left eye is actually stronger, he soon gave me a left handed bow and I was actually doing pretty good.
By learning which eye was more dominate, I was able to fire at the target much better and this makes it very important. Learning which is your strongest eye is important, regardless on which types of bow you decide to use.
So let’s learn how to determine which is your dominant eye…
Tests To Show You How To Determine Eye Dominance
There are two different tests that you can do, either one of them will do.
1. Miles Test
The first is known as the miles test and is the one that I did first to determine my strongest eye.
- Create a diamond with your hands by putting your fingers over each over and stretching your thumbs out so they are touching.
- Place the gap between your hands in front of an object so that the object is in the centre.
- Close your left eye without moving the your hands
- Open your left eye and then close your right.
When you close your right eye and the object moves then you would be left eye dominant. If however you close your left eye and the object moves then you are right eye dominant. There are some cases when both eyes are just as strong as each other, if this is the case then you would go by what hand strength you have.
The porta test is a little better to go with as the above test can be influenced because of using both hands and the risk of moving them. This test only requires you to use your thumb.
- Straighten your arm and cover an object in the distance with your thumb.
- Close your right eye and if the object is no longer covered then your left eye dominant.
- If your left eye is closed and the object is no longer covered then your right eye dominant
How Will This Relate To Archery?
You want your dominant eye to be able to line up with the bow string, shaft of the arrow and the target. This will help to increase the chance of you hitting your target.
If you are right handed and your right eye is the strongest then when you close your left eye, you should be able to aim perfectly. The same is said if your left handed then you would use your left eye to aim and keep the right eye closed.
This is not always the case, as I said my strongest eye is the left whereas I am actually right handed. This is called Cross Dominance and is actually more common than you would think.
This might become a problem if you are left handed but close your left eye because your right hand is stronger, or the other way round if you are right handed and your left eye is stronger. The problem with this is you will need to decide on if you shoot with your weak eye or your weak hand.
So What SHOULD You Do?
As you are new to archery and as most experts suggest, you would be better to go with whatever eye is the strongest. Therefore if you left eye is the strongest then you should go for a left handed bow, even if you are right handed.
It is much easier to learn how to shoot from another hand than it is to train your less dominant eye to hit the target. As you become more experience, you could train with the other hand and be able to fire a bow and arrow with both your left and right hand.
Since a big part of archery is aiming at your target, it does make sense to go with the eye that is the strongest. It sure helped me hit the target more often! I also didn’t have any problems getting used to a left handed bow, even though I am right handed.
If you are looking for more guides to help you get started in archery, you might want to check out the archery 101 section. I have also written several guides that are on specific bow types, the first is on a bow known as a recurve (https://thearcheryguide.com/best-recurve-bows/), secound is the compound bow and finally the crossbow. Each has its own pros and cons.
Adam has been enjoying the sport of archery since 2010, intially getting the bug for it whilst on holiday and trying it out in an activity center. Since his very first eperiance of holding a bow and arrow, he fell in love with it and can now be found at the range or in the great outdoors as often as possible.
His main go to bow type is a recurve but he loves shooting from compounds as well. Adam created The Archery Guide as a way to help others get into this great activity and to share his knowledge/experiences.