Eye dominance and the Modern Archery Technique – Part 2

There are different ways to test the eye dominance. The main one, or at least the one we used the most at the range is the (modified) Miles test.

For the (modified) Miles test, you put two hands together and create a small opening between them. Then with both eyes open, you look through that whole at an object far away. Then, still keeping both eyes open, while looking at the object, bring the hands towards your face. The hole between the hands will end in front of the dominant eye.

When I am teaching, I then ask my students to repeat the exercise, but this time they have to try to look through the other eye (non-dominant eye). You either have to move your head, or your hands still end in front of the non dominant eye.

If you are trying to check somebody for eye dominance, and you are not sure that they are being completely truthful, (see my previous post on eye dominance), there is a simple trick you can do with the modified Miles test. Just ask them to perform the technique while looking at your nose. You will see their dominant eye through the hole between their hands.

Some people like to use the Porta test. You know, the one where you extend your arm and cover a far away object with your thumb or index and then you close one eye or the other to see in which direction the object moves… Personally, I don´t like it. People begin to blink like crazy to then declare that they see two fingers and can´t decide which one to follow…

There is another technique, recommended to me by David Chan. He is a USA Archery Certified Regional Coach at Golden Gate Joad in San Francisco. He uses the cardboard tubes from kitchen towels. He gives them to their students, and ask them to look through them. In most cases the tube goes to the dominant eye. Give it a try, it works 😀

One of this...

Another simple technique is asking your students to point to your nose with their index fingers. The funny thing is that their dominant hand will come up pointing, and the dominant eye will in the line formed between the index finger pointing and your nose.

If you have any other ideas or other methods for finding the dominant eye, let me know.

In the meantime, have fun and stay safe.


About losangelesarchery

Alejandro is an Archery Instructor in LA. Coaches & Shoots at Rancho Park Archery Range.
This entry was posted in People, Rancho Park Archery Range, Safety, sight, Training, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Eye dominance and the Modern Archery Technique – Part 2

  1. Pat says:

    so when you are shooting should your dominate eye be further away from the target? I’ve shot in the past and have a dominate left eye but my bow arm was my left arm making my left dominate eye closer than my right eye.

    • Hi Pat,
      If you are right eye dominant, you are holding the bow with your left hand and pulling the string with your right. Your bow arm and your bow foot (your left) will point to the target. Your right eye will be aligned with the sights and the target. If you are left eye dominant the positions will switch.

  2. wt says:

    Hi, nice article about a possibly tricky problem. What do you think I should do, if I shot two years now right handed (3D competing, stringwalking with recurve bow), and discover now, that I’m left eye dominant? What makes the situation tricky, is, that I write with left hand, but do all phisical work right handed. All tests show left-eye dominance, the point-to-nose test shows left hand dominance. Should I re-learn or just leave it and aim with my left eye closed as until now?

    • At this point is a toss. You can continue shooting cross-dominant closing your dominant eye and continue shot right handed or change to your dominant side.
      Preferably you want to follow your eye dominance, but if you have been shooting for a while, it might not be worth it.

  3. Hi, No, it is not uncommon. I am cross dominant myself, right handed and left eye dominant. You always want to follow your dominant eye. Makes your life easier…and no, it is not genetic either, it’s just your brain messing with you 😀

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