What to do when your Dominant Eye Differs from your Dominant Hand

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“Cross dominance” is more than just winning first place in a drag show.  It’s what you call it when your dominant hand is on the opposite side of your dominant eye, which can be a real hassle for shooters.

Anyone in a sport that requires aim should know that using both eyes (binocular vision) creates an effect called parallax, or the change in the perceived location of your target when seen along two lines of sight.  Shooters will naturally rely more on their dominant eye to properly acquire a target.

However, if you’re cross-dominant, aiming might be a challenge for you.

Finding your good eye: Testing for eye dominance

According to Positive Shooting, like 30 percent of all men (the numbers are a little more complex for women), my dominant hand and dominant eye don’t match.  I write, throw, shoot and do damn near every other task with my right hand.  But when I test for eye dominance, my left eye is the clear winner.

How do you test which eye is dominant?  With both eyes open, hold out your finger and line it up with an object.  I’ll use the neck of my guitar for this example.  With both eyes open and your finger aligned with the guitar (or whatever), close your right eye.  If your finger is still aligned with only your left eye open, you’re left eye dominant.

The author would be left eye dominant in this example.

The author would be left eye dominant in this example.

Now close your left eye and open your right.  If you’re left eye dominant, your finger will no longer be lined up with the object (it’s worth noting that a small percentage of the population has no ocular dominance, meaning both eyes are equally strong and neither is favored. Also, dominance is not always absolute.

If your dominant hand and your dominant eye match, you’ve got no worries in the shooting department.  But if, like me, you’re cross dominant, there are some things you’re going to want to keep in mind.

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