Q&A: Should I shoot with both eyes open?

Roy Rose discusses eye focus and whether you should be shooting with both eyes open

There is a pertinent case for shooting with both eyes open, as regards having optimum ‘seeing potential’, and less muscle tension in the face

Q. It seems that most elite archers shoot with both eyes open, but it doesn’t work for me as I keep seeing multiple target images.  Is there a solution, or do I resort to just closing one eye?

A. Yes, a majority of the best now operate with both eyes open, but a good number also score just as successfully with one shut.  There are however, solutions to the situation you’ve outlined. You may have seen top shooters blinking at the point of aim and this refocus can provide a clear target picture, but once again this doesn’t necessarily work for all archers.

Like you, I shoot with one eye shut but when I’ve tried to keep both open at close range in practice, I have occasionally obtained a single positive image, and I really felt I was more relaxed and processed better.  So recently, I tried a patch over the left glasses lens (I’m a right-handed shooter) and this has allowed me to execute with both eyes open, as the patch negates multiple images.  Once again, I have really experienced a more relaxed execution process.

There is a pertinent case for shooting with both eyes open, as regards having optimum ‘seeing potential’, and less muscle tension in the face.

The number of “one-eyed” successful elite archers does indicate that equal accuracy is obviously obtainable, so it is not necessarily an impediment to good scores. So try a patch solution and see if, like me, you obtain a more relaxed execution. If not, do not be overly concerned to stick with closing one eye. The only solution I wouldn’t recommend is closing both eyes!


This article originally appeared in the issue 124 of Bow International magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

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