Determine Your Dominant Eye and Make It Work for Your Sport

March 8, 2011


One of the first things I do when working with an athlete is an eye dominance exercise. Your dominant eye is the one you tend to use when looking through a microscope, telescope or small hole. Just as you are right- or left-handed, you are also right- or left-eyed. You may be same side dominant [right-handed and right-eyed] or cross dominant [right-handed and left-eyed].

To determine your dominant eye, locate an object [like a light switch] on the opposite side of the room. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you with your palms facing away. Place your right hand over your left, leaving a one-inch-diameter hole above your thumbs [see photo]. Look through the hole at the selected object. Close one eye and then the other. The eye that sees the object through the hole is your dominant eye. [You can also do this exercise by looking into a mirror and seeing which eye peeks through the hole you make with your hands.]

The dominant eye processes information 14 to 21 milliseconds faster than the other eye. You use the dominant eye to determine where a ball, target or line of a putt is. Pro golf and baseball have a larger percentage of cross dominant players than the general population. This suggests it may be an advantage to have the dominant eye closer to the action.

For golfers, when putting, I usually recommend having the dominant eye over the back tip of the ball with the eyes directly over and square to the line of the putt. If you plumb bob—i.e., hold your putter as a vertical line to determine the green's slope—use the dominant eye and hold the putter shaft in the corresponding hand. For example, a right-handed, left-eyed golfer would hold the putter in the left hand and sight with the left eye.

For batters [especially same side dominant], I recommend a stance in which both eyes can see the pitcher when he releases the ball, so that the dominant eye is not blocked by the bridge of the nose. Remember, the dominant eye picks up information faster. You can check your position by getting in stance, closing the eye nearest the pitcher and seeing if your other eye is blocked or open to the pitcher’s release point.

In tennis, if you are cross dominant, be careful not to block the dominant eye from seeing the ball when you reach for a backhand shot. When your non-dominant eye takes over, it may not see the ball in the same position. This can explain some problems with backhand.

Cross dominant shooters can have problems sighting their weapons. They have the highest failure rates qualifying on the shooting ranges in the Armed Forces. I once had a patient who could not qualify for the police force, but after learning about eye dominance, he was able to qualify.

Knowing your dominant eye can improve your game regardless of the sport you play or your skill level. My next blog post will discuss ways to make your non-dominant eye stronger, so check back soon.

Photos:  weiunderpar.com, topendsports.com

Larry Lampert
- Dr. Larry Lampert is a board-certified optometric physician and a developmental/behavioral optometrist in Boca Raton, Fla. He is one of only 450 individuals in the...
Larry Lampert
- Dr. Larry Lampert is a board-certified optometric physician and a developmental/behavioral optometrist in Boca Raton, Fla. He is one of only 450 individuals in the...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 181,250
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,271,129
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,757
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,781
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,195,981
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,292
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,437
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,995

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

If you play basketball then chances are you struggle with your weak hand. No matter if you are in the 7th grade or the NBA you should constantly be...

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

The Football Route Tree, Explained

The Football Route Tree, Explained

Fastpitch Softball Hitting Drills for Beginners

Fastpitch Softball Hitting Drills for Beginners

Learn How to Shoot a Basketball with the BEEF Method

Learn How to Shoot a Basketball with the BEEF Method

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

Train for Hockey Off the Ice This Summer

Train for Hockey Off the Ice This Summer

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

How to Dribble a Basketball

How to Dribble a Basketball

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Basketball Speed Drills for Offense

Basketball Speed Drills for Offense

Become a Better Baserunner With This Agility Drill

Become a Better Baserunner With This Agility Drill

How to Shoot a Basketball Better

How to Shoot a Basketball Better

'Squash the Bug' and Other Softball Batting Tips That Don't Work

'Squash the Bug' and Other Softball Batting Tips That Don't Work

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Never Fumble Again: How to Carry a Football

Never Fumble Again: How to Carry a Football

How to Improve Your Basketball Skills in the Weight Room

How to Improve Your Basketball Skills in the Weight Room

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

How to Punt a Football: A Step-by-Step Photo Guide

How to Punt a Football: A Step-by-Step Photo Guide

How Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Chris Archer Got in All-Star Shape

How Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Chris Archer Got in All-Star Shape

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Learn from Steph Curry: Stay the Course to Beat the Defense

Learn from Steph Curry: Stay the Course to Beat the Defense

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

4 Tips for Coaching Low-Velocity Softball Pitchers

4 Tips for Coaching Low-Velocity Softball Pitchers

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

How Stephen Curry Became the Best Shooter in the NBA

How Stephen Curry Became the Best Shooter in the NBA

YardBarker