Determine Your Dominant Eye and Make It Work for Your Sport | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

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...
Must See
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,218,796
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,168,742
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 3,066,897

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: Duke University Views: 217,694
Eastbay: It Begins Now Views: 70,986
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 118,412
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

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Specialize in one sport (< - just added this to pass SEO). I work with a wide variety of athletes on a daily basis. And while I've worked with...

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

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

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

How to Recover After Getting Hit by a Pitch

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

Tony Wroten's Lethal Crossover Leaves Defender in the Dust

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Top 3 Hockey Training Mistakes

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time