To reach your potential in any “shooting” sport your eye dominance must take precedence over your dominant handedness. Do not assume your eye dominance is your hand dominance. If you do not know your eye dominance, read my earlier blog about how to check. Samantha asked….
I took archery lessons a few years ago. I own three bows, a compound, re-curve, and a crossbow. But one thing I never thought about until after I stopped taking lessons was eye dominance. I soon found out that I was left eye dominant, but I am right handed. So I have been having trouble hitting the target since my dominant eye is not the one being used to aim. This has been making it difficult and a little frustrating. I have tried left handed bows so my dominant eye was focused down the arrow shaft but it made it even harder to steady and was uncomfortable. Do you have any suggestions on things that could help my aiming? I do not wear eye glasses or contacts. I have had my eyes checked very recently and was told that I had great vision.
If your hand and eye dominance match, you are very lucky. It is important to note that level of dominance can vary from person to person. For some archers it is very difficult to tell the difference and in some cases your eye dominance can change, although that usually happens at a young age. My little brother’s eye dominance changed when he was 8 after a year of archery lessons with a right-handed bow.
For those archers that end up cross-dominant (left–eye dominant and right-handed or vice versa), it can be extremely frustrating, especially for those who take it up later in life since you have already developed your dominant handedness.
Some archers try to force the eye to match their handedness and end-up very frustrated. Trust me you will be far more frustrated trying to force your eye dominance than training your body to do the tasks with your other hand. It may start out unsteady and uncomfortable but it will get better with practice.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
To help train your body to shoot with your dominant eye, you need to add extra practice using resistance bands to develop the muscles. Also If your eye-dominance is closer to the middle or you have switched recently; shoot with an eye-patch on the less dominant eye to help train yourself to aim using the dominant eye.
The key to achieving success is purely perseverance. Although it can be costly to purchase another bow, you need to match your shooting to your eye dominance. My coach was already a successful archer before she discovered her eye dominance was incorrect. She changed and became even more accomplished and never regrets the work she had to do.
A 4 a.m. wake-up call followed by the first session of competition for the Canadian archer, and then the Opening Ceremony.
Turns out it wasn’t just a long one.
“It was,” a grinning Duenas said, “the greatest day of my life.”….
Before I was in archery, before I competed internationally in robotics, I was a Girl Guide. Girl Guides is a parallel movement to Boy Scout for girls in 1909, Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting decided that girls should not be part of Scouts. Therefore, in 1910 Robert’s wife Agnes started the Girls Guides, named after a famous frontier regiment in the British Indian Army, the Corps of Guides. Guiding makes a positive difference in the life of every girl and woman who experiences Guiding so she can contribute responsibly to her communities.
The Girl Guides of Canada’s goal is to develop confident, courageous and resourceful girls who will make a difference in the world. Girl Guide values are
- I Promise to do my best,
- To be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada
- I will take action for a better world
- And respect the Guiding Law
The Guiding Law challenges me to:
- be honest and trustworthy
- use my resources wisely
- respect myself and others
- recognize and use my talents and abilities
- protect our common environment
- live with courage and strength
- share in the sisterhood of Guiding.
My introduction to Girl Guides at a young age has helped develop me into the person I am today. I started as a Spark, continued through Brownies, until I graduated from Guides at which point I had collected two full badge scarves and the coveted Lady Baden Powell award.
This past weekend, I was invited to a Girl Guide camp to introduce archery to a group of Girl Guides. It was a real trip down memory lane and it was a lot of fun to see young girls enjoying the same experience that I did when I was young. I remember the Saturday afternoon events at camp were always my highlight of the weekend. This time, it was my turn to make it the best part of the whole day and teach this new group of guides how to shoot a bow and arrow. Everyone loved it, so much so I actually had a little 9 year old girl come up to me and hug me telling me how much she loved it.
To witness someone enjoy the sport and love it as much as you is the best part of being a coach. Being a part of the start of a new dream in another person’s life is so rewarding, and gives you the unwavering desire to do it over and over again.
Without people willing to help develop new dreams in kids, there may not be as many adults with successful dreams.
This past weekend, I participated in the Ontario Spring Classic held at Woodlands Park in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto just happened to have very hot and humid weather during the tournament.
Heat and humidity can affect your arrow flight. Humidity can cause your arrows not to spin as quickly leaving your shot grouping lower since they do not gain as much distance. Heat affects the archer too with hot and sweaty hands. Sweaty hands affect your grip on the bow possibly changing your point of power and the heat causing your hands to swell which in turn affects your feel for the string in your fingers. Check out my previous blog about other effects of various weather conditions.
Weather is a great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. -Terri Guillemets
This year I packed baby powder, something that every competitive archer needs to bring with them to every outdoor competition.
A little baby powder on your…
…inside of your string arm keeps your arm from becoming too sticky keeping your draw and release smooth.
…bow hand helps deal with sweaty hands that can affect your grip of the bow
… string fingers to allow your fingers to have a good grip on your finger tab making it easier to control your drawing and releasing of the string cleanly.
…cheek bones under your eyes, if you wear glasses or sunglasses, will help prevent them from fogging up.
The Ontario Spring Classic is a two-day tournament with high-performance archers including past, current and future Olympians hopefuls with the winner in each category receiving $500.00 prize money. This open tournament is a great way to measure your development against some of the best archers in Canada. If you are ready to take the next step in competition in Canada, I suggest you plan on attending next year and pack a little baby powder just in case.