By Mathew Guy Musladin, ABOM

What is cross-eye dominance? Cross-eye dominance occurs when a person's preferred hand coordination differs from that of their dominant eye. So, if somebody is right-handed and their left eye is dominant this is an example of cross-eye dominance. Obviously if somebody is left-handed and their right eye is dominant, it is the same thing. This issue has become a topic of regard in relation to target sports.

It may be surprising to learn that 18 percent of individuals have cross-eye dominant issues when participating in target sports according to an article called The Eyes Have It in a 2017 issue of Shooting Illustrated.

Archery and target shooting typically are top of mind subjects when one thinks of target sports. However, I happen to be an avid dart player. The topic of cross-eye dominance has become a subject of interest in the darting community. Of special relevance is that the greatest dart player of all time, 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor, happens to be cross-eye dominant. The King of Bling, Bobby George, is another well-known player who exhibits “mixed-handedness”. It's particularly interesting to watch videos of Bobby George playing, as his throwing style very clearly shows that he is right-handed and left-eye dominant.

Now, if you are into target sports and you're having issues with cross-eye dominance there are several training techniques that you can employ. But first, how do you determine eye dominance? There are several methods in this regard. For instance, if you're a dart player you can stand at the line called ‘the oche’ and point the finger of your dominant hand at the triple 20 with both eyes open. Close one eye. If the target doesn't move that's your dominant eye. If you close the other eye and the target moves, this confirms that this is your non-dominant eye. So whichever eye causes the target to jump determines your non-dominant eye and whichever eye maintains focus on the target is your dominant eye.

That being said, what can you do about it?

Well, here is the response I gave regarding this subject on a YouTube post for Bullshot Darts, “Vision isn't the normal issue with eye dominance. Dominance is about which eye’s image the brain uses to fuse the image from both eyes into a binocular image. Eye dominance is a brain issue, then. So, it’s not about the strength of each individual eye’s imaging power. In some cases, people have patched their dominant eye while performing certain tasks in order to train their brain to base the fusion on the other eye. This takes time and dedication. This rarely works, but it can happen. If you have concerns about your vision, you should make an appointment with your optometrist.”

There are other things that you can do also such as facing the plane of your face as flat to the plane of the target as possible instead of tilting your head one way or another to get an eye closer to the target. But the real way to deal with cross-eye dominance is summed up in one simple word. PRACTICE!

Practicing is the way to train your brain. But you must practice with proper technique in regard to the discipline that is being engaged in. Proper practice improves results. Isn’t this true in all areas of endeavor?

Considering cross-eye dominance can come into play (yes, pun intended!) when you are asking your client lifestyle questions. Remember to inquire about hobbies and the like. Perform a simple eye dominance test. You may just hit the target on the nose!