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cross dominance poll
Poll ended at Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:14 pm
My eye dominance is strong and I shoot from that side. 28%  28%  [ 5 ]
I shoot cross dominantly with a dot on my dominant eye. 28%  28%  [ 5 ]
I shoot cross dominantly and close my dominant eye. 17%  17%  [ 3 ]
I have succesfully switched sides. 22%  22%  [ 4 ]
Other 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 18
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 Post subject: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:14 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:11 am
Posts: 3997
Location: Manhattan Kansas
When I started teaching novice shotgunners in the early 1980s I was intrigued by eye dominance issues. I started keeping track of the frequency of cross dominant shooters and how they reacted to switching sides. After three years and a follow up on several of the kids we switched, a pattern started to emerge.

Here are the things we saw and learned.
1. The earlier you catch cross dominant shooting the easier it is to switch the person to shoot from the correct side. Kids who have had some success shooting will be more reluctant to switch and it may be best to uncover the problem with crossing shots and then try to switch them.
2. Handedness and eye dominance do not always coincide.
3. The degree of dominance of the dominant eye varies and if it is weak, it can switch on different shots. It can also weaken or switch with fatigue or age
4. Novice shooters are often uncomfortable and awkward as they hold and mount a shotgun as they learn to shoot, and when you try to switch them to the other side those feelings come back and are increased. <Those who want to help a person switch should close their dominant eye and take some targets from the wrong side so they understand how bad it feels.>
5. The best way to work through these awkward feelings are mounting and swinging drills from the correct side.
6. For those who cannot switch sides, cross dominant shooting can be managed by closing the dominant eye, using a dot or something else to block the dominant eye's view of the end of the barrel. Of these methods, the dot on the shooting glasses is probably the best solution we have at this time.

The NRA Shotgun training program and the 4H shooting sports shotgun instructor program both start off with testing eye dominance. The NSCA level 1 training program assumes that the students are shooting from the corect side and gives the instructors information on how to look for cross dominant shooting and correct it.

When you find a cross dominant shooter switching them to the dominant side should be considered. If the decision is to switch, you should take them back to the basics of shotgunning. For me that means going back to chapter one in Bob Brister's Shotgunning the Art and Science. Brister taught a neighbor kid how to shoot a shotgun in a few weeks and started the instruction with a BB gun and ping pong ball drill that taught mounting and pointing the gun. This drill is fun and will remove some of the awkward feelings.

Remove the front and rear sights from a BB gun; put the ping pong ball on a lawn where you are shooting in a safe direction. Have your student step back about ten feet from the ball and mount and fire as the gun comes to their face and shoulder. They can tell when they hit the ball and they can see where they miss in the grass. They should do this with out aiming and with both eyes open. When this gets boring add another ball and call right or left to them before they mount. Lots of reps at this drill will make them comfortable mounting to the correct shoulder.

Another drill that will help is to work on the gun mount and swing. If it is safe to do so, put the gun (unloaded of course) in a central place in the home and each time the students walk past the gun they should pick it up check to see it is not loaded, get in there shooting stance to shoot from the dominat eye side. They should mount on the corner of the room at the ceiling wall junction and swing smoothly toward the middle of the room. Do that five times and then step toward the other corner and mount and swing the other direction.

One other thing that should be done is to learn to load and unload using dummy shells before going to the range. In talking to kids that had been succesful changing sides, they all mentioned how awkward they were loading and unloading the gun. Learning this before they have an audience is a good idea.

Shooting with both eyes open and from the dominant eye side is better in the long run for most shooters. Switching is not easy but it is clearly the best path with young shooters. shooters with center vision and long shooting histories should probably use the dot on their shooting glasses.



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Spencer

"A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers." Aldo Leopold


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:51 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:59 pm
Posts: 182
Good Post,

I'm cross dominant (Right handed and Left eyed) and attempted to shot right-handed for my first two years of semi-serious shotgunning. Not wanting to change sides, I tried everything to make it work including the tape dots, the "wink" procedure, one-eyed shooting, the "tube" EZ-Hit sights (which never made sense as I wasn't supposed to be looking at the bead in the first place). I never really achieved great success in the area of consistency. Sure, I occasionally shot in the low twenties in skeet and bunker, but my scores bounced wildly up and down from round to round. Then one day at the range, I decided I was going to give switching sides a real effort. After two round of wobble trap and one round of skeet the awkwardness had gone away and I wasn't going back. Consequently, my consistency greatly increased and my average scores began to rise as I could concentrate on addressing the shooting inadequacies without worrying about my cross dominance.

Interestingly, I'd known about my cross dominance for many years before I started shotgunning from rifle shooting and I always knew I could shoot a rifle equally well from either shoulder. I think knowing I could shoot a rifle right-handed made me not want to switch shoulders more than if I had started out "fresh" into shotgunning. Either way I'm glad I made the switch and always encourage people with cross dominance issues to give switching shoulders a conscious effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:32 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:21 am
Posts: 3138
Location: South Texas
I coach a 4H shotgun team and am a Level II skeet instructor. With the kids, I simply give them no choice, you will shoot with the dominate eye over the gun. I simply refuse to waste my time and their Dad's money to get marginal results. Oh, they whine and carry on, but they either do it or they don't shoot. It is simply the best solution, both in the short and long run.

We have a kid who we started 3 years ago....a righty who is left eyed. He would not make the switch and as a result had never been successful even though no kid out there has more try than he does. It was just sad to watch. He was my first "do it or get out" kid....thank goodness he loves to shoot. Last year after a rough start, he came on like gangbusters....this year he is the junior kid to beat. What bothers me the most was the waste of time, both his and mine! With brand new shooters, there is really no good reason to do it any other way.

Now with adults who are paying me money, I will tell them the same thing. If they do it, great, if they don't or won't, at least I'm getting paid for my time....which all goes back into my 4H program.

This year we tried the BB gun program, with mixed results. Some kids did real well, some did not. I feel those results stemmed from the effort the kids actually put into the practice time and how involved their parents became....you get out what you put in. This year we sent them home with the BB gun....next year I want to try a much more structured approach. There is value in BB gun training.

The bigger problem for me is with the kid who has weak or central eye dominance. It's hard to detect at times and you never know when it's going to crop up. At least these shooters all seem to be able to work well with a small dot and don't lose a whole lot of vision.

_________________
Grand Dad called me Mismost because I did. I don't anymore.
Good Shooting!


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:29 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:11 am
Posts: 3997
Location: Manhattan Kansas
Missmost:
We are pretty much on the same page. Soon after I took the NRA course I fell in with a great group of 4H shotgun instructors and most of us have been working together since 1983.

The rewards for teaching novice shooters are those priceless moments when kids break a tough target or shoot a 25. The only thing close is teaching a new SC shooter to break teal and chandelles.

_________________
Spencer

"A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers." Aldo Leopold


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:11 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:02 pm
Posts: 3
FOR SALE!!! Perazzi MX8 Sporting O/U shotgun for sale with a custom dog-leg stock for right hand shooters with left-eye dominance. Asking $8,000.00 For further questions, call me @ my store LI Outdoorsman 516-678-5554, located in Long Island, NY.
I am currently working on getting some pictures posted up.


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:53 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 2389
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
You have some good points here, but it is only part of the story.
You did not have a category for those who shoot cross dominant
and just leave both eyes open. Also some fit more than one
category of the poll. Some have switched sides and also still
fit into other categories, like they may now shoot from the
wrong side, after switching. I actually switched to cross dominant
shooting after doing from the correct side for years once upon
a time, and before that I had switched the other way. The
only way I could really answer this is to answer it as other,
because none of the categories actually fit me. I noticed some
others also fit this category, and I wonder why. Could they
actually be folks like me who can shoot from either side with
no problem, and with both eyes open. Also the poll ended before
I responded and I could not enter my answer, which would have
been "other" if I had taken part in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:15 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:13 am
Posts: 63
Location: North Carolina
I'm left handed, but shoot right handed, and have 'some' cross dominance issues. But when I try mounting drills from my left shoulder (which felt easier than expected) then my right eye wants to be dominant. Furthermore, I can't wink with my right eye, only my left.

I also bat and throw right handed, and played tennis from either side. So I'm guessing there's no hope for me, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:18 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:26 am
Posts: 243
Location: Ocean Pines Md.
Cliff, there is plenty of hope. I am pretty ambidextrous also shoot LH and have a "slight" RH eye dominance issue.(I do have a LH gun set up "fitted" for me). Tried the dot,tape smudge etc and found it to distracting for me(I was "thinking about it" stepping into the stand). Reread a post from Gil Ash and went to work improving my focus on the target. It helps to the point that a am almost "wink free"! If you have Gil and Vickie's book "If it ain't broke fix it" it is clearly addressed or you can find it from their OSP posts available online. Better yet post up here @SCW on their site. There is already some info there. What works for others (me included) may not work for you but try foucsing/shooting your way out of it. It's taking me time/practice/ patience but I do have 2 eyes! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:22 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:13 am
Posts: 63
Location: North Carolina
Thanks, I do have the Ash book and a couple of their DVD's. I've not tried the dot/tape thing, but know it would drive me crazy.

It just those occasional shots where the sight picture, follow through, etc felt right, but you still missed. That's when I wonder/worry about eye dominance.


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:33 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 2389
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
I put up a poll on cross dominance on the left handed shooters
forum a long time ago, because I was curious to know how
many of them were shooting left handed because of eye
dominance. It appears that most of them ,80%, were doing
this. Here is that poll.

viewtopic.php?f=133&t=170386

..

_________________
Its hard to be humble when you're good.


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 Post subject: Re: Cross Dominant Shooting and Switching Sides
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:39 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:21 am
Posts: 3138
Location: South Texas
Cliffh93 wrote:
I'm left handed, but shoot right handed, and have 'some' cross dominance issues. But when I try mounting drills from my left shoulder (which felt easier than expected) then my right eye wants to be dominant. Furthermore, I can't wink with my right eye, only my left.

I also bat and throw right handed, and played tennis from either side. So I'm guessing there's no hope for me, right?


Cliffh93....I hope you picked up on what captcl said about a gun that is FITTED to him. I've seen several "vision problems" that were caused by poor gun fit...being too low on the gun for the most part. If your dominate eye can not see over the gun, then you have created a cross dominance situation....your brain will use the eye that can see the target the best.

Further, a lot of eye dominance problems can be solved by getting the shooting eye up well above the gun....simply because you can see the target better if the gun is not in your way! Lower hold points can be a big help, again the gun is out of the way, you see the target and move up to it and kill it. Anytime you stick a shotgun barrel under your eye, you are blocking part of the visual field from the same eye you are trying to shoot with...kinda of a paradox. I like to see the whole eye ball sitting on top of the front bead when I check a new shooter. Now, that is high for a lot of people, some will say too high. However, I will know that shooter will be able to see his target (added bonus, he will not be lifting his head either)!

Eyes and gun fit go hand in hand.



_________________
Grand Dad called me Mismost because I did. I don't anymore.
Good Shooting!


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