How to Shoot with Both Eyes Open in Archery

The Advantages of Shooting with Both Eyes Open

Archery is a sport that involves precision, focus, and accuracy. One technique that can greatly enhance your performance is shooting with both eyes open. While it may seem counterintuitive at first, this approach offers several advantages for archers.

Shooting with both eyes open allows you to maintain better situational awareness. By keeping one eye on the target while the other eye focuses on your bow hand or sight alignment, you can perceive depth and distance more accurately. This heightened spatial awareness will help you make adjustments and improve your overall aim.

Additionally, shooting with both eyes open improves peripheral vision. When you shoot using only one eye, your field of view narrows significantly. However, by utilizing both eyes simultaneously, you expand your range of vision and increase the chances of spotting any potential obstacles or distractions around you.

Getting Started: Developing Eye Dominance Awareness

Before mastering shooting techniques with both eyes open in archery, it’s crucial to determine which eye is dominant (your dominant eye should be aligned behind the arrow). Here’s a simple exercise to help identify your dominant eye:

1. Extend both arms straight out in front of you.
2. Create a small triangular opening between your hands by overlapping them halfway.
3. Focus on an object located across the room through this triangle.
4. Slowly bring your hands back towards your face while maintaining focus on the object.
5. The triangle will naturally gravitate toward either one of your eyes – that’s your dominant eye!

Once you’ve identified which eye is dominant during this exercise, aligning it behind the arrow will ensure optimal accuracy when shooting.

Techniques for Shooting with Both Eyes Open

Now that we understand why shooting with both eyes open is advantageous and have identified our dominant eye let’s delve into some techniques to help you achieve success in this style of archery:

1. Focus on the target: When preparing to shoot, keep your non-dominant eye on the target while aligning your dominant eye with the bow hand or sight. This allows you to maintain a clear view of the target while simultaneously monitoring your alignment.

2. Practice depth perception exercises: To enhance your spatial awareness, engage in exercises that challenge your depth perception. For example, try throwing balls or small objects at various distances and tracking them with both eyes open.

3. Start with close-range shots: Begin practicing shooting with both eyes open at close range targets first. Gradually increase the distance as you become more comfortable maintaining focus and alignment.

4. Maintain proper body posture: Good posture is essential for consistent shooting form in archery. Ensure both shoulders are aligned and relaxed while drawing back the string, allowing for natural balance between your two eyes.

5. Regularly evaluate sight picture: Continuously assess how each eye contributes to your overall aim by observing the sight picture through both eyes together.

Tips for Overcoming Challenges

While shooting with both eyes open can greatly improve accuracy and situational awareness, it may pose initial challenges for some archers:

– Eye strain: If you experience any discomfort or eyestrain when starting out, take breaks during practice sessions until you gradually adapt to this technique.
– Focusing issues: Initially, focusing on multiple points (target/sight) might be challenging but with regular practice focusing will become easier over time.
– Distractions from non-target objects: As peripheral vision increases when shooting with both eyes open, be mindful not to get distracted by irrelevant objects around you – stay focused primarily on the target itself.


Shooting with both eyes open is an advanced technique that can significantly enhance your archery skills. By maintaining situational awareness, improving depth perception, and expanding peripheral vision, you can boost accuracy and overall performance. Remember to identify your dominant eye, practice proper techniques regularly, and overcome initial challenges through dedication. With time and persistence, shooting with both eyes open will become second nature for any archer seeking improvement in their game.