Monday, 17 Jun 2024

Eye Dominance – Miles Test

Most people have a natural inclination to rely more on one eye than the other for visual input. This is known as ocular dominance, and it is a concept that holds significance, particularly in certain sports.

Target sports like shooting and archery require athletes to determine their eye dominance early on when refining their technique. In other sports, over-reliance on one eye can make it challenging to perceive objects on the opposite side of the body, affecting peripheral awareness.

While some studies suggest that cross-dominance (when the dominant eye is on one side and the dominant hand is on the other) can be advantageous in sports with side-on stances like baseball, cricket, and golf, scientific evidence to confirm this theory remains inconclusive.

To determine eye dominance, there are simple tests like the Miles and Porta tests. Here, we will focus on the Miles test.

Miles Test Procedure

Equipment required: Your arms and hands, and an object positioned approximately 20 feet (6 meters) away.

Procedure:

  1. Extend both arms in front of your body, then bring your hands together so that they form a small triangle between your thumbs and the first knuckle.
  2. Keep both eyes open and look through the triangle, focusing on a specific small object.
  3. Close your left eye. If the object remains in view, you have right eye dominance. If your hands appear to move away from the object and shift to the left, you have left eye dominance.
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Recording the Results

The Miles test provides a definitive result, categorizing individuals as either left or right eye dominant. However, further investigation may be required to determine the level of dominance (weak or strong).

Target Population

This test is particularly relevant for athletes involved in target sports like archery and shooting, as well as hitting sports like golf and baseball.

Treatment

It is challenging to change one’s eye dominance. However, athletes can adapt their behavior and technique to suit their dominant eye, minimizing any potential limitations caused by eye dominance.

Final Thoughts

Eye dominance, much like hand dominance, is a natural aspect that varies among individuals. While the side of the dominant eye may not always correspond with the dominant hand, individuals with right eye dominance should participate in shooting sports as right-handed participants, and vice versa.

References

  • Laby DM, Kirschen DG, Rosenbaum AL, Mellman MF (1998). “The effect of ocular dominance on the performance of professional baseball players”. Ophthalmology 105 (5): 864-6.
  • Thomas NG, Harden LM, Rogers GG (2005). “Visual evoked potentials, reaction times, and eye dominance in cricketers”. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 45 (3): 428-33.

FAQs

Q: How can I determine my eye dominance?
A: One way to determine your eye dominance is by performing the Miles test. Extend your arms in front of you, form a small triangle with your hands, focus on an object through the triangle, and close one eye. If the object remains in view, that is your dominant eye.

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Q: Is eye dominance important in sports?
A: Yes, eye dominance can be significant in certain sports, particularly target sports like shooting and archery. It is crucial to understand your dominant eye to optimize technique and peripheral awareness.

Q: Can eye dominance be changed?
A: Eye dominance is a natural aspect and is challenging to change. However, athletes can adapt their technique to accommodate their dominant eye, minimizing any potential limitations.

Summary

Understanding eye dominance is essential for athletes, particularly in target sports like shooting and archery. The Miles test provides a simple way to determine eye dominance, helping athletes tailor their technique to maximize performance. While the significance of cross-dominance in sports remains inconclusive, recognizing and working with one’s dominant eye can greatly improve peripheral awareness. Embracing eye dominance rather than attempting to change it is the most effective approach, allowing athletes to adapt their behavior and technique accordingly. By harnessing the power of their dominant eye, athletes can excel in their respective sports and achieve their goals.

Ready to optimize your performance? Take the Miles test and discover your dominant eye today!