Eye Dominance

When you write about your technique of automatic vision compensation when you concentrate just on the target and how the mind-body computer will compensate with proper gun alignment, how does eye dominance play in this scenario? The testing of my vision indicates to me that my left eye is mainly dominant, but occasionally it isn’t. I shoot right-handed. I think this is the reason that sometimes easy targets are missed.

- Harry Wiley, e-mail


Eye dominance becomes more evident as you become more aware of the barrel of the gun. If your eyes vary from focusing on the target to the barrel - even if it is a slight moment - you will lose the bird and most probably will miss it.

Your letter says you just began shooting clays after a 30-year absence from occasional trap. In trap, you were probably more aware of where the gun was. If you do that in sporting clays, you will not hit the bird - 100 percent of your focus must be on the target. We have learned that there is a 3/10th of a second delay from the mind to the hands. If your eyes are telling your brain where to be, and if it takes 3/10 of a second to get there, then you will be behind.

Don’t play this game in the past. Look at the front of the target and let the gun get somewhere in the front and pull the trigger. When you think too much about where the gun is, it leads to being behind. Your focus must be completely on the target.

The reason you are missing the easy close targets is not eye dominance; it is too much time is spent trying to locate the barrel and put it in front. Just put it somewhere in front. The shotgun is a very forgiving instrument, because of the width of the pattern. If you are looking at the front of the target, let the gun get there. Don’t try to put it in an exact lead to it or that "thinking" thing enters into the shot. That will put you behind.

Be more concerned about your focus on the target and let the mind-body computer do its job. It will do its job. How else could you drive a car onto a freeway? You know you need to be in front of the next car, but how far? Far enough not to get hit. You don’t think about it; you just go. Do the same on the clays course.