Using Your Dominant Eye to Improve Accuracy While Targeting

No matter how you throw the ball, all bowlers have a dominant eye. Your dominant eye is the one you rely on more while targeting. Do you know which of your eyes is dominant?

It’s a commonly overlooked aspect of the game, but learning which eye is dominant is fundamental in helping you establish a proper stance that will promote a consistent arm swing and give you better control of your shots.

Eye dominance influences accuracy greatly. Your accuracy while targeting can be off by as many as one to eight boards depending on your vision. Everyone’s vision on your team will vary, so it is crucial for you, your teammates, and your coach to understand their eye dominance to better communicate adjustments amongst each other.

Are you right-eye or left-eye dominant?

To find out which of your eyes is dominant, start by creating a circle with your index finger and your thumb. Place it about a foot and a half in front of your face.

With both eyes open, focus on an object in the room and position your circle around it. For this example, we used the lane number on the masking unit which can be seen in the image below.

bowling pins and hand

Next, close your left eye. Do not move your circle. In our example, the lane number remained inside the circle when Sasha closed her left eye. This means Sasha’s right eye is dominant. She relies more on this eye to focus on her target.

bowling pins and hand

Watch what happened when Sasha closed her right eye.

a lady holding her hand up to her face

The lane number moved out of the center of the circle. This confirms that Sasha is right-eye dominant.

Setting up with your dominant eye

How you set up your bowling stance determines where your bowling ball will roll down the lane.

Let’s take a look at it from the feet up.

Place the center of your slide foot on the starting board with your other foot just behind at a slight angle.

bowling shoes on bowling lane

This foot positioning opens up your hips which helps contribute to a straight arm swing.

Your knees should be slightly flexed and ready to move, while your spine should be tilted 10º forward.

bowler with bowling ball

Bring your bowling shoulder down and keep your elbow close to your body while supporting the bowling ball with both hands.

Your off-hand should hold the majority of the bowling ball’s weight in the stance. This protects your bowling arm from fatigue.

Finally, align the center of the bowling ball with your dominant eye.

Bowling ball placement in this stance is vital for a successful game. If placement is off even slightly, it will be impossible to achieve a consistent straight arm swing. Without a straight arm swing, you will not hit your target consistently, and without consistency, your scores will fluctuate game to game, week to week.

What happens when the ball reaches the pins will be a direct result of how you set up your stance. Footwork, timing of the push away, arm swing, pivot step, and the finish position all need practice to become fundamentally sound, but if you do not set up properly, there is no autocorrect once your feet are moving.

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19 Responses to “Using Your Dominant Eye to Improve Accuracy While Targeting”

  1. eodonnell45
    eodonnell45

    OK, if I am left eye dominant how does that affect where I line up? For instance if I want to target the 10 board where should my left eye be lined up with?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Edward,

      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:
      Depending on your vision, it can be off as little as 1 board or off as much as 8 boards.

      Understanding which eye is dominant reinforces bowlers ball placement in the stance. A good start leads to a good finish and this is one key step in to obtaining a consistent arm swing.

      The next time you go out to train at the lanes ask the bowling center if you (or them) to put a piece of thumb tape on the 2nd arrow, like in the video below. Bring a pen and pad and jot down what board you are looking at when you begin to constantly hit the tape.

      You’ll then know what you’re working with in reference to boards.

      https://www.nationalbowlingacademy.com/video/bowl-better-by-improving-bowling-accuracy-005655/

      Thanks for watching!

      Please let us know if you have any further questions
      Sincerely,
      Danesha
      National Bowling Academy Video Membership

      Reply
  2. Marian S Sowinski
    Marian S Sowinski

    What do you do if you are left eye dominant, and bowl right handed?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Marian,

      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:
      Depending on your vision, it can be off as little as 1 board or off as much as 8 boards.

      Understanding which eye is dominant reenforces bowlers ball placement in the stance. A good start leads to a good finish and this is one key step in to obtaining a consistent arm swing.

      The next time you go out to train at the lanes ask the bowling center if you (or them) to put a piece of thumb tape on the 2nd arrow, like in the video below. Bring a pen and pad and jot down what board you are looking at when you begin to constantly hit the tape.

      You’ll then know what you’re working with in reference to boards.

      https://www.nationalbowlingacademy.com/video/bowl-better-by-improving-bowling-accuracy-005655/

      Thanks for watching!

      Please let us know if you have any further questions
      Sincerely,
      Sarah
      National Bowling Academy Video Membership

      Reply
  3. Cathy
    Cathy

    Can you explain this a bit more? “align the center of the bowling ball with your dominant eye.“

    Reply
  4. Frank Stewart
    Frank Stewart

    But I am left handed how would make the adjustments if I am right dominant for a left handed bowler.

    Reply
      • Customer Service
        Customer Service

        Hi Frank. I am sorry, this is an online video membership. We do not have one on one personal training.
        If you have any questions, please chat, email or phone customer service.
        Sarah
        National Bowling Academy Video Membership

        Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Frank. Set up in your stance with the bowling ball centered with your right eye.

      When discussing targeting with teammates or coaches, knowing your eye dominance will help you evaluate what they are recommending. This provides top of mind awareness for you to adjust accordingly.

      Thanks for watching.
      Jason
      National Bowling Academy

      Reply
      • SONDRA
        SONDRA

        I have the same situation as Frank where I’m bowling left-handed but I’m right eye dominant. Your answer to Frank was to set up his stance with the bowling ball centered with his right eye which means he would be standing with the bowling ball all the way over on the right side of his body. It seems to me this would throw off his arm swing where it would not be straight.

        I watched the National Bowling Academy video about developing a straight arm swing and it said to hold the ball about waist high and between the shoulder and chin which means it would be centered under my left eye which is my non-dominant eye. Would it make sense to turn my head to the left just enough so the ball is centered under my right eye which is my dominant eye? If not, do you have any other suggestions?

        Reply
        • Customer Service
          Customer Service

          Hello,

          Thank you for contacting us. Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge. With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hours of Premium video content.
          If you are interested in becoming a member to National Bowling Academy, please click on the special offer below:

          https://go.nationalbowlingacademy.com/C32881

          Sincerely,
          Sarah
          National Bowling Academy Video Membership

          Reply
        • Ron
          Ron

          I think the expectation is that if you are cross-eye dominant, your aim will be off by some amount.

          So keep the ball aligned with your head as you normally do as a lefty or righty, but when you are lining up for your target, you will need to compensate by looking ‘x’ boards to the left or right with your eyes.

          To determine ‘x’, you need to do the drill they recommend to find your offset. Being cross eye dominant is a pain, but with practice you can find how to compensate for it.

          Reply
  5. Gerre
    Gerre

    I am left handed bowler. My left eye is the dominant eye. I had a corneal transplant on the left eye and it is completely blurry.so I have to rely on my right eye. How do I line up to hit my mark/boards on the lanes? HELP please.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Gerre, Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge. With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hundreds of hours of Premium content.

      If you are interested in becoming a member, please click on the offer below:

      https://go.nationalbowlingacademy.com/a19822 Thanks!

      Reply