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Panda Bowmen      WA 80 cm archery target

Eye dominance and the 10 points of archery

Eye dominance

As illustrated below, hold your hands out at arms length and with both eyes look through the hole formed by your hands at a distant object.

Keeping that object in view, slowly move your hands towards your face until they touch your face.
The hole formed by your hands should be over one of your eyes. This eye is your dominant eye and will control your aiming.

Another quick way to test your eye dominance is to point your index finger at a distant object with both eyes open,
then close one eye and see if your finger appears to move away from what you are pointing at.

If your finger does appear to move, then the eye that you closed is your dominant eye. Try again with your other eye and your finger should not appear to move.

10 points of archery

1. Stance

2. Nocking

3. Bow drawing hand


Place the bow hand into the grip of the bow with the centreline of the V between thumb and index finger in line with the centre of the bow as shown in the top view.

The base of the thumb muscle should rest on the centreline of the grip.

During the draw, the pressure should be taken on the thumb muscle and directly into the wrist (low wrist position).

The thumb and fingers should remain relaxed. If a finger sling or bow sling is not used, then the tips of the fingers are curled around until lightly touching the bow. This will stop the bow falling out of the hand on release.

A consistent hand position on the bow grip is necessary.

4. Bow arm and pre-draw

5. Drawing the bow



6. The anchor


The anchor is where the hand is positioned on the jaw and the bowstring touches the face.

It is vitally important that the index finger is firmly placed against the jaw, the thumb is tucked into the palm of the hand so it can be placed firmly against the neck and the bowstring is firmly touching the chin (and nose, if possible.)

The relationship between all these positions is important as it acts as the rear sight, so it is vital that it be as consistent as possible.

It also acts as a consistent draw length position. Any variation in the position will affect the amount of force the bow will impart to the arrow.

7. Holding and aiming

Holding is where the tension is maintained in the back muscles and then the bow arm is moved to align the sight pin into the centre of the target.

As the sight pin is moved into the centre of the target, the string alignment should be checked. String alignment, as shown in the picture on the left,
is the alignment of the bowstring with the vertical alignment of the bow and the alignment with the sight pin (as the bowstring is just in front of the eye, it will appear blurred).

When the bow is held in the correct vertical position, then the bowstring and edge of the bow will be parallel. If it is not, then the bow is tilted away from vertical.

Just before full concentration is made on aiming, all the previous steps should be checked to make sure that everything is in the correct position.

If any part of body feels out of place, then it is best to stop now, let the bowstring down and start again, rather than make a bad shot.

When aiming into the centre of the target, it is natural for the sight pin to move around, as the muscles try to hold it steady. With practise, aiming will become more steady.

Move the sight pin up if the arrow lands high, move down if the arrow lands low, move left if the arrow lands left and move right if the arrow lands right.

8. Release

9. Follow-through



10 Relaxing

The archer must relax after each shot to allow the muscles to recover from their effort.
About 20 to 30 seconds should be enough time for the muscles to recharge, ready for the next shot.
If not enough time is allowed between shots, then the muscles will tire rapidly and may even become sore. Tired muscles will not be able to perform consistently.