Enhancing Performance in Sports Shooting: The Advantages of Keeping Both Eyes Open

Sports shooting, an activity that demands precision, focus, and tactical skill, is popular among athletes around the globe. Whether you’re a seasoned competitor or a budding enthusiast in rifle and pistol shooting competitions, mastering various techniques can significantly elevate your performance. One method often debated and analyzed in sports shooting is shooting with both eyes open. This approach, which involves leveraging both tunnel and peripheral vision, offers numerous benefits for shooters.

The Science Behind Using Both Eyes

Human vision is designed to work best when both eyes are used together. This binocular vision provides a wider field of view, better depth perception, and improved spatial awareness. These aspects are crucial in sports shooting for accurately gauging distances and making split-second decisions.

Enhanced Field of View

Shooting with both eyes open almost doubles your field of view. This expanded perspective allows shooters to observe more of their surroundings without moving their heads. It’s particularly beneficial in dynamic shooting scenarios where you need to be aware of multiple targets or changes in the environment.

Improved Depth Perception

Depth perception is vital in accurately judging distances, especially in long-range shooting. When both eyes are open, the brain receives slightly different images from each eye, which it combines to create a three-dimensional understanding of space. This binocular vision enhances your ability to gauge distances more accurately than when shooting with one eye closed.

Increased Situational Awareness

Peripheral vision plays a significant role in situational awareness. Keeping both eyes open allows shooters to maintain awareness of their surroundings while focusing on the target. This is crucial in competition settings where environmental factors, target movement, and the actions of other competitors can influence your performance.

Reduced Eye Fatigue

Shooting with one eye closed can lead to quicker eye fatigue and strain. This is because the closed eye still attempts to participate in the vision process, leading to tension. Keeping both eyes open reduces stress and allows for longer periods of concentration without discomfort.

Techniques for Training Both Eyes

Transitioning to shooting with both eyes open can be challenging, especially for those accustomed to closing one eye. Here are some techniques to help in this transition:

  • Start with Dry Fire Practice: Begin by practicing with an unloaded weapon to get used to having both eyes open. Focus on aligning your sight with the target using your dominant eye while keeping the other eye open.
  • Use Blinders Temporarily: If you find it hard to focus with both eyes open, try using a blinder on the non-dominant eye. This can help train your brain to rely more on the dominant eye for aiming while still benefiting from the peripheral vision of the other eye.
  • Gradual Transition: Gradually transition from using a blinder to completely keeping both eyes open. This can be done over several practice sessions.
  • Gradual Transition: Gradually transition from using a blinder to completely keeping both eyes open. This can be done over several practice sessions.

Overcoming Common Challenges

Many shooters face challenges when adopting this technique. One common issue is the sensation of seeing double images. This happens when the brain struggles to combine two different images into one. With practice, your brain learns to prioritize the image from the dominant eye for aiming while using the other eye for peripheral awareness.


Shooting with both eyes open is a technique that offers numerous advantages, including an enhanced field of view, improved depth perception, increased situational awareness, and reduced eye fatigue. While the transition might be challenging, the shooting accuracy and performance benefits are significant. Incorporating this technique into your training regimen and with consistent practice can elevate your sports shooting skills to new heights. Remember, sports shooting is not just about the equipment you use but also how effectively you use your body’s natural capabilities. Embrace this technique and see the difference it makes in your next competition.