Are you wondering if all your shooting will improve your eyesight? Well so was I and I could not find much information about it. I am not a eye doctor so dont take it as medical advice, but I will try to explain to you what I found out during my research of this topic.
Can archery increase eyesight? Yes, archery can improve your eyesight. Archery provides a lot of great eye exercises that are beneficial for eye focus, eye speed, and flexibility
Fixation – Improving Eye Focus
Another great exercise archery provides is a fixation. Fixation is the ability to focus on one single target on a distance. This is something you do regularly when you are practicing archery and is helping you and your sights to get better.
There are not a lot of studies that I found that has confirmed this directly to archery, but newer studies of the opposite effect happening to youth spending a lot of time on their computers have been executed.
The result of watching the same target at a close distance for hours can decrease the fixation of your eyes, because of not practicing the fixation often enough. But for us archers, that will not be of any concern.
This exercise does not only improve your eyesight but also have shown to improve mental focus. Which makes a lot of sense, I am meditating a lot and that’s improving your mind by focusing on your breath, but when you are shooting archery you are focusing purely on the bullseye at a certain amount of time which can be compared to meditation.
The reason archery is such a great way to practice your eyesight with fixation is regularly do we shoot on different distances and that gives our eyes a challenge to adapt to certain distances and focusing needs.
Two point distance – Impact and benefits
The reason archery is good for you eyesight is most likely because of this exercise that it provides. A bow is often combined with a sight, when you shoot you look at your target then in your sight to adjust and verify.
This eye movement between focusing on a long distance (your target) and close range (your sight) is a great exercise. Why? Because the eyes need to quickly readjust to the different ranges and focus. This will strengthen your muscles connected with these motions.
You may have a relation to this exercise before, that wouldn`t surprise me. Because this method of switching focus is practiced and recommended by a lot of eye-doctors to this date. They usually not suggest you too use a bow and arrow for this exercise, but usually your finger and an object at a distance.
Importance of Eyesight in Archery
A lot of people I have talked to about archery is eager to start shooting and learning, but many of them are concerned about their sight because they either use glasses or just do not have a good eye-sight. My answer to this is that it does not matter!
It`s reasonable to think that eyesight is an important factor in archery, but it’s actually not. The form is way more important. As long as you can a see where the target is, you are good to go. If you believe me, just ask Hyun from South Korea.
Hyun is a blind archer and is not just good, but he holds the men’s record for a 70-meter target. Hyun can see a blurry image of the target and that’s it. Hyun learned how to shoot perfectly by focusing on things he could improve. He perfected his form and the accuracy followed. If Hyun can shoot as well as he does, you can’t say that eyesight is important to be a good archer.
Shooting with Decreased Eyesight
Shooting with poor eyesight can be though, but its no excuse to not shoot well. But there are a few things that you can do to improve your eyesight like glasses and lenses. These are allowed to use in archery! as long as you use the lenses usually worn by the archer. This is the rule stated by FITA, which is the International Archery Federation.
I do not matter what option you choose, glasses, lenses or no glasses. The important thing is that you stick to ONE thing. Your mind and muscles will adapt to shooting with for example glasses and if you try to shoot with lenses on the competition it can have a very bad impact on your accuracy. Because the shot will not be the same is it’s used to be.
Hyun mentioned in one interview that consistency and concentration were the key factors for his success. So do not give up if your first shots are bad or you have a week of terrible performance. If you don’t a great success and excellent shooting are waiting ahead.
If you choose to shoot without glasses there is a thing I want to mention. I have some experience with this and what I have been struggling with is that my eyes gets tired. This happens usually in the evening, but when I am on the range and my eyes start to get tired I usually take a break of 10-15 minutes. This is usually enough and I am ready to shoot again.
When my eyes start to get tired its usually followed up with pain. I think you can have a lot of disabilities and do a sport very well, but if you are in constant pain archery will be harder. Concentration and focus is such a big part of the game that having it while shooting can have a huge impact.
I hope that you found my advice helpful. If you trouble shooting with glasses and lenses check out our article on tips on shooting with glasses. I will link to it here
Is archery safe for kids? Yes, archery is safe for kids. Archery ranges are designed for safety, keeping the kids safe.