Vision Gym And Balance Gym For Shooters


It’s said that 80% of shooting is visual. Depending on how well you do shooting with your eyes closed or in complete darkness, I think it might even be more than that.

The longer it takes you to see and identify a target/threat, converge and diverge your focus back and forth between the target and your front sight, and get a hard, clear, focus on the front sight, the more likely it is that you’ll get frustrated and start releasing shots before your muzzle is pointed at your target.

Even if you’re shooting with a dot or at ranges where you can make accurate unsighted hits, coordinated movement of the eyes and accurate visual processing is critical.

And that kind of visual speed and accuracy starts disappearing QUICKLY for many people once they hit 40.


It’s a simple case of a lack of flexibility and strength IN YOUR EYE MUSCLES!

There are 6 main muscles around the eyes that move them around and help them focus. If you don’t keep them flexible with stretching and strong with exercise, they’re going to get slow, lazy, and they’re not going to perform for you the way you want them to.

Fortunately, there’s an EASY, quick fix. And, amazingly enough, the fix for getting a clear, hard focus on your front sight faster will also dramatically reduce tunnel vision in extreme stress conditions.

This is stuff that Eric Cobb, creator of the Vision Gym, has taught in the Special Operations and professional athlete communities for decades. It’s tested, proven, and in use by extreme athletes and operators around the globe. Check out this video to learn more:


To do a deep dive into vision training for shooters, check out

And…this next part will BLOW YOUR MIND. I was down in Phoenix a few years ago meeting with Eric and had an issue with my shoulder and hip. They’d been completely unstable for 6 months.

It caused me to cancel the release of my shooting fitness course and I was miserable. I was able to make them stable 1-2 days a week, but I had pain and no strength the rest of the time.

Earlier in the day, a professional athlete who’s known around the world was in because he had unexplainable knee pain that was keeping him from practicing and playing.

Eric showed him how to fix his knee pain with vision and balance exercises! After lunch, Matt did the same thing for my shoulder and hip. By resetting my visual and vestibular (inner ear/balance) system, like you would with an electronic compass, my brain was finally able to get the correct messages to the muscles in my hip and shoulder!

Fast forward to 2015…

I shot the MGM Ironman 3-gun event…3 days and roughly 1,200 rounds of timed and scored running-n-gunning mayhem engaging stationary and moving targets from 9″ to 900 yards.

I drove 8ish hours in my F-350 to get to the event and my back “went out” when I was carrying my stuff into my hotel room. I didn’t think I’d be able to compete.  I tried stretching, ice, ibuprofen, menthol, and nothing worked.

The next morning, I called one of the guys at Z-Health…Rick…and he asked me if I was somewhere that I could sit down and do some drills while I was on the phone with him.  I was and I did.

Rick ran me through a 4 (FOUR!) minute set of exercises that I did while sitting on the edge of my bed in my hotel room.

Basically, I simply stared at a spot on the wall and moved my head through a specific sequence of movements that synchronized my inner ear and my eyes.

After 14 hours of back pain, doing 4 minutes of this drill took my back from being really painful to having full range of motion and no pain when running, jumping, etc. and I was able to run and gun at full speed for the next 3 days.

4 minutes of this simple inner ear exercise
and my back was 100%!

This obviously wouldn’t have worked if my hip would have hurt from being hit with a baseball bat or some other kinetic injury, but Eric has found that a lot of mystery pain is caused by the brain being confused from bad input from the visual and vestibular systems.

Fix those and sometimes the brain is able to get the right messages to the right places and everything starts working better. This is one of those things that is almost too much to believe, so here are a few of those visual/vestibular exercises for you to see and try:

This is obviously high leverage stuff that almost anyone can do. I go over some more of them in this free video training.  < Check it out.

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  • Sal

    Reply Reply December 12, 2016

    I am just amazed with what I have learned from your video..I will work at it and hopefully my husband will try. I am astonished that there really is a solution to eye is so new to me at my age of 75..I have guns but haven’t shot them except for a 22 and 25..scared I think..I think I will work on it and use my bigger ones that I think I will use on an intruder.. thank you so much for giving me this knowledge and hope ,,that I will be useful and necessary if shit happens

  • Steve Ross

    Reply Reply November 20, 2016

    I recently(three months ago) had cataract removal surgery on both eyes. Almost immediately after the recovery period my eyes had improved so much that I was picking up the front sight much more quickly and the shots were grouped much closer than ever before. Not only that, but I’ve progressed from prescription shooting glasses to just regular off-the-shelf safety glasses.

  • Scott

    Reply Reply October 15, 2016

    Great information. Thank you for sharing.

  • Vicki Roman

    Reply Reply June 5, 2016

    These exercises are excellent – thank you!

  • joe

    Reply Reply February 11, 2016

    awesome training for the eyes. that is a first I ever heard of any drills for the eyes that would help your eyes get better especially for shooting

  • richard compston

    Reply Reply December 18, 2015

    Thank you Eric,
    I want to know more about your training programs.

  • George

    Reply Reply December 4, 2015

    I am strongly left-eye dominant. My eyes were never “aligned” real well, but after a nerve block for surgery 5 years ago, my left eye didn’t move from right to left and my right eye started moving “too much” to the left (in toward the nose). I’m speculating that the right eye was trying to do the work of my left eye. This has caused me to see double images on targets when I focus on the front sight. I have to close my right eye to line up the target and then open it and try to ignore the “phantom” image that appears. On really bad days, the target from the lane on my left jumps all the way over to my target. If I hold my finger out in front of me with my left finger anywhere left of my nose, I see double images.

    I have tried other eye exercises. They improved the movement of my left eye, but my right eye still tracks to far left/in. Are there any exercises in your vision gym that would help me?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply December 4, 2015

      Hey George,

      That’s a tough one and beyond my specific knowledge base, but I do know that eye dominance and double images are, in part, a software programming issue in the brain.

      If you don’t control which image the brain suppresses from moment to moment, it will decide on it’s own. Here are a few things you could try…

      1. Point your pistol towards the target and turn your head to the left until the bridge of your nose is between your left (dominant) eye and your front sight and shoot with your right eye.
      2. Put scotch tape over your right lens in an attempt to train the brain to only use your left eye when you’re shooting.
      3. Squint your right eye until you only see one target and one set of sights until your brain is trained to only use your left eye when shooting.

      I would try these at home using dry fire and stop as soon as you experience any discomfort. The muscles of the eye are pretty darn small and doing new things wears them out very quickly.

  • Paul W

    Reply Reply October 22, 2015

    Have watched all three videos and been working on ‘Vision Gym Drills’ daily for about a week. Will add the ‘Shooter Specific’ drills in about a week. Issue I have noticed is that I am right handed / strong hand right and right eye dominant, and shoot with both eyes open. However, after a week of ‘Vision Gym Drills’ my left eye has strengthened to the point that sometimes I am forced to close my left eye as I am getting two sight pictures. Not sure I am happy about this as previously my left eye would see everything down range while right eye sighted in. Now on occasion when forced to close the left eye, I have lost recognition of down range objects.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks for numerous terrific tips and those I have shared your video with have echoed the same comments.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply October 28, 2015

      Hey Paul,

      I’m familiar with what you’re talking about, but went to the doc (Matt…he’s Eric’s lead instructor) to get a better answer than what I could provide:

      There is often a re-training period that the our eyes and vision will undergo while performing any kind of visual exercise or natural vision change – whether they are getting stronger or getting weaker, the brain has to “learn” how to use our two eyes’ newly acquired vision skills together as a team. Unfortunately, this sometimes has the undesired effect of making our shooting more difficult for a short period of time. The best way for a shooter to specifically train through this period and keep the eyes working as a team during this re-training period is to add the ‘Shooter Specific’ drills more quickly, which perhaps means going through the regular Vision Gym exercises less frequently.

      This is all based on a concept from neurology and physiology that is called the ‘SAID Principle’, which stands for: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. This means that the body will always adapt to exactly what it does. We all know this intuitively, but sometimes we forget that training our general vision skills may make it more difficult to perform a very specific visual task (such as shooting). Therefore, adding in more of the ‘Shooter Specific’ drills is the best way to approach this period of visual re-training because we can supplement our general vision skill with the skills that are specifically required during shooting as well. This is why we created with ‘Shooter Specific’ drills with Z-Health Performance. Every dry-firing action and every practice round that someone goes through will influence an ongoing adaptation by the brain and body to create more ease and efficiency for future shooting tasks… so those should usually be added to the general vision practice in order to balance the practice that we are doing and create the best results in both areas of vision

  • Michael Armstrong

    Reply Reply October 2, 2015

    I have been doing the focus exercise fore about a month. It has a lot. I will start the rest today. Thank You for the great advise.
    Stay Safe;

  • Mike

    Reply Reply July 31, 2015

    Excellent. Much help!

  • Keith Trent

    Reply Reply July 31, 2015

    Great training video’s never knew this could be so important in shooting skill building. Thanks

  • Sharon Wiggin

    Reply Reply July 30, 2015

    Thank you! This should really help my lazy eye muscles & coordination too.

  • john stine

    Reply Reply July 30, 2015

    excuse me – your program sounds very interesting. however, I am always a bit cautious about
    someone who identifies himself as “dr.” with no further explanation.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply July 30, 2015

      Hey John,

      Fair enough 🙂 Sometimes I take it for granted that people think like I do and don’t put too much stock in the “Dr.” title without other things supporting the credibility. As you know, you can be a Dr. because of getting a PhD, an MD, or because your a dentist, chiropractor, veterinarian, eye doctor, ear doctor, or any of a number of other ways. Each signifies a level of commitment to education that few others (percentage wise) have and it’s commendable.

      What “Dr.” doesn’t mean is that the Dr. knows anything outside of their area of study or that they’re even that good in their particular area of study. The guy who graduates last in his class in medical school gets the same “Dr.” in front of his name as the guy who graduated first. Likewise, the guy who graduates and then does the bare minimum of continual study to keep his license has the same letters in front of his name as the guy who pours his life and soul into is field of study in an effort to master his craft.

      So, as a result, I just said Eric was a Dr. What should be more important is that he has worked with and does work with professional athletes from around the world, Olympians, and special operations personnel and units.

      Eric became a Dr. by becoming a Dr. of chiropractic, but it’s not really worth mentioning…from what I know, I would guess that Eric has more practical understanding about how the visual and vestibular systems affect peak performance than 99.99% of the MDs, Chiropractors, eye doctors, and ear doctors in the world. He’s truly in a league of his own and the “Dr.” title only signifies what he did for a few years, 20+ years ago…not what he’s done all day, every day since then.

  • Doug Gerber

    Reply Reply July 29, 2015

    I really like this idea. I remember when I took a speed reading course, All we did initially was eye exercises to build the muscles so your eyes could keep up with your reading comprehension. I think the balance drills will be the most useful because you are hardly ever just shooting at one static target. It’s always multiples and head and chest shots.

  • Donald willey

    Reply Reply January 28, 2015

    Thank you for these neat ways to strengthen ones vision! By the end of a session, I could not go into another…my eyes were tired! Now after doing these exercises for a month or more, I can go through all three “lessons’ making my eyes follow everything, and they don’t gt tired! My vision is a lot better too! I really appreciate what you have done!!
    I do wear glasses, but only to read books/letters, etc.!

  • Scott Allan

    Reply Reply January 6, 2015

    Thanks! I’ve been looking for a program to improve my eye coordination in competition. These are excellent drills! Will recommend this program.


  • Walt Mays

    Reply Reply December 29, 2014

    I had no idea that a 73 tear old could actually improve my shooting skill through eye training drills. I had accepted the idea because of my age there was nothing I could do to slow down, even reverse what was happening. I can already tell a difference in improved vision as it relates to target/sight acquisition. This I must look into more closely. A very big thank you.

  • Jan

    Reply Reply December 28, 2014

    I have a question about balance and vision, I am severely nearsighted and my eye doc has given me what they call monovision, where one eye has a contact lens for reading and the other eye has one for distance. Do you think this affects balance and potentially well being? Would you think it was better for the balance, etc. to wear contacts for reading and have long distance glasses or stronger contacts and reading glasses? Just asking for personal opinion, not medical advice, thanks!

  • Henry Alford

    Reply Reply December 18, 2014

    I’m a medical retired Green Beret. I’m 67 years old and loss hearing in my right ear and wear glass. Will this help improve my eye sight as well as my shooting a weapon wither a firearm and bow and playing badminton or racket ball ?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply December 26, 2014

      Hey Henry,

      Thanks for your service. My brother is SF. Vision is a complex thing, I can’t give medical advice, and I apologize for not answering your question directly. Vision can include speed, color differentiation, night vision, or the ability to simply focus. Most people find that after as few as 15 minutes of doing the Vision Gym exercises that they’re able to read smaller font closer to their face AND see smaller font at 10, 15, and 20 feet away. For shooting, most people find that they can see their target FASTER and clearer and can shift their focus to their front sight faster and it appears crisper.

  • Tom

    Reply Reply December 18, 2014

    Thank you.

  • EddieW

    Reply Reply December 17, 2014

    I am 81 and have great eyesight, and only wear glasses in public! and use them to read fine print! All my computer work is done without glasses, yet doing these exercises the first time gave me tired eyes!! I have great perephial vision, but I’ve been in a pinch and went tunnel vision and could not recognise my brother when he came in behind me, kept a gun on him and ordered him to stop coming toward me, I drew a line on the carptet and was just ready to fire, when he said, “Quit pointing that damn gun at me!” Scared me for a long time, grateful he spoke and my hearing worked!!


    Reply Reply December 17, 2014


  • David J

    Reply Reply December 17, 2014

    I have a friend that his son soon to enter college on a football quarterback scholarship. This video appears to be a valuable tool for not only him but his receivers also.Or you may have a different video that would suit the purpose better. please comment.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply December 26, 2014

      The Vision Gym package that I link to above is exactly what you’re looking for.

  • John Miller

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    Outstanding training video! I have never seen one that speaks of the importance of the eyes, and balance. instructor easy to follow. Just in that little time watching the video I feel empowered to improve my eyesight. I’m 63 retired LE. Still like to shoot with both my sons who are high speed LE. . I cant wait to show them this video. Thanks again

  • Wayne C

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    How do we find more information on the pain relief that you talked about in your story?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply December 26, 2014

      Good question. For a lot of people, fixing the stress that bad vision and bad proprioception causes has a downstream effect of making non-specific pain and pain without a known source go away.

  • TC

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    Can these exercises possibly lead me to not requiring glasses?

    • Ox

      Reply Reply December 16, 2014

      I need to be careful about how I answer that because I don’t want anything I say to be misinterpreted as a medical claim.

      I can tell you a few things for sure…

      1. The exercises will help your eyes work together better and will probably help you see your front sight more crisply.

      2. The exercises will help your eye muscles remain relaxed when they should be relaxed so that they can flex quickly when they need to flex. This will speed up your ability to focus and shift focus.

      3. After a long day on my computer, my vision (on the Snellen chart) is between 20/50 to 20/100. After a few minutes of doing the drills, my vision (on the Snellen chart) is between 20/15 and 20/20.

      4. EVERYONE who I’ve shown the drills to is able to read smaller text at closer distances and is able to read smaller text at ~20 feet after a few minutes of the drills.

      Whether or not that leads you to not being required to wear glasses is something that you need to take up with 1. your eye doctor and 2. your drivers’ license examiner.

      I’ve been told that what I did is not possible.

      I am one of a number of people who I know who do not legally need to wear glasses to drive anymore after a decade or more of having a restriction on our licenses.

      There are several conditions that people can have with their eyes…and many times they’re stacked one on top of the other. As an example, someone may have tight, unflexible eye muscles but also have scarring from shrapnel. The eye exercises will help with eye muscle flexibility, but won’t help with the shrapnel scarring. It would probably be a noticeable improvement, but not a 100% solution.

  • Matt Bellefeuille

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    Thanks guys for putting such a functional training tool at our disposal. I’m getting close to forty, I would like to be proactive in my degradation, this really helps. Any edge you can create in shooting is essential! Can’t wait to see more, I enjoyed this man’s training style, he is easy to follow, I believe you’re onto something here!

  • Howard Sparks

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    This is one of the best training videos I have ever seen. Being on a fixed income there is no way I can afford to purchase it, I am so glade to be able to get this amount of training for free. What I have learned from these videos will improve both my eye sight and my shooting skills. Thank you very much for sharing this for free.

  • Don

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    very awesome information

  • Larry Drew

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    great… best, most relevant, “here, try this demo” I’ve ever encountered…

  • Milo

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    This is great thank a lot . Milo

  • mike dunlop

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    Great information, brought me to an awareness of things I was not doing as well as the things that I was already doing but was not consciously aware of them as I practice..

    The information presented here will be a tremendous help in fine tuning my shooting skills.


  • Jim Cowan

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    I have had some of this training in my high school driver ed class in the 60’s… not with the shooting aspect, but being aware of your surroundings at all times. This is great to see, and will be exercising my eyes more in relation to this aspect of training. Thanks for the preview. I will consider this as a purchase item in January. I currently wear glasses with unlined bifocals.

  • Bret Loy

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    I have always had really great eye site. Even now at 41, I do not require glasses for anything. I have had many friends say, “Just wait, your eyes are getting old now, and you’ll need glasses soon.”
    The intro video alone tells me I need to train my eyes, muscles, and brain.
    To help extend the life of my eye site, these training aids are well worth it.

  • Carole Barrett

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    Great information. Now I can’t wait to hit the range to see how it works. Will try dry fire at home first for a few times. My eyes are going soft. I truly hope this helps.

  • Michel Hone

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    Well done. I agree with you that presbyopia can be corrected with exercises, since the eye has the muscles to do that. However, it does not have the muscles to correct myopia, which is my problem. I was wondering if you can suggest something, besides artificial means, to correct myopia, in the light of your studies on the eyes. Incidentally, if you do come up with something, you will make so much money that you won’t be able to spend it in your lifetime.


    Michel Hone P.Eng., PhD

  • Scott Parker

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    What are the recommendations for wearing glasses? I assume you do the exercises without glasses but……will wearing glasses afterward undo the benefits by letting the muscles be lazy? For example, I wear bifocals for reading mostly. If I do the pencil focus exercise in lesson 1 and then put on my glasses, my glasses closeup lens will help focus the letters rather than the eye muscle alone. It’s like training/strengthening the eye muscle then letting it get lazy again……but I need to see up close to read etc.

    Any suggestions would be welcome.

  • Russell

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    this is the first time I have been exposed to this type training I find it really great never thought of it this way before I truly think it will help not only me but a lot of others I know hopefully I can afford the entire class

  • Tom Hill

    Reply Reply December 15, 2014

    I have been having quite a bit of trouble with my eyes, and I am hoping that these exercises will help me out. I have also been working on keeping both eyes open while firing or sighting in, rather than closing one eye.

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