Visual, Vestibular Drills For Shooting Esophoria

I don’t know about you, but I enjoyed watching the NCAA championship last night.  I’m not much of a basketball fan, but I am a big fan of watching people perform at a high level under stress.

Just to add a little fun to the night, I decided to wear a UNC fleece, even though we were only a few miles from the Gonzaga campus and I knew that everyone would be a Gonzaga fan.  I’m bummed for my friends who are Gonzaga fans, but happy for my relatives from NC.

The game was close until the last seconds…back and forth and full of tension like a good championship should be.

But I couldn’t help but identify something that happened that could have changed the outcome of the game…and that could change how you shoot.

One of the Gonzaga players, Przemek Karnowski, had a few misses from the field, and they were all identical…they were short.  Yet, if I remember right, he swished all but one of his free throws.  The one he missed was short too.

What’s this have to do with shooting?

I’m not a doctor, let alone an eye doctor, but I have studied vision quite a bit and one condition of the eye is called esophoria.  Basically, when you’re esophoric, if you focus on an object a few feet away and cover one eye, the eye that you cover will tend to move inwards.

When both eyes are open, this makes objects seem closer than they really are.

And if you’re playing basketball, it can mean that you consistently shoot your shots short.

But what about the free throws?

If someone practices free throws enough, they can shoot them with a high percentage with their eyes closed.  They aim with their body and the neural pathway is hardwired into the brain to exert the exact right amount of force, regardless of what the eyes say.

This could easily be what happened to Karnowski.

I’ve saw the opposite happen with quarterbacks last fall.  They were throwing on the money, took a hard hit to the head, and threw long for the rest of the game…presumably from exophoria.

It depends on the situation, but I’ve fixed my own exophoria in a few minutes with simple vision exercises.

How’s this apply to shooting and combat?

It’s easy to make a case that shooting is 80% (or more) visual.

But vision is more than just the number that your eye doctor writes down after you look at the eye chart.

Vision is about field of view, what you perceive, how quickly you shift focus, how accurately you perceive, how well you judge distance, pattern recognition, integrating the visual and proprioceptive systems, visual memory, and more.

It’s how fast you see a threat, how early in your drawstroke you see your sights, how quickly you can verify sight alignment, and your ability to stay on focus through recoil, call your shot, and evaluate the effect of your shot with your peripheral vision…all while still having awareness of what’s going on around you.  It’s complete focus and awareness at the same time.

And it’s what we cover in the See Quicker Shoot Quicker Tactical Vision Training Course.  In it, you’ll learn a simple step-by-step process to improve your vision in only a few minutes per day.  And you can learn more now at

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