Why would an eye doctor sponsor an Archery Super-tuning Event to help archers maximize the performance of their bow and arrows? I like archery myself, and I think it’s a great pastime and confidence builder for kids especially if they don’t excel at team sports. But as an eye doctor, I am most interested in the relationship between archery and visual skills that can be developed, such as eye-body coordination, which is perhaps the most important skill in archery.
I live where people bow hunt, but even if I didn’t, it would be impossible not to notice the growing popularity of archery. Compound bows have improved dramatically, making archery more accessible and rewarding. But whatever your skill level, trying to get to the next level can be frustrating. That’s because the goal of archery is so simple, you forget how many factors can prevent you from attaining that goal.
Whether you’re hunting or target shooting, the goal is to hit a specific mark. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll leave out environmental factors like wind and just look at the various ways your equipment alone might prevent that from happening. Variables and components include:
- Timing and alignment of cams
- Draw length
- Sight pins
- Arrow rest
- Arrow nock
- Type of release
- Arrow spline
- Bow strings
If something is off with any one of these, you may miss your mark no matter how skilled you are.
Now we’re going to add a human body, and here’s where things get really tricky. We’ve already seen how sensitive a bow is and how prone to error, and it needs to align with the body which is even more error-prone. I will limit this discussion to the visual system, which actually involves the entire body, though any number of physical conditions can affect an archer’s performance.
Visual skills involved in archery include:
- Eye motility (position, movement and alignment)
- Speed of recognition (processing visual input)
- Contrast sensitivity (necessary to see in dim light)
- Dynamic visual acuity (the ability to discriminate between the fine details of a moving object)
- Visualization (picturing the flight path of the arrow, for example)
- Peripheral awareness (the ability to pick up visual cues not in your direct line of vision)
- Spatial localization (the sense of where you are in space)
- Depth perception
- Eye-body coordination
As an eye doctor, I can test and enhance an archer’s visual system for increased success. But, for myself and others, I have never had a reliable way other than paper tuning to evaluate and optimize archery equipment — until now. I am excited to offer area archers the opportunity on August 23 to try out the Velocitip Ballistic System, which measures your bow’s performance and shows how it can be made better, no matter its age or price point.
Incidentally, in most cases the human eye can be made to see better regardless of age, as well. If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while, call (903) 984-3101. You may be surprised by our advanced equipment and what we can do for you.
Dr. Jeff Pinkerton
iCare for you.