Clay Shooting and Eye Dominance

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What is eye dominance?

The human brain relies on both the dominant eye, and dominant side inner ear, to make subtle corrections in balance as a person sits upright, stands and walks. The fluid levels in the inner ear stimulate membranes that tell the brain when the head changes position and the dominant eye is used to look at the horizon in order to correct the balance of the upright body as it moves.

A simple description would be that the dominant eye is focused more on the distance and the non-dominant on closer up items.

Approximately 70% of the population are right eye dominant (and this mostly corresponds to their handedness). However, it is possible to be:

Cross Dominant – right handed and left eye dominant (or vice versa)
Central Vision – neither eye dominant
Slight dominance – where there is near, but not full dominance

Why is this important for Clay Shooting

It’s very important because it effects how we aim the gun. Lining up an eye so that it sights down the barrel correctly is a basic premise for consistent shooting. If there is a crossing of dominance with handedness and eye, it may lead to a number of different problem. For example:
Dropping the head across the gun
Lets assume you are right handed and left eye dominant. The temptation will be to mount the gun low in the shoulder to enable to head to move across the gun to sight with the left eye – not a good look!
Having the head correctly in line but shooting constantly to the side of the target
If this is happening, the shooter will have a dominating view along the left hand side of the barrel as opposed to looking directly over the top of the gun to the foresight.

How do you test for eye dominance

The good news is that testing eye dominance can be a simple process, particularly if there is a strong preference for one or the other.

Point

Pick an object that is over 20 metres away and stand square onto it. Keep both eyes open. With your hands at your side, point the index finger of your non-dominant hand towards the ground. Without taking your eyes off the object in the distance, raise your hand and point directly at the object. Your finger should be a blur in your vision. Then close your left eye and check if you are pointing at the object. Then close your right eye and check where its pointing now.
If you are right eye dominant, you should be pointing directly at it with your left eye closed and off to the right of the object when you close your right eye.
The opposite will be true if you are left eye dominant.
If you have central vision, you should be off a little to either side with each eye!

How to overcome

Whilst we attempt to get everyone clay shooting with both eyes open as it gives us better depth perception and periphery vision, the technique isn’t suitable for everyone. This is especially true if they are just starting out.
A simple solution is to keep one eye shut when shooting. This enables people to stick with their handedness side rather than having to think about shooting left handed for example.
There are many people out there, however, who physically are unable to close one of their eyes without having to close them both! This is where modified glasses are useful. It enables the shooter to keep both eyes open but takes away the possibility of the dominant eye taking over.

For regular shooters who have never tested their eye dominance and have mixed results when shooting, this simple test may help therm enormously. When we do our lessons, the simple eye dominance test is something we do with all our shooters and some are often surprised by the results!

Contact us for your clay shooting experience NOW on 01425 629327

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Leadership – where does it begin?

Leadership – where does it begin?

Teambuilding Solutions had the pleasure of presenting a Leadership Workshop for two hours at Eden Girls School in Walthemstowe, London. This prompted the question of when and at what age should we be thinking in terms of our own leadership and leadership style? At what age is this appropriate?

Well, we believe that the younger you introduce these concepts to children, the better equipped they will be in later life. When I think back to my own school years (quite a long time ago I know!) we didn’t receive any formal learning of teams or leadership – we learnt by doing. My first encounter with management style was at University during my degree, and that was a very formal way of learning. The rest came whilst working in the real world where all mistakes are amplified. It was only through self development did I really become to better understand how important this is in life and relationships. And yes, I’m still making mistakes!

I congratulate schools like Eden Girls for being progressive in introducing the concept and some of the terminology to children as young as Year 7 (11 to 12 year olds). After all, what are the key messages for being a good leader?

Listening skills

Positive attitude

Encourage others

Help people around you grow and develop

Etc

Are these not great attributes for our youth to aspire toward if they are to develop into the kind of adults we want them to be?

Well done Eden Girls School, we applaud your attitude and willingness to arm your pupils with important skills that they will find extremely useful not only during their school life, but later on in their adult life. This is a lesson many companies could learn!

Leaders

Exploding Staff Stereotypes

Whether we like to believe it or not, stereotypes in the workplace exist.  Whether it is gender based, race based, age based, or disability based; it exists.

One of the most widely experienced stereotypes in the UK workplace is based on gender.  There has always been a very undeserved, yet prominent attitude by many that women are not capable of doing the same jobs as men.  Statistically women in the UK earn less than their male counterparts.  According to research, a man starting at a FTSE 100 organisation is 4.5 times more likely to make it to the executive committee than a woman; while senior women are two times less likely to be promoted than their male peers.  So despite the fact that women are clearly capable of performing and completely tasks, just as men are, this gender based discrimination is still rife, whether people in authority admit it or not.

So when it comes to trying to remove these workplace stereotypes, team building exercises can play a big part.  It is a known fact that working together in different situations can often help employees see one another outside stereotyped preconceptions, and thus, by encouraging this kind of interaction in the workplace, it can remove the undesired stereotypes.

There are a huge number of team building event organisers in the UK offering a variety of events, including obstacle courses, treasure hunts, food and drink challenges; and a variety of indoor tasks and tests.  The key element of all of these events is that it pushes people who might not ordinarily interact in the workplace, into working together.

Team building exercises are all about getting teams to function more effectively and efficiently, whilst quashing all the preconceived stereotypes.  The outcome of a team building event would ultimately be to make people realise that other people are in fact capable of the same things as them, despite what the stereotypes might say.

Common society beliefs is a team-building program that will help people understand stereotypes and the negative impact they can have on a team.  Team-building exercises can be a powerful way to unite a group, develop strengths, and address weaknesses, but only if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically.  In other words, there has to be a real purpose behind your decision to do the exercise, i.e. improving the team’s problem-solving or communication skills.

Thus, when done properly, team building exercises can help banish those workplace stereotypes.

Bring talented introverts out of their shells!

How Teambuilding Helps Boost Confidence

Any team in the workplace is made up of a collection of individuals who all contribute a rainbow of skills, knowledge, experience and personality. Different people make up different parts of a team – some with ideas, some who are planners, some who will always ensure a project is finished with all loose ends tied up and everyone has vital input.

There are instances though when there are talented members of a team who are too shy to shine. They are clever and have great ideas and excellent knowledge of their work. They don’t feel however that they have the confidence to contribute and it is a shame as their team will be even stronger with the capabilities this person could add to the office melting pot.

Bringing someone out of their shell at work takes time. Spring a big surprise on them such as informing them they have to run a meeting or give a presentation is going to make the situation worse so it’s about developing rapport, giving praise and ensuring that workload matches their capabilities to show them how much value they bring to the team.

Introverted employees are always keen that they are perceived as being liked by their colleagues and there are always opportunities for them to thrive. Managers need to know how to deal with an introverted team member and a good way to help with their confidence is often to assign them a task which requires meticulous and conscientious work. This will appeal to their quiet nature and they can show their skills off to their best as they produce heavily-detailed work which has required great concentration. As their confidence in the standard of their work grows, so will their willingness to begin to contribute in other similar projects.

Make group situations easy for the introverted team member to give their feedback. Tell them in advance of meetings the kind of thing they will need to contribute so they can come prepared. They will probably still be nervous but won’t feel the questions have been sprung on them. Thank them for sharing their thoughts and give positive feedback on their ideas. Openly rejecting what they say will push them more into their shell and it’s unkind. Ask them to put together a document or article before a meeting about a project they are working on and then to distribute it amongst the team during the meeting. This means they don’t need to verbalise their work which may make them feel shy and filled with worry beforehand, but it gives colleagues the chance to read the structured report and then give comment or to ask questions. It puts the introverted person in control as they have the answers to hand and as it is their project and article, there are no surprise subjects which could be raised.

Working to bring an introverted team member out of their shell to really show their talents takes some time but with carefully structured responsibilities given, the opportunity for them to give written information and feedback rather than verbal and letting them see that they excel at the tasks they perform all help to show their contribution and to gradually let their talents shine through and their confidence grow.

The range of programmes and workshops on offer from Team Building Solutions offer you a multitude of different ways to help & promote healthy team working skills in a variety of situations. It’s important to improve these skills in every individual of your team to ensure an effective, driven team ethic is instilled throughout your company on a short term and long term basis. You can contact our team via email at andy@teambuildingsolutions.co.uk or pete@teambuildingsolutions.co.uk; alternatively, you can contact us via telephone on 01425 629327 or 07887 985859.

 

The Krypton Maze Explained

We are often asked if we can make one of our events have a certain outcome. The simple answer is yes. The perfect example of this is our Krypton Maze activity. This consists of a series of physical and cerebral challenges that are designed to test a teams team work capability. If you are of a particular age, you will remember the inspirations for this activity – Tv’s The Crystal Maze and The Krypton Factor. We have used the challenges in these shows as our inspiration. We have then incorporated some our our experiences to come up with a mixture of challenges that not only engage the extroverts in your team, but also the introverted thinker.

To help understand the way in which this activity can engage your team and be tailored to a variety of outcomes, we have produced the following document. As this is one of our most popular events, we hope this will help understand why it is such a versatile and popular event.

The Krypton Maze

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Formula 1 – the anti-team example!

Our last post talked about how we use the Formula 1 example of how teams can work effectively together and I often get a Formula 1 team cited in our workshops  as an example of a high performance team. The level of team work they usually exhibit is a classic example of a group of individuals working towards a common goal. However, we have recently seen how fragile this team can be because of 1 particular factor – the ego of the individual.

Sebastian Vettel demonstrated that, ultimately, the will of an individual can undermine the will of the team. Despite being given very clear instruction to not race his team mate, he put the success of the team in severe jeopardy. It’s happened before where a small mistake meant that both cars went off the track after a coming together and didn’t finish the race. In that case, the impact on the team was that there were no after race celebrations for a job well done and I’m sure some frank and open discussions about what impact that would have on future scenarios. It appears the lessons learnt on that occasion were lost in the recent race.

Compare this example to the McLaren team. Under the same instructions the drivers did follow team rules – although Rosburg did it under a certain amount of protest, he still abided by team rules.

What is the difference between the two? Probably the fact that Vettel is a triple World champion will give his ego that extra boost. The effect of this boost was for him to feel that it’s about him – not the team. We see all too often that success can breed an attitude of self importance which can lead to rule breaking (in a host of different ways!) and an erosion of REAL team values.

So, how did Vettel react to this? Compare the celebrations of him after crossing the line and getting out of the car to his demeanour after being greeted by his ‘team mate’ and team principal. Was he immediately sorry for disobeying the orders given to him? No. A mixture of inflated ego and adrenaline meant that for Vettel, at that time, winning was everything – no matter the consequences.

There is no question that he is a great driver. However, in a sport where the contribution of the team is all important, Vettel runs a risk of alienating himself. What impact may this have? Just look at other sporting examples where ego’s have not been allowed to impact on the team. Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United FC has a long history of jettisoning players seemingly in the form of their lives because of problems. Would Vettel win another World championship without Red Bull? I hope it’s a question that Vettel asked himself after the race! Remember Seb, a great way to think about teamwork is this – Together Everyone Achieves More.