Have you ever come across a right handed but left footed person and thought that was weird? When a person’s dominant hand, foot, eye, and ear are not the same, it is referred to as mixed dominance. Some parents discover that if their children have developmental delays, they do not have a dominant hand after completing all exercises.
For instance, you can consider how there are children around you that may eat or write with their left hand while using other tools or toys with their right. A child with no dominant hand or dominant side is more likely to develop a processing problem, ADHD, or another impairment that makes learning difficult later in life.
In this article, we will talk about mixed dominance, how rare it is to be right-handed but left-footed, and a list of footballers with mixed dominance.
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If You Are Right Handed What is Your Dominant Leg?
As per research, a whopping 89.4% of the world’s population is right-handed, while there is only 10.6% of the people have left hands as their dominant side.
However, do you know how many people in the world are right or left-footed? Probably no, right?
If you are right-handed, you are more likely to also be right-footed, but there’s also a small chance that you may be left-footed or may not favor either foot for many tasks.
A 2016 study took data from around 12,000 participants to see what ratio of people have a right or left dominant foot. It was found that 61.6% of the participants were right-handed and right-footed while only 8.2% of the participants were left-footed. Unexpectedly enough, around 30.2% of people are mixed-footed or do not have any preferences for using their feet, whereas just 2.3% displayed mixed-handedness
If you are a right-handed person and are unsure about your leg dominance, imagine this scenario. Which foot would you move first if you were asked to take a step forward? You can go ahead and try doing it right now or ask someone to observe you while you are not paying attention. This is one of the most reliable and efficient methods for determining if people’s self-reported leg dominance corresponds to their observed leg dominance.
How Rare Is It to Be Left Footed and Right Handed?
Scientists previously believed that our handedness was caused by a single gene. However, we know better now that our dexterity is also influenced by our surroundings, in addition to many different aspects of our genetics.
As per research, right-handed people are 61.6% right-footed. The statistics for left-handed people are somewhat similar. 60.1% of people that are left-handed are left-footed. However, it is very rare for a right-hander to be left-footed – only 3.2% of people fit into this bracket.
Left Footed Percentage
It is fascinating to notice these odd asymmetries in action, such as a person who is right-handed but left-footed. Or even a person who is left-handed but their right leg is dominant, is it not? We frequently find ourselves holding the phone in our left hand and uncomfortably placing it on our right ear while taking notes with our right hand.
If we consider the research available, only 12.1% of the population consists of left-footed people. This is comparatively higher compared to left-handedness though, because, as stated earlier, only 10.6% of the population is left-handed. Besides this, left-eared people account for 40% of the population, followed by left-eyed people at 30%.
Can You Be Left Handed and Right Footed?
To answer the question, yes, you can certainly be left-handed and right-footed. As mentioned earlier, this is known as cross or mixed dominance. This is also a condition in which one hand is preferred for certain tasks while the other is preferred for others. For example, a mixed-handed individual might write with their right hand while doing everything else with their left.
A fun fact is that many animals also show handedness when performing tasks, so you can observe whether your dog uses its left or right paw to scratch itself.
You can easily come across a right-handed but left-footed person or a left-handed person who may be stronger with the right as the dominant foot. There are several left-handed drummers who favor their right foot. This type of cross dominance is not associated with ADHD but not having a dominant hand is.
Am I Left Footed?
You don’t need to participate in a formal study if you want to find out if you’re left footed. Just ask a friend to observe you while you carry out some or all of the following tasks. If you favor a particular foot for a majority of the tasks, then that’s your dominant foot. If you use both legs almost equally, then you’re probably mixed footed. Try to do each task at least 3 times and record the observations.
- Place a football in front on a target and see which foot you use to shoot the ball towards the target at the end of a short run up.
- Run down a short track and take a jump near the end of it. Which leg did you jump off of?
- Look for an insect and stomp it with your foot. Which one did you use?
- Place a few marbles on the floor and with your bare foot, use your toes to pick them up. Which foot did you use?
Right Handed Left Footed Footballers
While we know that the term southpaw came from sports and that southpaws have a small advantage against their opponents in some sports, it is less obvious whether being left-footed also carries any advantage. For decades, a debate has raged concerning left-footed footballers and the advantage they may hold against their counterparts. Are they are born with a natural advantage over right-footed players or is it just that their opponents have a tougher time defending against them or getting around them?
It is difficult to come up with the exact percentage of professional left-footed soccer players in the world, so let’s take a look at just the number from 16 teams from the 1998 World Cup and the top 20 of the highest paid players today instead. The world cup study showed that 79% of the players were left-footed, while the percentage of the current highest paid that are left-footed is 35%. The difference in the numbers may show that being left-footed may give you a small advantage in becoming a very good soccer player.
Since there are fewer opportunities for lower level players to gain experience against left-footed counterparts, it could be a reason why there are more left-footed footballers at the top levels. That said, when it comes to being a great soccer player, you can be dominant with either foot, but being almost equally skilled with both is definitely the best scenario.
So far we’ve talked about only being left footed. But are there any famous soccer players that write with their right hand but are left foot dominant? Yes, there are! Here are a few of the most noticeable names in footballers that are right-handed but left-footed :
- Lionel Messi
- Gareth Bale
- Mohamed Salah
- Robin Van Persie
- Ryan Giggs
- Roberto Carlos
And the list goes on.
Whenever you come across a right handed but left footed or left handed but right footed person, just know that these people are rare and just as capable as people with one-sided dominance.