Learn to Juggle
- 31 mins on-demand video
- 3 articles
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- Certificate of Completion
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- Students will be able to juggle 3 balls (and more) after completing this course
- No prior knowledge required. Yet, you will need a set of juggling balls.
In this course you will learn how to juggle! A cool party trick, a fun hobby, a healthy distraction to reduce stress... Juggling is it all! With this course everyone can learn how to juggle within one afternoon. Once learned the skill of juggling stays with you for the rest of your life! Juggling is fun, and with this course you can do it in no time!
- Anyone that is interested in learning how to juggle.
Let's get started! I want you to make the quickest progress possible!
To make good progress, you will need proper equipment. Not all balls are suitable for juggling. For example, tennis balls or golf balls aren’t ideal. For juggling, please use balls that are large enough so you can fit three in your hand.
For an adult, balls or beanbags that are roughly 67 mm (2.625 in.) in diameter and 125 gram (4.4 oz.) in weight are ideal. Children can use slightly smaller juggling balls.
Now that you have some understanding on what props to use, let's get started!
Below you will find two links to where you can purchase professional juggling balls, in case you don't have any yet!
Now, it’s time to start learning how to juggle.
Before picking up our juggling balls, it’s important to know how to stand correctly. Your body position has to be in line because if it is not, you will end up making mistakes.
As you can see in the illustration, it’s very important to stand up straight. This way, you have control over the direction of the throws. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, spreading your feet slightly. Place the weight of your body on the balls of your feet. Bend your knees slightly and relax your shoulders (remember to relax your neck). Keep your arms at your sides and bend elbows in a 90-degree angle.
Next, we are going to practice the motion for tossing and catching the ball. Toss the ball from a point placed in front of your bellybutton. The ball should be thrown with an arc and you catch it just aside of your hip—That will be your catching position. Then, proceed to bring the hand placed
outside of your body width back to the front of your bellybutton. This is where you throw the ball. Lastly, throw it to your other hand where you can catch it just aside of your body.
Practice this motion with your arms for about five minutes. You will get used to the correct body position and also the correct form of throwing and catching a ball. It may seem a little silly to practice this move for five minutes, but this is time well spent.
Every journey starts with the first step... In this case, the journey of juggling starts off with the first ball.
When using just one ball, it’s easier to practice our body position and get familiar with the correct form of throwing. Start by tossing the ball from one hand to the other. This may seem very basic at first, but it is important to learn how to juggle correctly. Please take a look at the illustration to see how correct throwing looks.
Throw the ball from in front of your bellybutton; it flies out and then is caught by your hand on the side of your body. After catching the ball, you will
bring it back in again, learning to throw from your bellybutton.
While throwing the ball, make sure its peak is just above eye level. If thrown too low, you will not have enough time to correct any possible mistakes. If thrown too high, you will cause room for error. Make sure to keep an eye on the ball and throw it slightly above eye level.
Some people encounter a problem with the ball flying to the front or to the back. The ball should propel straight and upwards. If somebody is watching you from the side, they should see that the ball moves up straight. If you notice that the ball flies to the front, it means that the ball was let go too quickly. If your ball goes backwards, it means the ball was held for too long. Release the ball at a point where your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle with arms placed on the sides of your body.
This move is a fun trick by itself, and it is also a great way to prepare for an upcoming trick with two balls. That trick is called The Exchange.
To juggle two balls in one hand, start with your dominant hand. Hold one ball with your ring finger and pinky, while the other ball lays on your middle finger, pointer finger, and thumb (see illustration at the next page). The ball that you’re holding with your middle, pointer finger and thumb is the ball you will throw first. Throw that ball up but with a little outside arc.
After successfully completing the trick with your dominant hand, start practicing with your non-dominant hand.
I make sure to throw the ball slightly to the outside of my body-width. This is the catching point. Before catching, throw the second ball underneath the incoming ball. When the first ball almost lands in my hand, I proceed to throw the second ball.
In the beginning, it might be a little challenging to get the second ball out before the first one comes down; but don’t worry. You will understand the concept of this trick in no time, and soon after, it will work for you.
After successfully completing the trick with your dominant hand, start practicing with your non-dominant hand.
The two ball exchange is the key to juggling with three balls. This is the essential step that you must learn before you can move on to three balls.
Start with a ball in each hand. I am right-handed, so I will start with my left hand. I’m going to throw the left ball to my right hand. When that ball almost lands into my right hand, it’s time for me to start throwing the ball that I have been holding in my right hand. That ball I will throw to my left hand.
The balls should cross in the order below:
You will see that the balls have changed hands.
In the beginning, it will feel that it’s all happening very fast. It will almost feel that you’re thinking too slowly. Don’t worry, with practice, your brain will catch up.
Please take a a look at the illustration for you to easier understand how the balls fly through the air. Also, please claim your free bonus so you can view it in slow motion and observe how to perform this move.
Make sure you can do this move (in both directions) ten times in a row without dropping.
After you’re comfortable, you can alternate with your other hand. Since I am right handed, that means I will start with my right hand. With the ball in my right hand, once I throw it, it will land in my left hand, and vice a versa; hopefully catching both.
Make sure to practice and have fun until you can consistently complete this task. Then, get the third ball out and be ready to amaze everybody with three-ball juggling!
This is why you bought the book! You can almost juggle! Let’s get to the last step! This is going to be a lot of fun.
To juggle three balls; start with two balls in your dominant hand, and hold one ball in the other hand. Since I’m right handed, I start with two balls in my right hand.
Start by doing the exchange (see previous chapter): a right hand throw followed by a left hand throw.
To continue, the third ball will need to come into play as well. I throw the third ball after my first left-hand throw. Basically, I am doing the exchange two times, and back to back. Right hand throw, left hand throw followed, by another right hand throw. If you can do this successfully and catch all the balls, you have done a “three-ball flash”.
In this pattern, the balls always cross and are thrown at the same height. Don’t speed up. Wait to throw the next ball until the other ball is almost in your hand. Give it more time than you think. I always count along when I juggle. I say to myself, “Right, left, right, left...” Try to keep the rhythm constant and slow.
Some people make a mistake of throwing too quickly. When learning to juggle three balls, it’s very important that you wait to throw the next ball until the previous ball almost arrives in your hand.
Start practicing by just doing the flash (three throws and three catches). If you start with two balls in your right hand, you will end with two balls in your left hand. After you get really good at this, you can add more throws to this juggling pattern. So after three throws, you will go for four throws. Right, left, right, left. When that is easy, challenge yourself and go for six throws (three-ball qualify, see chapter JuggleTalk) and then ten throws. After ten throws, try twenty, and so forth. When you accomplish this, you can officially juggle with three balls. Bravo!
Something people notice while learning to juggle three balls, is that all of the balls start to go forward. As a result, they have to walk behind the balls, or run after them. There is a tip that can eliminate this problem; hold on to the balls a bit longer. For yourself, create an imaginary point just behind you that you aim the balls at. This way, you may overcompensate for the mistake that you’re making. Hold on to the balls a bit longer and try to throw them back. Another way to solve this problem is to practice in front of a wall.
“Over the top” is great to learn as your first juggling trick. You will juggle the cascade and one ball is thrown “over the top”.
Normally, when catching a ball, you will bring your hand in (in front of your belly button) to throw that ball under the next ball. To be able to achieve “over the top”, you will keep your hand in the catching position and throw the ball from there after catching it.
Throw that ball over the entire juggling pattern and catch it on the other side, aligned with your body. Lastly, bring that ball in again and continue juggling the cascade.
In the half shower, do “over the top” throws continuously with just one hand.
This is a fancy finish. After juggling the cascade, throw one ball high in the air. Make sure to throw the ball straight up. When the ball comes downward, bend forward like you’re taking a bow and try to catch the ball in your neck. It always helps me when I push my shoulder blades out a little, so I create a little socket for the ball to land in. Try to cushion the catch.
This is a more difficult trick. It’s also what most people think juggling is. The balls move around in a circle. One hand does all the high throws and the other hand passes the balls to that hand quickly. Start with two balls in your dominant hand and one in your non-dominant hand. I am right-handed so my start looks like this. Right throw, right throw, low pass from left to right. Keep throwing the high throw and the low pass together while staying synchronized.
Juggling four balls is a great trick. A lot of people do not know how to do this, and I am on a mission to change that. You’re going to be one of the few people that learn this amazing feat. There’s a big difference between juggling with three balls and four balls. Get yourself ready, and have fun. Let’s begin!
The key difference between three and four-ball juggling is that with three-ball juggling, the balls cross. With four balls, the balls do not cross. With four balls, juggle with two balls in your left hand and two in your right hand. When putting these two tricks together, you have the juggling of four balls.
There are two different rhythms in which you can juggle with four balls. The two rhythms are; synchronized rhythm and a-synchronized rhythm.
The approach in practicing to learn four-ball juggling is similar to learning three-ball juggling. First, we are going to go for one rotation of the pattern. In four- ball juggling, we’re going to go for four catches: just four throws, and four catches.
Make sure that your body position is good and you stand straight. Relax your neck and shoulders with your elbows slightly bent. Make sure that you can juggle two balls with your left hand really well, and also that you’ve mastered juggling two balls with your right hand.
Mastering two balls in one hand with both the left and right hand is the key to juggling four balls.
After you’ve learned those tricks individually, you will put them together and go for four catches between your two hands.
We’re going to throw “right, left, right, and left”. That’s the a-synchronized rhythm. If you want to start with the synchronized rhythm, all you think to yourself is, “Together, together, catch, catch. Together, together, catch, catch.”
After this feels easy to you and you can do this trick, one rotation of the pattern, in juggler’s terms, is called The Flash. If you can do The Flash without dropping, you’re ready to move on and make it a little bit more challenging for yourself and take it to the next level. Next, try six throws. After mastering the six throws, go for eight throws, ten throws, and so on.
Four-ball juggling can be difficult, but I know you can do it with dedication and practice. Three balls took me a week. Learning how to juggle four balls took me over a month.