Learn How to Juggle Three Balls
For the do it yourself-ers:
The “Cascade” crossing pattern or ‘8’ pattern is the best starting pattern.
The Shower or circle pattern is cool but much harder to learn. Start with the Cascade!
Trying to learn the circle pattern, while very easy with 2 is very difficult with 3. If you’ve done 2 in a circle, then breaking this pattern may be your most difficult task. You do not want to hand any balls across the bottom, if you want to learn 3.
Basic 3 balls:Get 3 balls, the weight of a lacrosse ball, solid dog ball, or the like. Or Make your own balls. -Hold your hands similar to how you hold a tray. Palms up. This is the basic position. Ideally you don’t move too far from this ‘tray’ position when you juggle. Practice the following until it’s easy and then some: Start with one ball and practice making good throws from hand to hand, with hands in ‘tray’ position -Each throw should go about 6 inches higher than your the head. -From your right hand, the throw should go up, cross in front of your face, and peak just to the left side of your head, 6″ above it -From your left hand the throw should go up, cross in front of your face, and peak just to the right side of your head, 6″ above it -The ball should land in the opposite hand without moving too far from the ‘tray’ position. – Ideally the entire process [throw-ball flying-&catch] takes place on one plane, travelling right up against an imagined wall right in front of you. Each throw you make when you juggle will be exactly like these throws so practice it well.
For 2 balls:-Hold one in each hand. -Throw the right hand ball first, exactly like the throw just practiced. -Wait until you see it just start to come down Then throw the left hand ball up just like the practice throws. -Try to make each hand throw the balls the same hight (6″ higher than your head) -Don’t worry about catching them at this stage. If it’s easy, catch them. If not, then let them fall. -Most important is to be making good throws, in the proper timing. (wait till you see the first ball just start to come down before making the second throw) -Each throw should be crossing in front of your nose -When you make the throws right, the hands will remain very close to the ‘tray’ position when throwing and catching. -Also learn to do this starting with the left hand. -Once one ball is in the air, you can think of the second throw as an ‘exchange’. The ball in the air is exchanged for the ball in the hand. They trade places.
Troubleshooting with 2:-If the 2nd throw goes away from you: This generally means you are focused too much on catching the incoming ball, and as you make the throw you are also moving your hand towards the catch. This pushes the throw too far forward. -To correct this you must concentrate only on the throws, even if it means dropping the catches. -You May also want to try purposely not catching, so as to really concentrate on the throws. Strange as it may seem, this really helps many people. -Try standing facing a wall, with the wall about 3″ in front of your hands in tray position
To do 3 balls:-Hold 2 in your right hand, and one in your left hand, tray position. -Throw one of the right hand balls up. -When it starts to come down towards the left, do the ‘exchange’, throwing the left hand ball. -When that one starts to come down to the right, do the ‘exchange on that side. -When that one starts to come down to the left, do the exchange on that side… continue ad infinitum.
Tips and troubleshooting:-Balls going away from you or you find you are walking forwards- see 2 ball tips Also you can try standing in front of a bed to practice. This stops you from moving forward, and makes picking up balls a bit easier. -Can’t make the 3rd throw: practice throwing 3 without catching anyof them. If you have 3 balls in your hands to start with there is no reason not to make at least 3 throws. -Don’t rush. Wait until you see each ball in the air start to come down before you make the next throw Make all the throws 6″ higher than your head. This will give you a good amount of time to focus on each throw. -Don’t get into the rhythm of it. By this I mean keep the focus very immediate. Relate this throw only to the proper timing for this throw, waiting till you actually see the previous throw start to come down before making this throw. It has nothing to do with the rhythm of previous throws or catches. It has nothing to do with your ideas of what ‘juggling rhythm’ is.
Find nearby jugglers. Jugglers tend to be fairly friendly and welcoming towards beginners.
Visit juggling.org for jugglers meetings near you.
Information courtesy of Funny Frank.