Most children get mesmerised when someone juggles in front of them, and I was one of those kids. I’d never really took the time out to try and learn how it’s done, like most people I figured it would probably be quite easy.
It kind of is, but for at least the first 30 attempts I was hopeless and frustrated!
The idea is that you stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your elbows tucked in, and your arms at about a 90 degree angle, then begin by just throwing the ball from one hand to the other so that it makes an arc around your eye level.
At first, even this simple task proved how little dexterity I had, since half the time I dropped it. However, it only took minutes before this part of the process was perfected.
There are lots of video tutorials on youtube for your perusal that will help you, but on the one I watched they advised closing your eyes at this point and practice throwing the ball blindfolded!?! …How are you supposed to catch the ball if you can’t see it? I had a go at this and soon realised I’m not a jedi, so scrapped that bit and moved onto the next.
Here’s where it gets a little trickier because you add the second ball. After throwing the first ball to eye level, you then throw the 2nd ball in the air and keep swapping hands!
‘Ahhhh!’ This is the part where you need patience! I used tennis balls, over and over and over again I just kept dropping one, sometimes both. Had I been aware beforehand how many times I’d be scurrying after the dastardly little sphere’s I’d have went out and bought small bean bags which are far better to learn with.
It took a good 45 minutes of none stop practice with the 2 balls before I was able to consistently catch them both and not drop any. After around half an hour of that time I had a moment where I kinda just found my rhythm and it got a lot easier after that.
Adding the third ball almost felt like starting again from scratch, the idea is to throw the third ball just before the second ball lands in your other hand. Easier said than done. I was dropping the luminous globes more than ever, they just seemed to keep colliding in the air and rolling out to 3 corners of the room.
Fortunately with practice and patience there came another moment where I got more rhythm, and from then on it was just a case of replicating that method.
It’s difficult but try to resist the urge to kick the balls out of frustration, you’ll probably end up needing a new TV if your indoors.
Use bean bags if you can, or if not practice outside on the grass so they can’t roll away.
From start to finish it took me little more than 2 hours to fully get the hang of it and be able to juggle perfectly. I had expected it to take a lot longer than that so I was pretty pleased with myself. Had I been practicing 10 minutes a day for a couple of weeks I’m not sure I’d have got the same results.
I won’t be looking to add a fourth ball just yet though, impressing anyone willing to watch using 3 will do for now.