Three Ball Juggling For Beginners

With an hour of free time, three balls and these instructions, you'll be well on your way to a great life-long hobby- juggling! Sure, juggling has been touted as a great stress reliever, a tool for building self-confidence, etc. But the real reason you should learn to juggle is that it's a whole lot of fun.

Step 1

Throw and Catch

Stand with your elbows, bent about 90 degrees, at your side, with your wrists up. Throw a ball in a gentle arc from one hand to the other, peaking at the height of the top of your head or a little higher. Look at the point where you want the ball to peak, and try another throw as you continue to watch that spot in the air. You'll find that you only need to watch the ball peak to be able to catch it. When catching a ball, don't reach up to grab it, but let the ball come down to your hand. Try a few more throws and catches (both left-to-right and right-to-left) without looking away from that spot when the throws peak.

Step 2

The Exchange

Now hold a ball in each hand, and throw the one from your left hand towards your right just like you did before. Keep watching that spot at the top of the arc. When the first ball peaks, throw the second one from your right hand towards your left, just as high as the first ball. Aim the second throw under the path of the first ball. The second ball should peak a few inches to the left of where the first ball peaked. Watching the peaks, catch the first ball in your right hand, and a moment later, catch the second ball in your left hand. This may seem tricky at first, but just a few minutes of practice will make it seem very easy. Try it both ways, starting with the left hand throw first and with the right hand throw first. Keep working on it until you're catching both balls fairly consistently, and can start with either hand. If it's feeling pretty good, move on to step 3. If you're having some trouble, here are some tips that may help:

Step 3

The Flash

Hold two balls in your left hand and one in your right. Throw one of the balls from your left hand towards you right and when it peaks, throw the next ball from your right hand towards your left. That leaves your right hand empty in time to catch the first ball. So far this is what you did in step 2, but this time when the second ball peaks, throw the third ball from your left hand toward your right. You'll catch the second ball in your left hand, and a moment later you'll catch the third ball in your right hand. Don't get discouraged if it takes a few minutes before you catch all three balls. If you're having trouble, look at the tips listed with step 2. They also apply to this step and step 4. Practice until you've caught all 3 balls several times.

Step 4

The 3 Ball Cascade

Do the same thing you did in step three, but when the third throw peaks, make another throw from the hand where that ball will land. Once that works, do the same thing but when the fourth throw peaks, make a fifth throw from the hand where the fourth one will land. When you get that, go on for a sixth throw and so on. Congratulations! You're juggling! You're doing the most common juggling pattern, the 3 ball cascade. And there's no reason to stop. Every time a ball peaks, throw the next one from the hand where it will be caught. Very soon you'll find your hands have learned the rhythm: right-left-right-left... Keep count of the number of throws you make, and try to break your own record.

Now What?

Practice some more, and you'll be amazed how quickly you master the 3 ball cascade. With regular practice, in a few days you'll find you can juggle 3 balls for several minutes without stopping or dropping. You'll even find you can do it without thinking about it, even while walking and talking. The moment juggling 3 balls just doesn't seem challenging any more, it's time to move on to the next level. You can have a lot of fun and add challenge to your juggling a number of ways:

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