5 steps to juggling for beginners

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Learning to juggle like a pro.

Believe it or not, when a person is juggling 3 balls, only one will be in the air for the majority of the time – while each hand has the other two! With a little practice and some diligence, you can learn to juggle like a pro and impress your friends!

How to juggle

Step by step:
1. To begin practicing, start passing only 1 ball from one hand to another. Don’t try to get fancy yet. The idea is to warm up, get your hands coordinated, and get a feel for the size and weight of the ball. Make sure to throw to eye-height or above. Focus on keeping your hands moving as little as possible and still completing the catch, and keeping your elbows by your hips.


2. Once you have the hang of this, begin practicing the exact same motion but add a scoop or dip to your motion your hand before you toss the ball. This will make your juggling motion more smooth and fluid as you begin to add balls. If you are finding this difficult at first, put the ball down, close your eyes, and mime the motion a juggler makes. You will likely find that you are automatically making this dipping motion in your juggling.


3. Now that you’re getting a feel for the basics, it’s time to grab another ball. Toss the first ball from one hand, and toss the second ball from the other hand when the first reaches the top of its arc. This doesn’t have to look pretty at first, but practice until it’s comfortable. Remember, don’t throw the second ball until the first one is at the TOP of it’s arc! While you may be able to do otherwise at first, this will become even more important as you add additional balls, and you want to instill the proper technique into your muscle memory.


4. Once you feel that you have this absolutely nailed, you can begin to try this while holding a third ball. You don’t need to throw all 3 yet; just practice the same motion but with an extra ball in your hand. Next, try throwing the third ball just once (3 passes in a row then STOP!). Hold two balls in your dominant hand and one in the other. Throw just one of the balls from the hand holding two. Learn about the balls’ trajectories and how they pass in midair. Focus on keeping the throws controlled and contained. If they begin to get wild and you are chasing balls again, go back to two balls until you have it under control. Don’t be discouraged if you do not get to this step on the first day – it takes a while to get your body used to the juggling motion. If you are going to take a break and try again on another day, make sure you end your first session on a COMPLETED toss – research indicates that you learn better when you end on a successful throw.


5. Try 4 throws then STOP. Then 5 throws then STOP. Gradual progress is the key to learning to juggle – it is rare to master it in a single day. But keep at it and soon you will be juggling in no time!

Pro tips for beginner jugglers:
Find suitable balls – they don’t have to be specifically designed for juggling, although juggling balls tend to not bounce or roll. This can save you a lot of chasing when you are first starting out.

Try:

or, you can make some juggling tennis balls by filling them with sand or coins, and covering them in a round balloon.


Start practicing with your knees up against your bed or your waist up against a desk or table. This way, when you drop the balls they will be easier to pick up. As you begin to become a master juggler, you can start taking 1 step back and increasing the distance gradually.


If you just can’t get the hang of it and are getting frustrated, try light, small juggling scarves or ribbons . They will float in the air for longer, giving you extra time to work on your juggling skills.

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