Learning to Juggle

Learning to juggle in 3 easy steps.

Preparation
Firstly make sure you have lots of space around you (no fragile, breakable items is always a good idea). Also try to make sure there's nothing close by for your balls to roll under e.g. a heavy sofa - you don't want to lose a ball and have to give up after your first try.

Tip
If you ever get frustrated whilst learning, or seem to be getting worse the longer you try, just take a short break and chill out. The amount of concentration needed in learning to juggle can leave you feeling irritable and drained so take time out, relax and you'll learn quicker when you pick up the balls again.

Let's get started - One Ball

Most professionals will tell you the easiest way to learn is by starting with one ball, then two and finally - only when you're happy you've mastered the technique - introduce the final ball.

So, pick up a ball and hold both hands in front of you with your palms facing up. Loosely hold the ball in one of your hands, lower your hand and throw up and slightly across your body so the ball lands in the other hand.

  • Try to throw the ball just above head height
  • Throw using your elbow not your wrist
  • Do not reach up to catch the ball, let it fall into your hand
  • Keep your eye on the ball so you can predict where and when it will land

Try this a few times left to right and right to left, try to get a rhythm going. Only move on to the next step, when the ball is thrown at a consistent height each time and your hands remain level.

Almost there - Two Balls

Pick up one ball in each hand, start by throwing one ball up and across like you were doing before, when this ball has reached in peak throw the other ball up and across in the opposite direction. If your first ball was travelling right to left, your second ball will be travelling left to right. Each ball should land in the opposite hand.

The sequence of events should be:

  1. Throw ball one
  2. Throw ball two
  3. Catch ball one
  4. Catch ball two

Try leading with the right hand first, then try leading with the left, you may find leading with one hand easier than the other at first, but you should practice until leading with both feels comfortable.

  • Make sure both balls peak at the same height (at different times)
  • Do not horizontally pass the second ball over to the other hand whilst ball one is in the air (this is a common mistake when first learning to juggle)

Three balls - Juggling!

Pick up all three balls and put two balls in one hand - the hand you wish to start with, and put one ball in the other hand. Start as you did before only when the second ball has reached its peak, throw up the third ball.

If you have done this right all three balls should be in the opposite hand from where they started. So, if you started juggling with 2 balls in the right hand, you should now have those two same balls in the left hand.

Once you have mastered this, you have learnt the pattern of balls being thrown and caught, you just need to learn how to repeat this pattern.

The three ball cascade
Now is the time to carry on juggling and make the fourth throw. People often get stuck just before making this throw, if this happens to you forget about trying to catch the ball just make the throw. Some people find counting the throws helps - 1,2,3,4...