How to Juggle 3 Balls
HOW TO JUGGLE THE 3 BALL CASCADE
So, you want to learn how to juggle? You rock.
Juggling is a great hobby. It's good exercise, it works your brain, and it teaches you patience. Like, a lot of patience.
Did I mention it's also really fun? Because it's really fun! Juggling is a never-ending puzzle that you can take anywhere, and the community that surrounds it is awesome.
Okay, enough chit-chat. Let's juggle!
I've made a video tutorial showing you all the steps to learn how to juggle, plus common troubleshooting mistakes. You can check that out here! But if you prefer written instructions, continue reading...
(but seriously the video will probably be more helpful)
The Juggling Mindset?
So before you can jump into throwing stuff in the air, you have to know what "juggling" is.
The official definition of juggling is "continuously throwing and catching multiple objects in the air."
But in reality, juggling is a hobby that consists of throwing, and dropping.
You're going to drop a lot, and that's OKAY!
Dropping is a big part of it, and it just means you're trying. The important thing to remember is not to get discouraged. You'll drop a lot, and start getting down on yourself. You'll probably say things like "I'm too uncoordinated. I can't do it."
You can do it.
Keep trying, keep picking up, and keep throwing again. And enjoy that process! Juggling is all about messing up, and trying again. And remember, even if it doesn't feel like you're improving, you are.
Equipment - JUGGLING BALLS!
Any good juggler needs a good set of juggling balls. Luckily, juggling is pretty diverse and you can learn with any heavy-enough round-ish object. But if you're wanting to have a good time, and learn with the right tools, I highly recommend you get a set of juggling beanbags.
I have an affordable and durable beginner set you can buy here!:
(I recommend buying another small item from the website to take advantage of the free shipping over $20!)
Or if you prefer Amazon:
If you can't get your hands on that set I recommend, you can make your own DIY balls with balloons, but these can break pretty easily. You can also use "hacky sacks", but I find them too flimsy and small. And for almost the same price, you can get my good quality set above!
Whatever you do, DO NOT USE TENNIS BALLS. They are too light and bounce everywhere!
The 3 Ball Cascade
The basic 3 ball pattern is called "The 3 Ball Cascade". This pattern consists of alternating throws between your right and left hand.
You're throwing a ball from your right hand to your left hand, and when that ball comes down you throw the next ball from your left hand to your right hand. It's just right-left-right-left. FOREVER.
Break it Down
To learn the cascade, it's best to break it down ball by ball. Start with one ball! Take a moment and throw the ball around. Get used to the feeling of catching and throwing it. Once you feel good about throwing and catching an object, you can start aiming.
To be efficient, I find it best to aim for 2 POINTS. These points should be about shoulder width apart and a little bit above your head. Can you visualize them?
Now that you have your two points, you're going to want to throw to try to hit them! When you throw with your right hand, aim for the left point. When you throw with your left hand, aim for the right point.
Practice throwing 1 ball back and forth hitting those two points. I recommend starting with your dominant hand throwing to your non-dominant hand, then throw it back. Try to catch the ball a little outside of your shoulder and scoop it in as you throw. The ball should create a "figure 8".
Once you feel comfortable with 1, you can move on to 2 balls!
Holding one ball in each hand, you're going to throw one to your other hand just like we did earlier.
But now, when that ball is coming down, you throw the second ball!
So visualizing our two points again, you'll hit the first point, then the second point. It can help to say to yourself "1-2, catch-catch" or "up-up, catch-catch" as you throw.
Make sure the balls go the same height, and are timed evenly. You don't want to throw the balls too quickly together! Wait for the first ball to start coming down before you throw that second ball.
Get really comfortable doing that back and forth! Do both "left-right" throws, then "right-left" throws. When you feel good about it, pick up a third ball!
With 3 balls, you'll hold 2 balls in one hand and 1 ball in the other. I recommend starting with 2 in your dominant hand.
To start, you'll throw with the hand holding two balls. It starts just like the 2 ball exercise: Throw a ball up, then throw the second ball when the first one comes down.
But this time, as the second ball is coming down, you throw the third ball!
So instead of just two throws "right-left" (or "left-right"), you're now doing three throws "right-left-right" (or "left-right-left").
Remember to keep the balls the same height, and aim for those two points we've been visualizing!
It's also important to remember that you should be scooping sideways to throw the balls, not forward or backwards! Keep everything in the same "plane".