Expand Your 3 Ball Juggling Skills

by Steve Thomson aka Steve the Juggler

This article is written for ball jugglers whether they only know a few tricks or hundreds! It is based on the notes sent to me by Bill Berry of the amazing Team Rootberry in 2007, as well as some insights from an excellent workshop ran by the wonderful Haggis in 2008.

Stretch that Cascade! - Do not move your feet at all during this exercise. Try juggling a cascade while doing each of the following, and you will start to see the cascade in a whole different light!

  • move head forward, head back, to the side, to the other side

  • move right shoulder up, left shoulder up, both shoulders up, shoulders pushed back, shoulders hunched forward

  • juggle high, touch the ceiling with each ball, just miss the ceiling with each ball

  • juggle as low as you can (remember not to move your feet at all!)

  • juggle overhead, juggle overhead with the arms fully stretched

  • juggle with your arms straight (do not bend them at the elbows at all!)

  • now you can try standing on just the left leg, then just the right leg

  • and finally... juggle with your eyes closed!

Each of these variations in the simple cascade could be repeated with reverse cascade, reverse arms, and many other tricks, so repeat this exercise to improve your skills and expand your routines further!

Slow Isolations

Hold one ball in your hand. Try moving the ball with your wrist as loose as possible (as if you have a broken wrist). Now juggle two balls in one hand while demonstrating (as slowly as possible, and then try even slower) some fluid broken wrist movements with the ball in your other hand. Remember to repeat the trick with your weaker hand holding the ball!

Trick Isolations

While juggling two balls in your right hand, do some other trick with the ball in your left hand. This could be like a slow isolation (see above) or perhaps a throw under the leg and catch with the same hand. The left hand is doing a completely different trick and movement than the 2 ball juggle in the right hand. It is important to maintain a steady rhythm with the 2 ball juggle, otherwise these tricks can look very messy!

This article is just a starting point for improving even the simplest of ball juggling skills, and it could be repeated for different objects such as clubs and rings. I hope that you feel inspired to continue finding new and inventive ways of expanding your act! Please let me know how you get on and I would love to hear your ideas also! For further reading, you might want to try the excellent Ball Theory article on the JugglingDB website by Blake Speers, written in 1990.

About the Author

Steve Thomson is a professional juggler based in East Midlands. He has an online juggling store (UK only) called Jugglingworld.biz. To find more useful Juggling articles, you can sign up to his free Newsletter. Twitter name is @stevejuggler

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here