Juggling 3 balls
Created on 3/2/2010 by Disciplanner
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Juggling is a fantastic way to get exercise while having fun.  Juggling requires balance and coordination, as well as arm strength.  Proper juggling stance is athletic, with a flexed core and slightly bent knees.  In addition, this exercise is fun to practice with friends, and an impressive skill to show off to others.  You can successfully juggle 3 balls in as little as two weeks if you are willing to dedicate 30 minutes of practice 3 times a week to the cause.  To do this, you can either use tennis balls, or buy nice juggling balls.  Either works fine.

First, practice with your strong tossing a ball in the air, concentrating on accurate, consistent throws and rapid release. Your strong hand is the most important for juggling, and the faster you are, you can pick up slack for mistakes made by your weaker hand.  This may seem boring, but it is important to be able to throw perfectly with this hand if you are to become a good juggler.

Next practice tossing two balls at once.  Your weak hand will serve as a “shoveler”, passing the ball almost horizontally to the floor into your strong hand.  Each hand will have a ball in it.  Practice tossing the balls in this order: Strong hand tosses ball in arc to weak hand, seconds after release, weak hand shovels ball to strong hand.  Weak hand catches ball thrown to it by strong hand, and strong hand catches ball tossed to it by weak hand.  That is one round.  Practice doing this, slowly at first and build up speed gradually.  This will take a lot of time, and you may drop the ball as you pick up speed.  This is OK, just make sure you practice enough to get this technique down.

To incorporate a third ball, you must practice another technique, which is holding two balls at once and quick catch and release in your strong hand.  Practice this by taking your weak hand out of the game and practicing juggling two balls in your strong hand.  Toss them rapidly in succession, remaining consistent in the ball's velocity, and as they come down to your hand rapidly release again.  To know that you have mastered this technique, you should be able to juggle two balls in your hand at a consistent pace and without stopping for at least a minute.

Once you have mastered a fast-paced and accurate two-ball shoveler, as well as juggling two balls in one hand, it is time to bring them together and juggle three balls.  When you juggle three balls, what you are really doing is both these motions at once.  Start with two balls in your strong hand and one in your weak.  Release the two balls in your strong hand first.  The first is thrown in an arc to your weak hand, the second is tossed in straight in the air, where it will fall back down again to your strong hand.  After releasing the two balls, the third will be shoveled from your weak to your strong hand.  Quickly release the ball as soon as it hits your strong hand, throwing it in an arc to your right hand.  By that time the ball you tossed straight in the air will have come back down again, toss it straight in the air again.  Repeat these motions over and over again, you are juggling!

It is difficult to explain the process step by step, so try to visualize with a simple picture.  If the balls are labeled A,B and C, with A and B in your strong hand, and C in your weak, here is roughly what you are doing:  A remains on your strong side and is simply thrown up and down in the air.  B and C go through a circular motion, tossed in the air to the weak hand, shoveled back to the strong hand, and repeated over and over again.

Juggling is an activity that requires strong coordination, and it'll take some longer than others to pick up.  Once you have mastered tossing three balls, continue working on your speed and accuracy.  You can increase your speed by tossing the balls at lower heights.  Once you can juggle fast, it is fun to practice movement while juggling, such as running, dancing or skipping.  Tricks such as tossing a ball from under your leg can be easily mastered once you have the technique down pat.
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