Keeping the balls up

I read somewhere that the art of juggling is deceptive in the sense that it is not about catching, but about throwing…Hmmmm, let’s see….



Juggling is a skill involving moving objects for entertainment or sport. The most recognizable form of juggling is toss juggling, in which the juggler throws objects up to catch and toss up again. Wikipedia

Instructions (from The Internet Juggling Database)

Lesson 1. The throw

Take just one ball and cradle it in the palm of your hand. With your elbows close to your sides and your arms extended in-front of you at about waist height, toss the ball repeatedly from one hand to the other. Ideally each throw should peak at about eye level, with the throw coming from slightly towards the centre of the body and the catch slightly towards the outside. Repeat this throwing and catching action a number of times until you feel comfortable with it. As you make each catch, let the ball fall into your hand, cushioning its landing and in the same circular motion send it on its way again.

You will notice that the throws from the left and right hands follow slightly different arcs, as illustrated in the figure on the left.

Easy isn’t it? This same technique is used by jugglers to juggle 3 balls, 4 balls, 5, 6, 7 etc… although I doubt you feel very overwhelmed with your new found skill at this early stage.

Practice this lesson over-and-over until you feel quite relaxed. And each throw is under control.

The Throw

The Throw


Lesson 2 . The exchange

For this lesson, take two balls, one in each hand. Using the same technique we learnt in lesson one, throw one of the balls to the other hand. Now here’s the tricky bit, the hand which the ball is heading towards is already occupied; before we make the catch we must make a space for it! Here’s how it is done…

At the point when the first ball reaches its peak and starts its descent, throw the second ball just inside the arc of the first using the technique learnt in lesson one, as illustrated by our two dimensional juggling friend on the right. You should find that the balls land in your hands one after the other and that they have exchanged places.

Go away and try the exchange a few times…

Lesson 3. The double-exchange

This is it … the penultimate step; it’s time to pick up all three juggling balls. Place two in one hand and one in the other. Starting with the hand that holds two balls throw one of these balls in an eye level arc, as described in lesson one, as the ball peaks perform an exchange as per lesson two. Now as the second ball peaks perform an exchange again and finish by catching the third ball leaving two balls in one hand and one in the other once more. At this point you might like to take a bow, have a pint or buy yourself a new dress or something. Why? … because you have just juggled!

Once you have performed the double-exchange a few times you will start to really understand the process of three ball juggling. Most of the time there is only one ball in the air, and it is this ball on which you should focus your eyes and your concentration. As the ball descends towards its destination, it is exchanged for the ball in that hand, which then becomes airborne and the focus of attention. Once you start to get the feel for this, there will be no stopping you.

Lesson 4: Juggling

Once you have performed a few double-exchanges it is easy to see the next step, the triple-exchange … followed by the quadruple, quintuple and … whatever ‘tuple’ six is. By this point you should hopefully try to stop thinking of what you are doing as a series of exchanges, but as a single pattern, a juggling pattern. In juggling terms what you are doing is called the three cascades and it is the most basic of all juggling patterns. However, that does not mean it is a simple, or in any way an inferior juggling pattern. Quite the contrary, it is the most important of all juggling patterns and forms the cornerstone for nearly all the others!

Translation to life

Lesson 1. The throw

Take one problem and insert it firmly into your consciousness. Now simply let it slip out of focussed attention and then bring it back to the foremost of your thoughts.

Seriously – are you actually considering this????

Which one would you like to be?



Is it your life you are throwing around like this?

Please revisit the definition supplied by Wikipedia [moving objects for entertainment or sport]. So which part are you busy with; entertainment or sport?

Real Answer

If you are unwilling or unable to prioritise….

Simply take one problem at a time. Keep your head down and work through it.

Please comment, share, send others, post it on your sites just help as many other people as you can to breathe….

Have a happy day…


3 thoughts on “Keeping the balls up

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