Made a bet, now I need your help!

A friend bet me that I could not learn to juggle 3 balls in 30 days… Doesnt even have to be on my uni…
He supplied me with the balls today. Any good sites, videos, tips?
If I learn, he has to change my oil for me! LOL
If I loose I have to mow his mom and dads lawn

The Internet Juggling Database.

I’m not normally so blunt but if you can unicycle and can’t learn to juggle in 30 days there is something terribly wrong. Count on getting your oil changed.

I think you can do it. Are there any stipulations or does one cycle through the 3 balls complete your task?

Try juggling two balls in one hand first. That should get you started. Its not hard to be a poor juggler (take it from me) but it takes some work to get good (more work than I am willing to put in).

I thought this was a pretty good website. And if you wanted to learn more it has some of that for you.

I haven’t been to the internet juggling site in the first reply, but I would bet that you will find everything you need there.

The only suggestion I have is to get bean bags, or juggling bags to learn with. The juggling is about the same, but they don’t bounce, and roll away. You’ll spend less time running after them, and more time juggling. If you give yourself 15 minutes a day I think you’ll be doing a simple cascade in a week.

3 balls, but we never mentioned for how long… I do know that he can juggle well and is a bit of a “pusher” so I’d assume he would want it sustained for a minute or something

That first site has me doing 3 balls one cycle, REALLY sloppy right now… BUT I can get it maybe 50% of the time…

Thanks for the help and tips people!

When I was 8 years old (maybe 10?), I learned in an afternoon as part of some camp thing.
There’s no way you can not do it in 30 days.
The 3-ball tutorial from the site that SpaceFmK linked is pretty much how they taught me.

30 days? I have taught some people how to juggle 3 balls in 30 MINUTES.

It should not take you more than 3 days of 1/2hr practice.Then another couple of days to ‘solid’ it up.

My method of teaching is simple but it is a lot of steps and it really depends on imediate feed back from the instructor (me).

Here are some tips.

Do not worry about catches. You are looking for consistent height and width of your throws. Catching is instinctive so you don’t have to worry about it. Catches is not what defines progress. Even, consistent, on target throws is what defines progress.

No lunging for catches. It its outside your reach, let it go. You have to train your hands to throw to the other hand. Not the catching hand going to the ball.

Throw from the center of your palm with a pop of your hand. Do not allow the ball to wipe across your fingers.

You have to throw from the left side to the right and vice versa. Keep your hands out of the middle. Throwing is not vertical! Its diagonal from right to left and vice versa.

Keep you hands down. Wait for the balls to come down.

You throw the ball when the previous ball is reaching the top of it trajectory. If you wait until the ball is coming down your ‘window’ to throw through closes and you end up having to fire the ball sideways to your other hand.

When you throw aim for the thumb on the opposite hand. This promotes catch on the outside and throw on the inside.

When learning to launch three balls make sure you each ball goes to the same height or a little higher. In other words first throw goes maybe to nipple height, the second to shoulder and the third to head height. Optimally they would be the same height BUT if you want to err on throwing each throw a little higher. This is hard to visualize but a lot of people do the opposite and it what it does is speeds up the pattern. This makes the third throw be a wild throw because.

A couple of drills that will help you. When you can throw three balls evenly, then try just catching the first ball and let throws two and three drop. Do that a few times. Now let throw 1 and two drop and catch 3.

Now catch 1 and 2 and let three go. Do this a few times. Now switch. Let 1 go (drop) and catch 2 and 3.

Now do three throws with three catches. Again don’t worry about the catches.

Once you can do this drill with some consistency then you are ready to just start throwing and catching, left-right-left-right nice even throws to the same height.

Remember HANDS OUT OF THE MIDDLE. Throws are not vertical, they are thrown diagonally.

Sorry I disagree with advice to learn two balls with one hand. That skill is not required in a 3 ball pattern (well not until you are doing columns).

If you feel like you must learn 2 balls in one hand be sure that you are throwing the balls in the same plane as you are standing. In other words do not juggle two balls in one hand by your hand moving in and out, your hand should be moving right and left only. Throw on the inside and catch on the outside.

Here is the thing with 2 balls in one hand. With a three ball pattern you have 3 balls divided by two hands. You have a have load factor of 1.5 balls per hand. With 2 balls with one hand, you have two balls divided by 1 hand or a load factor per hand of 2. Because of this your hand has more to do with 2 balls in one hand, than it does with three and the rhythm is faster for a ball thrown to the same height.

You don’t need this step if you focus on throws that travel from one side of your body to the other, and throwing to a consistent height.

Hopefully your buddy gave you decent balls to learn with. Juggling balls should be on the heavy side so that when they land in your palm the naturally close your hand. A light ball bounces out.

If you are using balls instead of bean bags, juggling in a sand box or long jump pit etc will save you a lot of chasing balls around. You can also juggle over a bed and that will help some.

Remember no chasing the balls by stepping forward. If you can’t reach the ball let it go.

There is some off the top of my head stuff.

Keep your throws shoulder to head high, is a good height for beginners. And remember what I said about making sure your 2nd and third throws are as high, or higher than throw number one.

That is a good tutorial. I think there is a bit of a jump from from a 2 ball exchange to juggling three balls.

That is where my ‘drop the first two catch the last ball’, etc. drills can prepare you for three ball cascade (what you are learning).

People are just as variable learning to juggle as they are riding a Uni. Some get it with little instruction and some need lots of little ‘tricks’ (like my drills) to work up to it.

Another hint. If your throw goes wrong you look at the throw before it to find what went wrong. 9 times out of 10 it will be that your catching hand had to move out of position to catch a ball, and being a beginner you can’t make the adjustment and you end up with a wild throw.

I’m going to say it again don’t chase balls to catch, fix your throws.

What’s in it for us?

Jugling Three Balls?

This worked for me in One Hour, in a lunch period, in high school a long time ago. Use three handkerchiefs, they move slower and give you a chance at the coordination and timing you will need. After this try reading the above posts cause they have some real good information and links. These guys have your back!

wow, you’re in luck, : ) can be learned in anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour, beyond that, just practice to get a few more throws. Just get over that intimidation, and you’re home free, 30 days O.o dude, I was doing 4 ball tricks on day 30 : P

  • 10000000bunch of zeros

: ) same method works for learning 7 ball btw. it’s all in the throw, not the catch.

So did you think you could learn to juggle faster than you could change your oil? :wink:

lol, that sounds like a juggling t-shirt : P

Can’t agree more with everything that Ezas said, great tips mate.

The only thing I would recommend doing in addition is making sure that your throw and your catch are completely seperate. A problem I find hard to overcome when teaching is the whole throwing and catching at the same time in the same place thing. Technically you are stopping juggling as there should always be at least 1 ball in the air.
Concentrate on the throw and the catch being in a different place and being just before the previous ball starts to decend. Once you have that sorted you should find the rest of it easy!

And of Course DO NOT PASS THE BALL FROM ONE HAND TO THE OTHER. Really frustrating teaching to someone that passes the ball from one hand to the other!

Thanks wired. I can’t count how many people I have taught to juggle. Well north of 100, maybe 200, or more.

Great catch (pun intended) about no passing from hand to hand. That’s so important and for some people is such a hard thing not to do.

Feeling the need to do this type of hand to hand exchange comes from not getting your 2nd and 3rd throws to the same height, so an exchange becomes a desperation move to keep going. If you want to learn quickly and easily, no desperation moves.

NO stepping forward or to the side to catch. Sure many people learn and they move all around to catch the ball and keep the pattern going, but they will only be keeping the pattern going for one or two throws before it falls apart again.

In martial arts there is a concept of not ‘practicing’ speed. Speed comes on its own from repetition, good technique and relaxation. Same with juggling. The pattern, no matter if it is one ball hand-to-hand, or two ball exchange, or starting the three ball pattern, the pattern will extend itself as you first throws and catches go to the right place. If your hands are in position there is nothing to stop the next throw and catch. Juggling is a two ball exchange done over and over and over. Its a throw and a catch, a throw and a catch. . . Easy peasy if you don’t learn bad habits.

While wild flailing helps in learning to ride a uni it does not help in juggling. (some here might argue otherwise, like riding a Uni there is more than one way to skin a cat).

A few more tips:

When in doubt drop back. Meaning if you are having trouble with two ball exchange, go back and practice one ball back and forth for a minute or two. Struggling with the three ball pattern, try letting the first ball go and catch the last two. Or catch only the first ball, and let the 2nd and 3rd go (meaning let them drop). When dropping back focus on the accuracy of your throws.

If I was teaching you in person I would have you move to, catch the first two, let the third drop. Then drop the first, and catch the last two. These two are a little more tricky and are not necessary to learn to juggle. Most people learn to juggle without ‘learning to drop’ at all. So pick and choose what helps you.

One of the things I have juggling students do, is to do three, even, slow throws with no catch until we get thump - thump - thump on the floor. Where thump - thump is an even rhythm. The evenness comes from throwing at an even tempo and to the same height. These ‘drops’ also teach students not to ‘fire’ their catch impulse which is a very instinctive thing to do and actually does not help while learning. Catching is instinctive, we don’t need to learn to catch we need to learn to throw. Since you don’t have to worry about catching you can focus on getting all the balls to the same height.

I thought of another good drill.

Note: ‘Drills’ are something to do for say 5 minutes tops to learn a specific skill and then move on. Absolute success in catching is not required, only the muscle memory of proper technique.

While you are doing one ball from hand to hand, kneel on the floor and do the same thing. Don’t bring your hands up, keep them low and juggle the one ball back and forth keeping your hands on each side of your thighs. Again, missed catches are not important, keeping your hands on each side of your body is. Learn what that feels like and move on.

Learn to let the ball drop to your hand, do not come up to catch.

Try to avoid your hands cycling forward and back to throw. If you find that you are reaching out to catch and pulling back to throw, try juggling close to a wall to help break that habit. You will quickly find that juggling against a wall is not very difficult and the occasional wild throw will simply lightly bounce back into your pattern, and is a good way to keep your pattern going while you ‘solid up’ your pattern. Your hands a foot away is a good starting point.

Good luck. If you get to day three and are not juggling come back here and post up what is happening. We’ll get you going.

You can do 7 balls? I kneel down to your greatness. I got mad respect for anyone who can do seven.

Watching someone do seven balls I love the precision of the balls crossing/falling past each other.

This is all making me miss juggling but as my brother once said to me “I cant’ pick up another hobby until I drop one of them.”


I went out and found some videos for you (Tom) where they do not teach bad habits. There is a lot of garbage out there.

Here is a good basic three ball video. He has good basics:

and this:

He demos a lot of things I tried to say in text.

This guys does fine but he juggles to low and narrow for learning

This guys does a good patten but if you watch he swipes the ball out of his hands (he releases from his cupped fingers). Don’t do that.

This guy demos some things I tried to point out. I like this guy’s form and he has a whole series of videos:


& two balls in one hand the right way:

These should be more than enough to get you going.

Ok Tom, we’re all waiting for the video. :wink:

Either old oil or cut grass from mom’s and dad’s old lawn. Looking at your avatar, you’re probably hoping for the latter.