Juggling 101


Photo by John Michael Curtis

   Ever seen someone juggling and thought, “Wow, that guy is so cool”? Spoiler alert: we all have thought that. But how can you learn to juggle? I am going to teach you in 15 minutes, so you too can be exceptionally cool.

   Step 1: Collect materials. Find three equally weighted balls. Golf balls, lacrosse balls, or real juggling balls work great.

   Step 2: Set down two balls, and just focus on the first one. Start in your right hand, and fold your arms at a 90 degree angle so your forearms are parallel with the ground. Throw the ball up so that it arcs to your opposite hand. The ideal height of throw is about eye-level. Continue throwing it back and forth, pursuing that perfect arc. While this will take time and practice, and you cannot move on to the next step until you have a consistent, perfect throw that you can catch without moving your hand.

   Step 3: Add in the second ball. Start with the balls in different hands, then throw one then the other in quick succession. It helps to say “one…two” out loud as you throw them. Make sure that each ball hits eye-level while transfering to the other hand. Keep practicing this over and over until you can do it consistently without moving your hands. Do not move on to step four unless you can do step three perfectly.

   Step 4: Now, the moment we have all been waiting for. Add in the third ball. Start with two in one hand, and one in the other. Throw the balls in quick succession, counting “one…two…three” out loud as you do. First, throw one of the balls in the two-ball hand, then the ball in the opposite hand, then the final ball. It may take time and practice to be able to throw and catch all three in a row, but keep working at it and make sure each ball gets an equivalent, eye-level throw. Once you can throw and catch all three in quick rhythm, you may move onto step five.

   Step 5: Now that you can throw all three balls, try throwing all three, but at the end adding a fourth throw. You should catch the very first ball you throw and then re-launch that ball into the air again, so that once all balls have been caught, the hand that initially held two balls once again holds two. As usual, count out loud as you throw, “one…two…three…four.” Repeat until you are comfortable, then go for five. Then six. Then seven. Work your way up until you can juggle continuously for extended periods of time.

   Congrats! You now know how to juggle. Keep working at it and practicing, and remember that you cannot skip a step, and that you must be patient. Finally, take your skills out to show off to the world, and be proud that you are now one of the coolest kids in the school.