Teaching Someone to Juggle

Teaching someone to juggle is an exercise in patience. Watching someone struggle with something you can perform while you sleep can be frustrating but must be met with a calm and understanding attitude in order to teach them correctly. Try to remember what it was like when you were first trying to learn how to juggle. Even if it comes naturally it still takes diligence and practice to get down. To be a good teacher you have to be the embodiment of what juggling is all about; relaxation and perserverance.

What To Teach

When teaching someone how to juggle you should start them off with the easiest and most basic juggling pattern known as the cascade pattern. It is often common for teachers well versed in the cascade pattern to have forgotten the steps and not have a clear method of explanation for how to perform the cascade pattern. Watch me and do what I do teaching is not going to work well when teaching juggling. The following steps and directions will lead you on the fast track to teaching your student how to juggle the cascade pattern in no time.

Step One

step1You want to make sure your student is in a comfortable setting before you begin instruction. Have him or her put two balls on the ground and hold only one ball in their hand. Be sure to stress the importance of throwing and catching properly, which are the only techniques you need in order to master the cascade pattern. To begin have your student hold his or her hands out in front of him or her with their palms facing up. Have your student lower their hand with the ball in it to their side before he or she throws the ball. Teach your student to throw the ball up and just a little bit across to their other hand moving only their elbow. A common beginner’s mistake most students will make is to flick their wrist when throwing; this will throw them off and make it harder for them to throw the ball the same way consistently. Teach him or her to throw the ball to around the top of their head. Be sure to teach your student not reach up to catch the ball. Do not worry about your student catching the ball as much as throwing it correctly. Catching will come naturally with practice, good throws are vital when someone is first beginning to juggle. Continue to have him or her practice throwing the ball to the same height while keeping their hands level. Once this motion is easy for your student to accomplish you can begin move on to step two.

Step Two

step2Now your student is ready to begin throwing two balls. Have him or her pick up another ball and hold one ball in each hand. Have him or her throw one ball up like he or she originally practiced with one ball. Just as the first ball begins coming back down have your student throw the other ball up into the air. Make sure he or she catches the first ball and then catches the second ball and stops. Make your student take a pause and a breath after each catch. Keeping him or her relaxed is one of the most important parts of teaching someone to juggle. It is easy for students to get carried away which leads to mistakes and more drops. Do not let your student throw one ball up into the air and then hand the other ball over to their empty hand. This is the most common mistake made by beginners. It is not juggling and will not help your student learn how to juggle at all. Get your student to alternate starting hands in order to get efficient with both. Once he or she can juggle two balls easily your student is ready to attempt the final step.

The Pay Off

step3This is what your student has been waiting and practicing for, three balls. Have him or her hold two balls in one hand and one ball in the other. Make sure your student understand to always start with the hand that has two balls in it. When the first ball your student throws up starts to fall have him or her throw the second ball and then when the second ball starts to fall have him or her throw the third. Get him or her to catch all three balls and stop.

Congratulations! You just taught someone how to juggle! Tell them to keep practicing and your student will be ready to move on to harder patterns in no time. Before long he or she may even start juggling other objects. Remember, it takes patience and perseverance to teach juggling properly.