Three-ball juggling is an amazing life-long hobby for many people. All it takes to start is 3 balls, an hour or two of free time and some guidelines, then before you know it you are a beginner juggler juggling three balls!
One of the reasons you might want to learn to juggle is it is a lot of fun, a great stress reducer and maybe it can be a tool to also boost your self-esteem.
First up you want to get the right ball. We are not talking about the typical Aussie sports ball here so it’s probably best to not start with a cricket ball, a rugby ball and a netball! A helpful place to start is on our page “Best juggling balls for beginners” which will give you tips on which type of juggling ball might suit you.
So, let’s get right to it and learn three popular three ball tricks for beginner jugglers.
The Three-Ball Cascade
Stand upright with elbows bent to almost 90 degrees at your side, keeping your wrists up – like you are holding a plate out in front of you.
To start we only need one ball, hold it in your left hand. Now gently toss the ball up and slightly to the right, aiming for the ball to go higher than your head before falling into your open right hand. As you throw aim so that the ball is at the highest point directly above your right hand. You also don’t want the ball to move away from you, so it just going straight up and down, not out away from your body. Repeat this tossing up from the right hand up and across to the left hand… and repeat and repeat until you can toss the ball between hands without having to reach or stretch to catch the ball.
Next, hold one ball in each hand and following the same pattern as you learned in Step 1. As you toss the first ball up from the left hand towards the right you want to watch for when the ball hits the highest peak and at that time you are going to toss the second ball up from the right hand towards the left one. Now target the second toss under the first ball’s path. Ensure that the second ball peaks a few centimetres to the left of where the first ball peaked.
This trick may appear difficult, but it will become easier after a few practice sessions. Keep working on it until you can catch two balls constantly. Then, you move on to the third step!
Start off this Step, holding a ball in your right hand and two balls in your left hand. Toss one ball from the left towards the right hand. When the ball peaks, toss the next one from the right hand towards the left. This immediately makes your right hand empty for catching the first ball – this is what you already learned in Step-2.
As you go to catch the first ball in your right hand and as the second ball peaks toss the third ball from the left hand up toward the right hand. Your left hand can catch the second ball and a few moments later, your right hand can catch the third ball. Don’t be disappointed in case this takes a few minutes before catching all the 3 balls.
Now in this Step you are going to repeat the same thing you did in the 3rd step but, when the 3rd toss peaks, you will toss another one from the right hand so that you can then catch that 3rd ball. Next, repeat the same thing while the 4th toss peaks, making the 5th toss from the hand where the 4th toss will land. This way, you can go for the 6th throw and so on!
Now that you know the basics of how to juggle a Three-ball Cascade, you need to practice a lot. Nobody is born a professional juggler, even, the experts have to work hard. With practice and determination you can also become as good as them.
After practising this trick, you will see your tosses becoming more precise, your hand movements less observable, and the height needed for running the trick will also decrease.
Watch this great video tutorial to learn more.
The Reverse Cascade is quite similar to The Cascade but instead the balls are thrown over each other as opposed to under each other in The Cascade. Here is the step-by-step guide to help you practice the trick.
To start working on this trick, begin playing a normal cascade and then toss 1 ball overthrow while all the others stay in the normal cascade. To throw over your arm moves out and way from you unlike The Cascade where your hands tend to be moving towards each other as you toss.
After having 1 overthrow down, you can add the second, third, fourth, and so on. The main strategy is to add one toss, work on it and then add another one and practice. Gradually, you will reach the point where you can keep tossing one overthrow after the other.
Watch this video tutorial to see the instructions in action.
The Windmill juggling is also named the False Shower. In this trick, the balls move in a circular pattern, being tossed from one side and caught on another side. Basically, The Windmill is a highly distorted Cascade, in which the balls are tossed between hands. Let’s check out the steps below to learn how to Windmill juggle!
To do The Windmill, begin with 1 ball in your primary hand and 2 balls in your secondary hand. Now cross your arms properly so your secondary hand can be on top. Next, toss from your secondary hand toward the middle of your body and uncross the arms.
Once your arms are totally uncrossed, toss from your primary hand in a similar direction to the first ball. Furthermore, cross your arms again so that the primary hand is on top and next, use your primary hand to catch the first ball. When the second ball starts descending, toss the final ball from your secondary hand under the primary arm and use the primary hand to catch the second ball. Ultimately, use the secondary hand to catch the 3rd ball. Work on the last step till you feel comfortable with those 3 tosses.
Next, you will add in two more tosses. The earlier step stops with your primary arm crossing over the secondary arm. For adding in 2 more tosses, you will need to uncross your arms and make the 4th toss going a similar direction. Next, you will cross your hands again using your primary arm keeping it on top and use it to catch the 3rd toss.
When the 4th toss starts descending, you can make a 5th toss using your secondary arm under the primary arm. This is quite similar to the last step. Next, uncross your hands for catching the 4th ball and use your primary hand to catch the 5th ball.
That’s all you need to learn about Windmill!
Want to run the complete trick? Then, keep making alternating 4th and 5th tosses and ensure that just one arm is always on top when your hands are crossed. You can juggle the Windmill in other directions also, using the reverse hand on top.
The American juggling sensation Taylor Glenn aka Taylor Tries recorded an easy-to-follow tutorial that you might find helpful as well.
After mastering the three-ball juggling and the aforesaid tricks for beginners, you have many more options to choose from. You can either go on to juggling clubs or rings or try to learn to numbers juggle. Hopefully, this guide will help you become a great juggler. Do not forget to stay patient with yourself, take time, relax, breathe and have fun juggling. Get inspired by reading about 15 Famous Jugglers from Australia and the World.