How to Juggle | WIRED

hi my name is jack calvin

i've been a professional juggler for

over 30 years i've traveled all around

the world performing my show

and i've taught thousands of people how

to juggle today i'm going to teach you

the most basic

three-ball juggling pattern it's called

the cascade

and then i'll show you some of my

favorite three ball tricks


to learn the cascade we're going to

start with just one ball and the first

thing we need to do is learn to throw

and catch one ball properly

so start with your hands out in front of

you with your palms facing up we're

going to hold the ball loosely in one


and then bring it down by your side

before throwing it and the goal is to

get it to go up

and come down and land right in the

other hand

so we're going to keep our hands down

here and keep your eyes up here at the


look at the ball when it reaches the top

actually try to focus on the ball

some jugglers will say look through the

pattern juggle peripherally

but when you're learning it's a lot

easier to focus on the ball

you get the most information about where

it's going to land that way i keep my

shoulders relaxed

and i throw mostly with my elbow i'll

turn to the side so you can see that


and i throw the ball about as high as my

head or slightly higher

you want to predict where the ball is

going to land and then put your hand

under it so don't reach up to catch the


wait for the ball to come down if your

throws are good the catches will be easy

practice this for a few minutes keep

throwing the ball back and forth

try to get it always to go to the same


try to do it without reaching very far

you should be able to do this with your

eyes closed

well maybe not really with your eyes

closed but you can

feel like you can do it with your eyes

closed if this is too easy and boring

try some tricks

throw it under your leg see if you can

do it with your hands really wide

or you can try throwing it over your

shoulder or

behind your back but don't get too crazy

with it we want to have mostly successes

that's really all you need to do that's

the basic move you're going to need to

juggle three balls

so once you've got that mastered we can

move on to

two balls


okay now we're ready for two balls hold

one ball in each hand

just like you did before you're going to

throw the first ball up

about that high and when you see it

start to come down you're going to throw

the second ball

under it it's going to look like this

throw throw

don't worry about catching them the

catches will come later

the important thing is make two good


get them both up to the same height

right left

and if you throw them both to the same

height they'll come down catch catch

right left left right

look at each ball when it gets to the

top right

left left right

notice i keep it all in one plane here i

don't reach out in front of the other

ball to throw

right left left right after each two

throws stop

and relax then visualize what you want

to happen

you want to practice this until it's

easy if you can do it about 10 times in

a row

you're ready for three balls

okay we're finally ready for three balls

hold two balls in one hand one ball in

the other and you're going to want to

put the two balls in the hand that you

want to start with

i'm going to start with my right the

first two throws are going to be exactly

the same

but when you see the second ball come

down that's when you throw the third one

and it's going to look like this one

two three if you do it right

all the balls will cross to the opposite

hand they'll all go to the same height

you'll have a nice even rhythm one two

three one two three

a lot of people have a hard time

throwing the third ball so it helps to

say the numbers out loud

one two three i know it's not easy but

we want to try to keep everything in one

plane here we don't want anything to go

forwards or backwards

one two three just do three throws and

stop and every time you throw

notice that you're throwing under the

ball that's coming down

scooping the ball into the middle every

time one two three

did you catch them all congratulations

you are now juggling

three balls

okay here's an alternate exercise you

can try two balls in one hand

this may be less confusing there's only

two balls you only have to use one hand

at a time

but you do have to move that one hand

faster than if you're just juggling

three balls

again try to keep everything in one


like this you're always scooping into

the middle

and throwing it from near the middle of

your body but now instead of crossing

over the other side

as you did with three balls you're

throwing it back to the same hand so

you're gonna throw it that way

when you're doing two in one hand you're

always throwing from the inside to the


and notice that if you do this with both


at the same time you'll be juggling four


it's the easiest way to do four balls

this is called the fountain

and it might look like the balls are

crossing if you get your hands close


but you can see by the different colors

that they never switch hands

you can also do them synchronized like


but we're getting ahead of ourselves

back to three balls


one two three when three throws feels


just don't stop when the third ball

comes down you'll throw the fourth ball

up one two three four

one two three four and again it'll help

to count

because some people get stuck after the

third one one

two three four right

left right left

just try to get all the balls to the

same height nice even rhythm

focus on each ball at the top remember

to stay relaxed especially your


the most common problem that people have

is throwing out in front of them when

they juggle

we want the balls to stay right in front

of our face when we juggle

so to fix the problem of throwing

forwards i suggest

trying to overcompensate lean back a

little bit and try to walk backwards

when you juggle

i find that that suggestion helps a lot

of people

the best way to improve your juggling is

just to keep practicing the more you do

it the easier it gets

and eventually you don't even have to

look at the balls anymore

you can look through the pattern and

juggle with your peripheral vision

you can read a book you can watch

television the more time you put in the

better your juggling will be

okay so now you're comfortable with the

cascade and we can start to get creative

with it

fortunately there are literally an

endless variety

of tricks you can learn with three balls

i've been doing this for over 30 years

and trust me

you never run out of options for new

tricks to explore

i'm going to show you some of my

favorites right now a common first trick

to learn

is throwing one over the top instead of

scooping in

to throw you're going to scoop outward

and throw it up over the top

be sure to try it on the other side too

and if you keep one ball going back and

forth over the top

it's called tennis

you can stretch it out you can learn it


all the balls on one side that's called

a half reverse

be sure to learn the other side

and if you do it with both sides it's

called a full reverse or a reverse

cascade another fairly easy trick to try

is the one up two up

or columns

start by just throwing one ball high in

the middle and then wait for it to come


and then go back into a cascade

when that starts to feel comfortable you

can throw one ball up high in the middle

throw the other two on the outside and

then throw the one back up in the middle


and then go back into a cascade so it'll

be one

two one back to a cascade

one two one back to a cascade

and then you can just keep going this is

a lot easier if you've worked on two in

one hand because basically that's what

you're doing

your right hand is doing two in one hand

but instead of doing it in a circle

as you were doing before you're doing it

in columns

my right hand is just doing two in one

hand my left hand is mirroring one of

the throws

another similar trick is right right

left left in this trick

the hands take turns doing two in one

hand for just two throws

right right left left right right

left left both hands get practice at

doing two in one hand

and learning two in one hand is the

basis for a lot of great tricks

with practice you can get good enough

with two in one hand you can move the

other hand independently

this enables you to then follow one of

the balls

and create a lot of interesting patterns

if you learn these tricks with both

hands it opens up a world of


here's a fancy three ball start that's

easier than it looks you hold three in

one hand like this

and the key to this is that it's all in

the flick of the wrist

like that we'll do it with just two

balls first practice just throwing

flicking your wrist so that one ball

goes a lot higher than the other

you can start like that so the high one

goes across to the other hand

when that feels good try it with all

three just have that one ball

that you're going to push higher than

the other two

we'll throw all three of them up grab

the two low ones

so that you're ready for the third one

and then you can try it under your leg


which is not any harder okay one more

thing you need a fancy finish here's my


it's called a one up 360. let's just

practice the spin part

we're going to throw one high throw it

very high so you have time then we're

going to spin around and catch it and

don't try to look at it the whole time

it's up there

throw then spin then look for it to


if the throw is good it'll be easy then

put it into the juggling

tada thank you for watching i hope

you'll enjoy juggling as much as i do

if you have any questions leave them in

the comments keep on practicing and

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