How long does it take to learn how to juggle 3 balls?

You Never Learnt To Juggle

I’ve done a lot of work coaching, both in personal and professional settings, and I coach from an ontological perspective. When I teach juggling, I teach in much the same way. If who you are is that you cannot juggle then you’ll be right. I don’t mean to say that you should be telling yourself "I can juggle" as that kind of affirmation very rarely helps. Instead, confront (stand and face) the simple reality of the situation: you’ve never learnt to juggle.

That’s it. You never learned to juggle. It’s a good job you came to my workshop because I know how to teach you to juggle.


Juggling By Numbers

Francoise Rochais and AnatoliMiagkostoupov juggle six clubs each. Photo courtesy of Jack Kalvan

Three-ball juggling can be entertaining and challenging, but it’s just the beginning. Jugglers have claimed to juggle up to 14 props at once. Juggling so many objects requires a lot of skill, speed and practice.

A general rule of thumb in juggling is that an odd number of props requires a crisscross pattern, in which the prop is tossed from one hand to the other. An even number of props requires two separate groups of objects juggled in each hand. For example, the standard four-prop juggling pattern is two props juggled separately by each hand. There are patterns that allow jugglers to cross even numbers or keep odd numbers separate, but it’s usually OK to assume the general rule applies.


With an even number of props, a juggler must handle two or more objects in each hand. There are two main patterns for juggling objects one-handed. The first is the fountain, in which a juggler tosses and catches the balls in a circular pattern in one hand. The other is juggling in columns, in which each ball is tossed and caught at the same position, traveling only up and down without moving side to side. Once a juggler is able to handle more even numbers of objects, he must concentrate on the fountain pattern.

Fountain juggling can be either synchronous, meaning both hands toss and catch at the same time, or asynchronous, meaning the hands alternate tosses. Because most three-ball juggling patterns are asynchronous, beginners learning four-ball juggling often prefer to concentrate on asynchronous patterns.

In order to juggle greater numbers of props successfully, jugglers must toss their objects higher in the air. For a juggler, the height of his toss is proportional to how much time he has in between tosses. The standard five-ball pattern is usually a little higher than that of your typical three-ball pattern. Seven- and nine-prop patterns need even more height if a juggler is to maintain control. Jugglers call the practice of juggling large numbers of props, particularly in terms of competition, numbers juggling.

Not Your Typical Toss

Two other kinds of juggling are closely related to toss juggling — cigar-box juggling and shaker-cup juggling. Cigar-box juggling involves manipulating three or more boxes by building a row of boxes, holding on to the two boxes at the end, and then tossing either the entire row or portions of the row while switching boxes in and out of the pattern. Shaker cups bear a passing resemblance to cocktail cups used by bartenders. Juggling with them involves nesting cups inside other cups, tossing them in the air and catching them in a very noisy display.


Juggling with Others

A group of jugglers passing clubs. Photo courtesy of Jack Kalvan

Part of the fun in juggling is playing with other people. Jugglers tend to be social creatures, and most cities and college campuses have a club or group of jugglers who meet regularly. Juggling lends itself to many different kinds of interaction, including cooperation and sabotage.

One popular game to play between jugglers is stealing and replacing. To steal from another juggler is to take at least one prop from his pattern as he’s juggling. Replacing involves adding a prop to the pattern after stealing a previous prop. It’s possible to steal all of another juggler’s props as he’s juggling and take over his juggling pattern. To do this, you stand in front of the victim and get a feel for the pattern. Once you feel comfortable with the rhythm, you reach across and catch the victim’s tosses, one after the other, until you are juggling all of the victim’s props. Of course, the victim could just steal the props right back. You could then constantly steal from one another with nearly every toss.


To steal clubs, you can stand to one side of the victim — facing the same direction as he is — and reach around to take over the pattern yourself. If done correctly, the pattern of objects will stay stationary as you take your victim’s place. With the proper timing, you and another juggler can cycle through stealing the same set of clubs as they stay in the same pattern. To observers, it looks like the props are juggling the performers. You can also steal and replace clubs by standing in front of a juggler. When he begins to toss a club into the air, you can catch it by the body and put a second club into his other hand, completing the juggler’s catch for him.

Jugglers can also juggle in tandem. Two jugglers stand close together — one juggler acts as the left hand, the other the right — and share the pattern of drops. Jugglers may stand side by side, face one another or even stand back to back.


4. Camping

Need some time away from society? Try camping. Is there anything better than escaping into the woods for a day or two? The answer to this question depends on what kind of person you are, but I am sure that it is hard not to enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. Ultimately, camping is about relaxing, completely unwinding, and forgetting the fast pace of your everyday life. It doesn’t require any physical fitness, and you don’t have to be an exercise enthusiast to do it, but in the end, your muscles will get worked, and you will benefit from it.

Most of all, this kind of activity offers great chances for socializing with others, whether it be your family or friends. It is also the perfect opportunity to prepare and eat some great food. Spending the evening by the campfire is a unique, unmatched, chill-out experience, and it will prepare you for the good night’s sleep that only nature can offer.

Step 2: The Toss

The toss is a very easy part of juggling but can be difficult to master. To start take one ball in your hand and throw it to the other. During the motion your hand should move inward and slightly dip. Before you move to the next step you should be able to throw the ball with a similar arc every time and it should end up close to your hand. Make sure you can do this with both hands

2. Bow hunting

Some would say that this is the “manliest” thing to do out there, but it is not the reason why I chose this activity. Hunting is one of the primal human means of survival, but it has been made obsolete by modern society. When you go to the wilderness searching for prey, you connect to something deeper within you that has been neglected for generations, and it is a life-changing feeling. There are a few reasons why I recommend bow hunting over using rifles.


First, it requires some strength to wield a bow, and when you combine that with all the hiking, it will make your hunt a brutal workout. Second, it is fairer to the animals. Bow hunting requires a lot of skill, and the reach of the arrows is shorter than guns, so you will have to step your game up to be able to hunt something. Lastly, it is more fun, so get the best compound bow for yourself, step outside, and discover your ancestral nature.

About Us

Hey! I’m Chris Hughes and I started juggling when I was 8 years old. Since then i’ve taught tens of thousands of people! This is my website to teach you how to juggle.

Step 4: Three Balls

now that you have mastered an exchange it is time to try three balls. This takes time and patience but eventually you will get it. It is the same as step three but this time you have another ball. Start with the hand that has 2 balls in it. Now instead of catching the second ball throw the third just as you did the second (unless it was a bad throw). Now catch the second ball. Then repeat all of this step as if ball three were ball one. Juggling is a simple pattern repeated over and over again. Note-the pattern is step 3.

Required equipment [ edit

In the beginning, balls or beanbags may be the easiest to juggle. They are symmetric and you can catch them with an open palm of your hand regardless of the ball’s orientation or spin. Similarly, you can just toss them from an open palm and no specific spin is required. Basically any balls should do, such as tennis balls, but it might be easier to learn if you follow these guidelines.

  • They should not be too large, or you will have trouble holding more than one in your hand
  • They should not be too small, or you will have trouble tossing them accurately
  • They should not be too heavy, or you will tire easily while practicing and may hurt yourself or break something
  • They should not be too light, or you will not be able control the height of the toss
  • They should not be too bouncy, or they will bounce away if you drop them
  • They should not be too different from each other, or else each has to be tossed differently

That said, any balls will do. The best ones could be small round bags filled with beans, seeds or rice. They are moderately heavy, do not bounce and provide a good grip.

Your environment should be clear enough that dropped balls do not roll under things and can be easily picked up. If you want to reduce fetching bouncing balls and picking up dropped balls, you can stand next to your bed and have the balls drop to your mattress instead of the floor.


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