Juggling: The Art of Throwing (and Catching) Objects – Part 3

Since teaching myself how to juggle fourteen years ago, I realize that I have stepped away and returned many times. There have been times that something more important called my attention away from the hobby. There have also been times that frustration alone kept me from wandering back.

At one point in time, I couldn’t find the tennis balls that I knew that I had bought. I thought for sure that they had been thrown out or lost for good. I don’t remember when I bought them, and lost track of how many times I’ve tipped the aluminum can to roll them into my hand. I pulled them back out the other day and used them for a while.

Those old tennis balls are much harder than the newer balls that I bought some time ago. They’re almost bricks compared to the most recent tennis balls that I picked up only a week or so ago. Then, I have to remember that they were once fuzzy and brand new, scented by the same compressed air that sport companies pump into the canisters.

I am quite surprised that those balls remain intact. They have been through it all; washed, dried, dropped in mud puddles, thrown, kicked, stepped on, ran over, and have even been burned a few times to remove the annoying fuzz. Still, to this day, they remain loyal tennis balls, capable of bringing joy.

Attempting to keep to the original balls that I bought, I went back out to find the Spalding tennis balls in the blue canister, labeled: ‘Fluorescent Yellow.’ It’s been a while since I last looked, but I can’t seem to remember when the last time was that I saw Spalding tennis balls. Wilson has taken over the court, it appears.

The last four sets of balls that I’ve bought over the passed couple of weeks are Wilson. I’ve got two packs of the usual yellow and two packs of the ‘Hope’ tennis balls. The ‘Hope’ balls are pink, in support of breast cancer awareness.

Since buying them and picking up juggling as seriously as I did when I was young, I have overcome a few confusions and worked out several tricks. I’ve stopped other people who I’ve seen juggling, but none of them have offered too much in the way of help. So, I did what anyone else would think to do: I turned to YouTube videos.

After watching several of them, I decided to give a couple tricks a try. Many of the videos show the tricks, but don’t offer anything more; it’s like the person in the video would rather ‘show off’ than explain how to do it. That’s fine. I figured it out, from watching other videos.

There’s one video that has really caught my attention. ‘Juggling Joe’ (JugglingJoe1026 on YouTube) knows what he’s doing when it comes to juggling. He doesn’t offer much in the way of visually explaining the tricks that he does, but he has edited the video to include information about the trick, as well as offering a list of tricks (where available) that should be learned before attempting the trick he’s showing. Nicely done.

Out of the tricks that he does in the video, I have learned the Cascade; naturally. The Reverse Cascade, which was a little tricky at first. Then, there’s the Columns and Fake Columns, each of which can be learned fairly easily, so long as you’re able to toss each ball straight up. The ‘423’ I have been able to do for a while, but I refer to it as ‘Juggling One,’ since only one of the balls actually flows between the hands.

‘W’ was a pain at first. My brain wanted to throw me back into the mixture of the Cascade without a second thought about it. The Reverse Cascade did the same thing, come to think of it. ‘Tennis’ and ‘Real Tennis’ are fun tricks, though they can also be pretty tricky to pull off right away.

‘Yo Yo’ and ‘Oy Oy,’ being very similar to Fake Columns, I don’t think I have tried, but they are visually appealing, as are ‘Orbit’ and ‘Waterfall.’ The last four tricks I mentioned I haven’t even begun to work on. My mind’s been focused on getting the trick ‘Machine’ in the process.

Machine is also known by several other names; like, ‘The Factory,’ ‘Factory,’ ‘Production Line,’ and ‘Conveyor.’ It’s a nice looking trick, but I’ve had to watch a couple other videos in order to understand the pieces that make up the whole. I’m still learning the pieces of it, but look forward to put them together once I get them down.

After spending such a while away from juggling, I return to it with a new found interest of learning. There are many tricks that I have seen and have come to learn. There are many still that I would like to learn. I’ve seen a few of these tricks done with an additional ball, though none of them have I seen in person; unless I was watching a reflection of myself.

I will admit that juggling is a great hobby to get into. It’s fun, interesting, good for exercise, and it attracts attention, which is good encouragement to continue forward. I’ve made no attempt to capture my learning in picture nor on video, but have been tempted a couple of times.


JugglingJoe1026 currently has 222 subscribers and 12 videos on YouTube. It appears that he hasn’t done anything recently, but the video ‘3 Ball Tricks Encyclopedia’ is worth a watch if you’re into juggling. – Just do a normal search using his username as the phrase to search for.

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