Juggling Season

We had just enough of a break in the rain after dim sum today for a stroll through Central Park. Jerry the Juggler was there! I hadn’t see him in months, because winter.

He asked how my juggling was going. I haven’t been juggling much, so we reviewed my 4-ball toss and Mills Mess. I came away with a few things to practice.

For 4-ball:

(1) A “3.5” ball pattern in the middle, at the same height as 4-ball, to practice consistency. Its kind of like a centralized 423 or W.

(2) A high reverse cascade, at the same height as 4-ball, also to practice consistency.

For Mills Mess, we fixed my oddly shaped 1-2-3 throw. My homework is to do it left-to-right, then right-to-left. Back and forth, back and forth. When that feels good, add the 4th throw, then another, and another.

Spring is coming. I’m excited for juggling season to begin!

Crossed Arm Reverse Windmill Mess

It was a beautiful day for a stroll in the park, so I grabbed my ball lens strolled through the nether regions of Twin Pines Park, then headed for the rose garden in San Mateo Central Park. And since I was in Central Park, I stopped to see if Jerry was around. He was!

We started with a checkin on my really messy Mills Mess. I have some work to do to clean up my tosses. We broke each toss down to basics and I practiced tossing one, two, three, four… It really helped to focus on each ball individually.

After that, he asked, “Do you know Windmill?” I didn’t, so he taught me that as well. Turns out it’s easier than Mills Mess.

After Windmill, “Have you done a crossed arm Reverse Cascade?” I hadn’t, so we did that one too. Turns out it’s easier than Windmill.

Speaking of Reverse Cascade, Jerry showed me a variation of two ball Columns that looks super cool, like a Reverse Cascade. Definitely going to work this into my two ball routine.

So many new patterns to work on! But first, getting the basics right. Nice loopy tosses. Especially the left hand. It’s a little derpy.

New New Pattern

Mills Mess is settling in pretty well. I haven’t tried for a record yet, but 10 Messes in a row isn’t a terrible stretch so it’s part of ThePattern+Another2.

What’s the other new addition to the Pattern? After 423’s inside-out tosses and the W’s columns, I realized I could be doing an outside-in variation as well, with overthrows.

The New New Pattern: 10 counts of cascade, tennis, left shower, right shower, 423 inside-out, 423 columns, 423 outside-in, reverse cascade, and Mills Mess. Not always in the same order. The order depends on my mood, although I do have to do reverse cascade as a lead in to Mills Mess.

Also, I managed a pretty-for-me-at-times 56 catch four ball today. I suppose by definition if I can get 56 catches it has to be somewhat orderly. Progress!

What A Mess!

I found myself in downtown San Mateo with a bit of extra time, so I headed to the park to see if Jerry the Juggler was around. He was. What luck!

I showed him where I was with my two and four ball patterns. One takeaway from this: I need to make higher tosses on the four ball. I’ve known this, but right now I’m trying to balance high enough to buy myself time and low enough to not be running all over the place adjusting for inconsistent tosses. Ultimately, I know I need to learn to toss both high and with consistency.

Still, he showed me the beginnings of five ball by having me cross the four ball ball pattern. This one’s gonna need quite a bit of work.

In three ball land, Jerry got me to the point of doing a few rounds of Mills Mess! I’ve been working on the first 2-3 tosses of this for a bit now, and after some encouragement and several repetitions I was able to go back and forth a few times. What got me over the hump? A differently colored 3rd ball, so I could visualize the pattern it makes.

We even got a couple rounds of reverse cascade transitions into Mills Mess.

Progress! Yay!

Sunday Is Video Day

I’ve been practicing juggling two balls in one hand since getting some tips from Jerry in early April. I started with an inside-out pattern, and thanks to poor ball control have learned columns and outside-in as well. I mentioned these patterns earlier this month, closing with, “Maybe a video sometime.”

How about today?

Since I had everything set up, I figured I’d document my really tall W as well. This pattern is made possible by the 2 ball columns. Thanks again, poor ball control!

In the video, I start with the inside out 423 and transition to the W to highlight the difference.

Off to practice 4-ball.


There a new Pattern in town.

It’s a variation of the old Pattern plus a couple new tricks. Basically, 10 counts of cascade, reverse cascade, tennis, left shower, right shower, 423, and the W (which some would also call 423, but the balls stay in column formation).

I’m also up to 8 tosses with 4 balls more than half the time, 10 tosses here and there, and 12 tosses a handful of times. I’m like a 2.25 ball juggler now.

Two Ball Variations

I discovered in a YouTube video the other day that I could be doing the one handed two ball juggle in different ways. I’ve had to adjust on the fly as I’ve practiced the 4 ball pattern, so, magically, I now seem to be able to do columns and outside-in, in addition to inside-out.

It’s fun to switch patterns in flight. Maybe a video sometime.

Half a Four Ball Juggler

Jerry the Juggler said you can call yourself a juggler if you can make 2x the number of tosses as balls tossed. I can catch 8 tosses with 4 balls about half the time now, so that makes me half a 4 ball juggler.

Aw, crap, does that mean I’m actually just a 2 ball juggler?

I wasn’t one two months ago, so…