What is Juggling?

There are a lot of misconceptions about juggling in the world, and here I would like to try to clear them up. Jugglers everywhere have been hampered by misconceptions such as these, and if you make yourself aware of them before you start you will have an easier time convincing yourself to go ahead and learn.

First of all, juggling is a serious hobby. It is not true that only people in the circus juggle, or that if you juggle you must be training to be in the circus. While it is true that some clowns and entertainers master a number of juggling moves, they are not the only people who are compelled to do so. Everybody can (and should - see next paragraph) learn how to juggle.

Secondly, it is not at all true that juggling is useless (except for entertainment purposes). Juggling is primarily a way of making things fly through the air in a controlled fashion, but if you practice juggling seriously you will find that it increases hand-eye coordination, accuracy in hand movement, throwing aim, and reflexes. It's also a good way to excercise, especially if you combine it with jogging and/or heavy juggling.

It's also important to know that juggling is not easy to master, and that not everyone has the same difficulty learning a specific juggling pattern. The 3-ball cascade can be learned in fifteen minutes and perfected in a day, true, but four balls will most likely take you a week of good practice, 5 balls will take you a month at the very least, and a reasonably difficult pattern will take you another week or two. When you see someone juggling five balls, you have to respect the fact that they practiced for a month straight to be able to do that. Even more important to realize is not to be discouraged if it takes you longer than it took others to learn a trick. Some people are naturals and start out throwing the balls accurately, but some people (like me) take an hour to learn the 3-ball cascade because they can't get one ball to behave like they want at first. I've gotten better, but that's because I've practiced. But because of the coordination benefits, everyone should at least spend a day or two on it.

You might be thinking at this point that juggling is not for you because it takes a lot of rigid practice. That isn't true either. When I say "practice", I just mean spending some time juggling each day. You don't need to spend six or seven hours a day doing it - although some people do, and they will learn that much faster - actually, just fifteen minutes to half an hour a day should get you going. When you're doing homework, take a break every half hour to do a few minutes of juggling. Sneak in a few minuts before a meal, before you go to school, before you go to bed. You'll find that those scattered minutes will really help.