There isn't a 'right' way to learn how to juggle, but by
taking it a bit slower, and carrying out all the exercises
below, you should develop a smoother, neater juggling pattern.
Each of the exercises below is easier than juggling 3 balls,
and will help you develop or improve the skills for 3 ball
juggling (without spending as much time picking the balls
up off the floor).
The idea behind this is that by learning how to throw one
ball about well, and then two, before learning three, you'll
have a better idea of how it all fits together, and you'll
have a neater juggling pattern when you do get three balls
Firstly, always bear in mind these two key points. Every
throw should go to the same height,
and don't reach up to catch the balls, wait for them
to come down to waist level before attempting to catch.
Watch the animation, concentrating on just the blue ball.
Notice how it follows a smooth pattern, as it goes from
side to side.
The ball starts in the hand on the left of the body, is
carried to the centre of the body, and is thrown
diagonally upwards, peaking just above head height, before
coming down and being caught
on the right side of the body.
The operation is then reversed, throwing from right to
left. Remember to carry the ball to the centre of your body
between catching and throwing.
Using just one ball, practice steps 3 and 4 until you
are throwing and catching the ball in a smooth, consistent
pattern with a constant rhythm.
When you can do the above, and clap between throws and catches,
it's time to move on. Alternatively, just move on when you're
bored. You can always come back and practice just one ball
Watch the animation again, this time concentrating on
the blue and red balls (You might like to stop and start
Notice how both balls follow the same path around the
pattern, even though they start on different sides.
Starting with one ball in each hand, throw one into the
air, in the same way as you did when practising with just
As it reaches the peak of it's arc, throw the second ball
under the path of the first, as in the animation.
NOTE : It is of extreme importance that both balls are
thrown to the same height.
What often happens is that people throw one ball up, and
then just pass the second ball across, from one hand to
the other, instead of throwing it. While effective for two
balls, this method makes juggling three far more complex,
and you'll want to get yourself out of this habit.
Catch the first ball thrown.
Catch the second ball thrown.
This should all happen with a steady rhythm ... throw
throw catch catch. Don't rush. You should not throw the
second ball until the first is at the top of its arc. If
you throw both balls at the same time, then both balls will
come down at the same time, which means you'll be trying
to catch both balls at the same time, which is just making
life more difficult than it has to be.
Repeat steps 3-6, this time starting from the opposite
Eventually, you will be throwing two balls around like the
animation. Then, when you aren't taking so long to correct
your posture after each pair of throws, you end up with a
steady pattern of two throws from each hand, i.e. right, right,
left, left, right, right, left, left, etc. etc. (Follow the
balls in the animation to see what I mean).
Don't rush this, but over time, as your throws and catches
get neater, you can speed up slightly. Remember that your
goal should be to get this smooth enough to fit a third ball
into the pattern. When you can do this perfectly, you will
have a gap in the pattern, i.e. right, left, [gap], left,
right, [gap], etc. etc.
Try filling the gaps with claps i.e. right, left, [clap],
left, right, [clap], etc. etc.
Remember, that if ever you have any difficulty, you can always
come back and learn the easier stages for a while longer.
Many top jugglers, who can juggle far more than 3 balls, still
spend hour after hour throwing just one ball around, at different
heights, and with different rhythms, in an attempt to perfect
their throwing and catching.