Behind the Back Ugly Juggling Trick!

I have been diligently practicing the juggling behind the back trick daily and may have just turned the corner. I started practicing the behind the back trick along with the under the leg trick because the throws, mistakes, and corrections are similar.

I usually throw the trick ball too far out and the video will reveal it. I throw the left-hand ball (the one just before the trick ball) a little too high or too low. Both throws have to be darn near perfect.

The behind the back throw is difficult to get just right. I start off by practicing what I’ve seen described and shown as the trick and catch, which means I don’t try to incorporate the trick throw back into the 3 ball cascade. On the other hand, I’m sometimes able to sneak an extra throw or two in the game.

I also found out that my juggling balls glow in low light. They’re advertised to do so (UV reactive), but I just found out that it actually works today.

One thing is clear—this is still ugly juggling!

Slow Progress with Juggle Behind the Back Trick

About a month ago, I made a YouTube video showing my miserable performance trying to do the throw behind the back juggling trick.

I have been practicing nearly every day since. I’m still not able to do the trick and integrate it into the 3-ball cascade. On the other, I’ve gone from zero percent to “maybe I can do this” when I try the 2-ball practice trick.

My latest video on the 2-ball practice trick alone still shows me chasing after dropped balls, obviously. But I catch at least one and sometimes both more often than I did last month.

The 2-ball practice throw behind the back trick has two components. They’re parts of the full trick which incorporates the trick into juggling a 3-ball cascade. I inferred this from the little manual I got with the Learn to Juggle kit I bought back in mid-October.

In one component, I throw the ball behind my back first with my right hand (the trick ball), then quickly throw the second ball up and—drop both on the floor. No, wait, the idea is to catch them both. This was easier a month ago then it is now because I quit practicing it to do what was harder.

The harder 2-ball practice component was to throw one ball up with my left hand first, then throw the trick ball behind my back. The object is to catch both, which I was unable to do at all until the last few days. It was a coin toss whether I would catch either ball or both. Most of the time, I dropped both.

I was amazed because it seemed like I went from being completely unable to do this to being marginally competent (luckier?) practically overnight.

I have watched demo videos of jugglers who can do the behind the back throw trick and it’s pretty impressive. At first, I thought I would be able to do this without as much effort as I put into doing the throw under the leg trick. They incorporate the same general moves, which includes throwing one ball a little higher than usual in order to make time for doing the trick throw and catching the next ball.

But the stickler for me is having to look behind me for the ball coming from behind my back—which means I have to take my eyes off the balls in front. When I do the under the leg trick, I’m looking at everything happening in front of me.

For a while, it seemed easier to throw the one ball before the trick a little lower rather than higher than usual. That doesn’t make sense, when I think about the timing, and yesterday it didn’t seem to matter exactly how high I tossed it. But I’m pretty sure that throwing it higher makes the trick easier.

Also, early on I thought you had to throw the balls perfectly to get the trick right. I do anything but that, which is why I’m good at ugly juggling. It’ll be a while before I incorporate this into a 3-ball cascade.

Christmas Day 2022 Antics!

Christmas Day at our house was a lot of fun. I got a coffee mug that specifies the importance of cribbage. Sena got a throw that sort of complements the throw she got me on our anniversary.

Those throws add a lot to the ambience in the room. And the coffee mug really speaks to the “importanter feature” of cribbage in our life nowadays.

This was the one of the best Christmases ever. We’re up to our ears in gratitude. And that’s the most importantest thing of all.

Snow Day!

I wrote this post yesterday because I didn’t know whether or not we’d have a power outage because of high winds (up to nearly 50 mph) predicted for the Arctic Blast this week.

When we’re not outside scooping our walkway and driveway, we’ll probably be playing cribbage or, God forbid, Scrabble (which I always lose).

We’ve heard about the renewed interest in board games, one of them being Scrabble. We recently found an old Scrabble game at Old Capitol Town Center (formerly Old Capitol Mall). It’s Super Scrabble and it was on sale for $50 at a hole-in-the-wall shop lacking an entrance sign. The high price is because it’s a collectible relic from the past, although a quick internet search revealed it was made in 2004—hardly an antique. You can find them on eBay for $30. On the other hand, you can find them going for as much as $179 at an on-line store called Mercari.

We’ll also probably take a break by munching on our Christmas cookies.

I’m all set for the freezing weather. I’ve got my thermal underwear out and sweats out, along with my heavy gloves.

The wind will probably make shoveling pointless at times. We’ll probably bag it and then I’ll practice the juggling behind the back trick—another pointless activity.

New Juggling Balls!

Hey, the ugly juggler just got a new set of juggling balls! And you’ll be thrilled to know my juggling is just as ugly as ever.

I know next to nothing about juggling except what I’ve learned in the last month or so. The Zeekio balls weigh 110 grams (almost 4 oz) each and they’re 62 mm (2.4 cm) in diameter. They have substance to them.

They’re very different from my first set, which came in a box along with a manual for how to learn juggling. I bought that kit on a whim at Barnes and Nobles in mid-October. The balls started leaking their innards in November and they were small. I made do with decorator balls that I think are made of latex, filled with some kind of liquid which leaked. They stuck to my hands and to each other. One of them has shrunk in size. They’re not real juggling balls.

But the Zeekio balls are real and an early Christmas gift from Sena. They make a satisfying thud when they hit the floor or my head. That’s how I know they’re high quality.

Practicing for the Behind the Back Juggling Trick

I’ve been practicing for a juggling trick, the behind the back throw. For me, it’s harder than any other trick so far.

And to be clear, I’m not talking about juggling the full cascade entirely behind my back—that’s for the pros. I’m just trying to toss one ball behind my back while juggling the 3-ball cascade.

First, the Learn to Juggle manual says try just tossing one ball behind your back. That’s actually not so hard to pick up on.

Then the manual instructs the learner to try a 2-ball practice trick. With two balls, one in each hand, you toss the trick ball first (in my YouTube video, the trick ball is yellow) behind the back, then a split second later, toss the 2nd ball up. You’re supposed to catch both, of course, which I finally got the hang of—sort of.

The next step is to try the variation of the 2-ball practice, which is to throw one ball before you toss the trick ball and catch both.

I’m still working on the variation.

Both are important parts of the whole thing, which is to toss one ball behind your back while incorporating it into the 3-ball cascade.

I’m dropping balls all over the place. I even got a bruise on my right wrist from a dropped ball. I think one of the keys to this trick is getting my hand back into place super-fast after tossing it behind my back.

Updates on Amaryllis and Ugly Juggling

The Amaryllis Star of Holland opens up a little more each day. It may open before Christmas.

I make do with the sticky juggling balls. They’re easily squishable and tacky enough to pick up the little granules my original juggling balls were stuffed with. Evidently, the vacuum cleaner couldn’t get them all.

In the process of shopping for new juggling balls, we’re learning new things. I had what are called 4 panel balls, meaning they were covered by fake leather panels secured with thread at the seams—which turned out to be not very durable.

But they can have 6 or even 12 panels. I guess the idea is that the more panels, the less likely the seams will get smacked and break on impact with various objects, such as my glasses, computer, window shades, and whatnot.

The impact factor of dropped balls are pretty important right now because I’m still a beginner. You can buy one acrylic ball for $26. They’re virtually unbreakable, so they can probably last for years—unless I use them.

Some juggling balls are filled with millet, which is bird seed. I’m ambivalent about juggling balls which could spread food all over when I break them.

I’m busy trying to learn how to do a new juggling trick, which is to throw one behind your back as you do the 3-ball cascade. I’m struggling to get the hang of it. You’d think it would be about the same level of difficulty as the under the leg throw trick, which I can do (in a very ugly way, of course). It’s much harder.

There are lot of jugglers out there on YouTube who are really great teachers. You can tell right away which ones are just trying to dazzle you. Sena found a website called Renegade Juggling. There’s a chart showing how your hand size relates to the size balls appropriate for you. I’m sticking with 62mm diameter balls, since they’re supposedly right for somebody with 7-inch hands from wrist to fingertips.

Old and Busted Juggling Balls

As you may know, I started juggling in mid-October. The Learn to Juggle kit came with 3 balls. After practicing for over a month and a half, they are old and busted.

The seams are splitting and the granules are flying out, as they smack my hands or hit the floor, computer, walls, and other objects. I hope I got most of them vacuumed up.

The old and busted juggling balls are retired now. For now, I practice with sticky ornamental balls that are not meant for juggling, but which will serve in a pinch.

More Ugly Juggling!

I know you’ve been waiting for more ugly juggling and I’ve got it for you right here. I have been struggling with doing the under the leg toss trick and the reverse cascade as well for days.

Both are extremely ugly, but I’m giving myself credit because I’m a geezer past his mid-sixties who just started juggling in mid-October.

I generally tend to practice in my office where my computer and webcam are. It’s not unusual for me to drop a ball or two on the keyboard. Sometimes when I do that, a couple of extraterrestrials materialize and try to sell me real estate somewhere on the outer rings of Saturn. I don’t worry about them because I just accidentally hit the keys again by dropping another juggling ball on the keyboard and they dematerialize.

I thought I would never get the under the leg trick. I have watched that trick done by several pro jugglers who make YouTubes out of their skills and try to teach others. What often happens is that I keep trying and fail so much that I just figure I’ll never get the hang of something.

And then one day, I just start doing a trick more often than I fail. I keep at it until I complete it more than I miss. That’s how it was with the under the leg.

Don’t get me wrong. My under the leg juggling trick is really ugly. But it’s my kind of ugly.

One of the key things for me is getting my right leg up just before I throw the ball under it. This is vital, because if I don’t stand on my left leg long enough to stick with the cascade pattern, I end up flinging the ball into the computer, the wall, or on my head.

Another key factor is to throw the third ball up high enough so that I have time to pitch the under my leg and also throw that one high enough to get back in the cascade. I start my count out loud when I throw the third ball. It’s hard to believe how much more focused I get when I count the throws out loud.

I can’t throw them so high they bounce off the ceiling. They just have to be high enough to get back into the cascade.

I really think my practicing the one leg stand on both legs (one minute on both the right and left legs) for the last few months has helped me get into shape to do the under the leg trick.

In my ugly juggling video, I made one clip of the under the leg throw in slow motion.

The reverse cascade is another trick I am struggling to learn. My reverse cascade sequences are very, very short. That’s about all I can say about it so far.

But they might get better.

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