Stuck in Two Ball Shower Juggling Practice

I get stuck at certain stages in juggling. It’s uglier than usual with learning the Shower. I’m struggling with the two-ball practice. I’ve looked at the YouTube videos of several experts and their demos vary.

I found out from a Wikipedia article that the two ball Shower is a thing. But it’s not juggling. I’ve been stuck in ugly juggling learning stages before. I’m thinking I’ll get through it.

Sena is still learning to juggle. She’s eager to try the three ball Cascade. We’re both dropping balls all over the place.

Ugly Juggling Hits the Shower

OK, I’ve found out that there’s more than one way to hit the shower pertaining to the juggling trick called “The Shower.”

As usual, my form is ugly because I’m in the early practice phase of trying to learn the shower. But then, even when I think I’ve got a trick down—it’s always ugly.

Anyway, different experts have different instructions for the shower trick. A couple of them tell you to throw the two balls in your dominant hand one right after the other. “Go for it” the guy says, who wrote the Learn to Juggle manual I still use. A YouTuber also tells you to just throw the two balls up there. Another expert doesn’t suggest that—but I can’t do it at all unless I toss two balls up sequentially.

I keep my two hands two close together and too high for the “slap” part of the pattern, which is tossing a ball straight across from my nondominant hand to my dominant hand. I also throw a ball too far out from the pane of glass (which is a pain in the ass!).

As usual, you can see all my mistakes in my ugly juggling on my own YouTube video, which you should not use as an example of anything but the wrong way to learn the shower.

By the way, Sena is making progress learning to juggle!

Sena Learning How to Juggle!

Big news flash—Sena is learning how to juggle. She just started doing the single and two-ball practice throws on the way to learning how to do the 3-ball cascade, just like I did about 5 months ago.

Just like she heard me dropping balls—now I hear her doing it. It’s a gas! It’s fascinating to watch her gradually improve.

On the other hand, I’m trying to learn how to do another juggling trick called the shower. If you look this up on the web, you’ll find a comical entry that reads “How do you juggle 3 balls in the shower?”

It’s not a trick you do in the shower.

The shower is what some call an intermediate level trick which, I think, historically was how everyone started learning to juggle. Instead of learning the cascade, you started by learning the shower. The way the balls fly, they sort of look like they’re raining. And it’s a lot harder than the cascade.

There’s a half shower trick that I learned pretty quickly. And I can sort of handle the two-ball practice for the shower. I’m stuck when I add the 3rd ball, sort of how I got stuck learning the behind the back throw. You have to throw two balls up from your dominant hand in perfect arcs just before throwing one ball across from your non-dominant hand to the dominant hand. Catch them all. Right.

You can find YouTube videos of this that make it look easy. But that’s only because the teachers are very well practiced!

More On Taming the Juggling Balls

I’ve been juggling for about 5 months now and reflecting on my progress. I think I’m doing OK for a geezer. Sena would call me a hot dog although I would still call it ugly juggling by any standard.

What’s striking, at least to me, is the little bit of science I can find on the web about juggling. I hear the term “muscle memory” when it comes to learning juggling. Actually, there’s some truth to that. There are different kinds of memory. For example, most of us know about declarative memory, which about memorizing facts, because we use it to prepare for exams. Those of us who went to medical school remember the agony of taking tests for the basic sciences.

But so-called muscle memory, or the memory for learning new skills like juggling, takes place in the brain. There was a study published in 2009 which found changes in both gray and white matter of subjects before and after learning to juggle (Scholz J, Klein MC, Behrens TE, Johansen-Berg H. Training induces changes in white-matter architecture. Nat Neurosci. 2009;12(11):1370-1371. doi:10.1038/nn.2412).

The study about correlation of the inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds with higher mortality in older patients, which I relate to the ability to do the under the leg juggling trick, was published last year (Araujo CG, de Souza e Silva CG, Laukkanen JA, et al. Successful 10-second one-legged stance performance predicts survival in middle-aged and older individuals. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2022; 56:975-980.)

I talk a lot about juggling as though I’m a teacher. I’m not a juggling instructor by any means. You can find better juggling teachers on the web. But my approach to talking about juggling in terms of it being a hobby for me is really not different from how I talked about consultation-liaison psychiatry before and after I retired. I’m still a teacher—just evolving in retirement.

However, you can find much better resources for learning how to juggle at the following websites:

Have fun!

Lost Juggling Ball Found!

I lost one of my new juggling balls temporarily this morning while trying the behind the back throw. OK, so I dramatized the video a little. That’s because I got interrupted in the search to help Sena hang our new wall clock.

I had no idea where that ball was. I even considered a wormhole vortex opened up in my office—briefly.

But the place I finally found it was just where I’ve dropped juggling balls before—on one of my bookshelves.

New 12 Panel Juggling Balls!

I got one of the two new sets of juggling balls today. They are the Zeekio 12 panel, 67 mm, 130 gm balls, which are noticeably heavier and a little harder to do certain tricks with-like the behind the back throw.

I dropped them several times, so they are getting broken in very well!

Ugly Juggling So Far

I thought I’d make a video on the progress I’ve made so far in the last 4 months with ugly juggling. Man, it’s ugly; I’m still lunging and grabbing and making faces. But I’m also getting a real good workout.

Psychiatric Times recorded my After Hours video via Zoom this morning. It won’t look like my progress YouTube show at all, but it was a lot of fun. They’ll need to edit the thing because I talk too much. It’ll have to go in a queue after that, so I have no idea when it’ll be available.

I’ll keep you posted.

More Ugly Juggling Tricks

It’s way past time for more ugly juggling tricks. I’m working on a few and my skills wax and wane, a lot like delirium. It fits.

Behind the back, under the leg, 1-UP 2-UP, over the top with juggler’s tennis, and using a different color ball (orange) for the trick ball are the highlights.

It’s pretty ugly.

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.

%d bloggers like this: