20hr Da Vinci Project

Juggling

THE GAMEPLAN

Even after a really brief search around Google and YouTube, the first realization I came across was that, as with any skill, juggling is a world on its own. There are lots of types and ways of juggling, lots of kinds of props you can use, and the list of diversity goes on and on.

But to learn something quickly, we need a small and specific goal. So I landed on the most straightforward kind: I'll be learning a simple sideswap juggling of around 3-5 balls. At least, that's the plan.

Sideswap is the "normal" method of juggling, throwing things into the body center and catching them on the side. And that, along with a few other observations, I took away mostly by watching a bunch of people juggle various objects online. Of course, this would take time to learn, and it'd take time for my hands to practice and physically learn the muscle memories necessary to juggle mindlessly, but taking note of what kinds of motion they'd be doing is, I think, a good preparatory step.

And with that, we're off to the races.

DAY 1: MISTAKES. LOTS.

Before I could practice juggling, I had to get things to juggling. So upon some light contemplation, I found some small erasers that fit pretty nicely in my hand with some heft.

I started first by just throwing one eraser from hand to hand, planning to increase the number slowly. But like practicing most other skills, I assumed I could start out with the simplest possible form of it, and work my way up as I got more comfortable.

With the first one-eraser and two-eraser practices, the thing I focused on the most was being able to catch them with opposite hands as comfortably and mindlessly as possible. And in the process, I discovered that the best way to ensure that is to aim the throw as close to the "center" of my chest as possible. This helped ensure that they fell where they needed to be, and kept my throws and throw directions consistent. Another useful tidbit in how I practiced was to only increase the complexity of what I practiced when I had the skill down to near-perfection. For me, that was to avoid adding another eraser into the mix until I could pretty much throw and catch the first one blindfolded.

Eventually, as I added two and three into my practice, my next goal became to increase the number of consecutive throws I could fit in...