Juggling Five Balls In Easy Steps

Carnegie Hall is on the corner of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. It’s reasonably easy to get to, being within walking distance of Central Park and Broadway. Juggling five balls, on the other hand, takes practice. The method I use is a pyramid method (not to be confused with a pyramid scheme) which goes like this:

  • Let n equal, say, five.
  • Juggle ten runs of n catches, eight runs of n + 1, six runs of n + 2, four runs of n + 3, two runs of n + 4 and one run of n + 5. At each stage record how many times you failed to get a run of the prescribed length, including false starts, drops, and premature gathers.
  • Total the number of failed runs. If it’s more than 31 (10 + 8 + 6 + 4 + 2 + 1), just write it down so you can track your long-term improvement and try again another day. If it’s less than 31, increment n by 1 for the next time.

I’ve been using this method since mid January, not at all regularly but on average about once every two days. I’ve got pretty close to pushing n up to 11 which—as well as being an easy Spinal Tap reference—means I qualify more often than not these days. I remember my first qualifying run was only at the beginning of January. It’s this fast rate of improvement that makes juggling such a great hobby.