Learning New Juggling Technique
I’ve been shooting for my new video project on and off over the last 8 months or so. There have been a lot of practice sessions recently where I have a list of tricks I came up with but I don’t know how to really do for the 20 side of the pattern that I want to shoot.
Because I’m always making new juggling for shows and videos and stuff it’s become interesting to me figure out techniques to learn tricks as quickly as possible. I try to think of it race against the clock using all my wits and energy to figure out the rhythm, grip, body position, flight path, and the super secrets that make it work.
Here are 4 ideas I’ve been using to try to learn technique faster.
This is basically just changing up what I’m paying attentions to at different point during a trick. For example, I was working on a (4x,6) variation and always concentrating on the 6’s. After a while I realized the 6’s were always good throws and it was the 4x’s that were the culprits. I tried doing the trick again focusing on the 4x’s and not caring about the 6’s. They got way better and the 6’s were still close enough to make it work. When I focused on the 4x’s I saw what was going wrong with them and could fix it. Once my body new how to throw them right I could switch my focus back to the overall pattern. This may sound basic but there are many times when I focus on the ”big” part of a trick even though that’s not the part that’s going wrong and it doesn’t really require all the attention I give it. Sometimes it’s useful to let the big parts happen by themselves and see what’s up with the details.
In more complex juggling that I make a plan of what i’m focusing on during different parts of a trick or a pattern. I had a multiplex catch behind the neck pattern I was working on that had many different things that would go wrong. When I broke down the pattern into it’s little problems then made a mental schedule in the time of the pattern for when to focus on what. for example…
-When you throw the multiplex with the right hand focus on resetting the grip in the left hand.
-Make sure to twist each hand palm up quickly right after the throw so it’s ready in time for the next catch.
-When your right hand is coming down focus on the left not throwing too far behind you.
It’s really just breaking the trick down so it’s little problems to fix so I have specific things to focus on doing and not just DON’T DROP!
When I’m working on base patterns like 6 clubs or 7 ball, I don’t need to think about how it’s done. There are tons of people that do these tricks and have already figured out the technique. I just need to watch what they do and get my body to do it. When I work on a trick I haven’t seen before I have to figure out the flight paths, height, tempo, grip and all the other nuances that make it work. I was working on a 5 club trick the other day that kept colliding. I thought maybe the whole pattern should be higher… then i was like naaaaaah and kept working on it with no progress. A couple minutes later I realized how stupid I was being. Why didn’t I give it the 20 seconds it would take to try the pattern higher once??? That might solve the whole thing and i don’t even try it? There’s no video of someone else making it work at the height I’m trying so what makes me think it should be there? Now I’m all about trying any way I can think of that could make it work before I decide which could be the real method and get to training. Even then I try to keep an open mind and remember that my method could be wrong, the goal is to make the trick work not the method.
#KEY VS. 10 CATCHES
This is more of a thing to keep me on track than an actual ”tips and tricks”. When I first started working on 5 club outsides I did it in two paths, the right hand throwing in the front and the left throwing behind. This made the trick exhausting since it natural made me twist and I needed to work my ass off to stay facing front. It did make it much less likely to have collisions even when I didn’t throw very accurately. I could consistently do 10 catches but the pattern was too wonky to keep it going longer. I realized I had learned the trick like some people learn a 7 club flash. They flash the seven clubs but it’s such a whacked out tempo that the same technique would never work for a longer run. Now when I learn tricks I try not to focus on how many catches I’ve gotten but if I’ve understood how the trick works so I can eventually do it as long as I want.
I use my phone to film a lot when I’m practicing to document when I come up with stuff and see if it looks cool. I also film technique so I can see if I’m doing something stupid that I can’t feel. When I’m working on a trick I constantly think about what I need to do to make it work. By the time I do get it to work I have kind of a list in my head of things I’ve fixed to get it to this point. kinda like in the focus point stuff I was talking about earlier. Once I get the trick I film myself telling my future self what to do to make the trick work. Sometime I watch these on the way to training the next day to make sure the ”tips and trick” are fresh in my head but I’ve realized that it’s really useful just to be thinking of what I’m going to say to my phone while I’m trying it. It make me look harder for the solution and formulate the method for doing the trick clearly into words. When I’m thinking of a clear sentence that I’m going to tell my future self about how to do the trick it’s almost like having a coach telling it to me.
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