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Hermit Of Masada -

hello everyone! my name is Yonatan, and i have to admit i have already had a thread here a couple of years back about 5 ball training. I'm ashamed to admit though that the reason I'm posting now is the exact same... i took a really really long break from juggling due to leukemia (all fine now! got me some new bone marrow and I'm three years healthy) and a friend of mine who just got back from the ijc convinced me to get back into it, which I'm super excited about.
since my return to juggling a few things bothered my over analytical database-oriented brain. the first thing was that i don't know how people train. so first question, and this is fairly subjective so i know you gonna have more than a few opinions on this (though I'll be glad to know if any of you have a study on the subject):
what do you find the most efficient way for you to train? working for one specific goal the whole session (trying to get this one trick down)? getting all over the place (working your 5 balls for some time, getting tired and changing it up with some 3 ball body throws or even setting the balls aside for a bit and picking up the diabolo)? or working on similar but different tricks (4 ball shower and 5 balls both have hard tall throws, so lets do both)?
I have a notebook i keep my juggling thoughts in, so i might lay a few more on you the next time i get a chance ;).
been training 5 balls using Thom Wall's guide.. wanted to get your input on it (i can get ~25 throws of right 5551, qualified left 5551, get a flash of 5551 in my fountain and semi-consistent flash 5)

Mike Moore - - Parent

Welcome back and I'm happy to hear you're healthy!

I have a few "focus patterns" that I make sure I put some time into every session. Depending on where I am in those patterns and how things are going on that day, the amount of time for each varies from 3-~15 minutes. Then I have some secondary patterns/pattern families that I try to chip away at when I remember.

My warm up tends to be a "whatever I feel like for a little", sometimes with a focus on a certain type of movement (e.g. left-handed dots, body throw combos, etc.). When warming up for numbers, I try to incorporate patterns that are below my skill level, but unpracticed, so that I have to do lots of corrections. Corrections warm up the body very quickly!

I practically only train with balls. I don't have enough time or skill to make meaningful contributions to juggling with a diversity of props. I do play with other props some, but mostly socially and not too seriously.

Thom Wall's guide + sweat + time = 5b cascade :)

Hermit Of Masada - - Parent

hi man! thanks! what do you mean you do corrections? how do you purposely get in a situation you need to correct?

Mike Moore - - Parent

I find that patterns that are unpracticed but below my general technical skill result in having to do many corrections while keeping the pattern alive. The ones I enjoy right now are some flashes of siteswaps out of a 5b reverse cascade. Balls go everywhere, but because I have a pretty solid 5b and those siteswaps are pretty easy for my in a normal cascade, I can wrangle everything back in and repeat.

And if all else fails, I listen to Chandelier by Sia. I can't help but move a bunch after seeing that amazing music video way too many times.

Orinoco - - Parent

Maddie Ziegler is awesome!!!

Mike Moore - - Parent

Yeah, downright mindblowing. There are times when I see/hear something that makes me realize I had no idea how good at certain things people are. Sort of like an abrupt mental re-benchmarking Some examples:

William Lin's BJC performance way back
Maddie Ziegler's Chandelier video
When a competitive classical singer that I was teaching chemistry to sang (!!!)
Occasional research papers (the Nobel Prize one on neutrino oscillations where they had to filter out the radioactivity from THE WIRES IN THEIR ELECTRONICS comes to mind, as well as some of the framework-development ones in educational research).

Do you (or anyone else) remember those types of moments? What are some that come to mind?

The Void - - Parent

The Picture Of Dorian Grey and Vanity Fair.

Mike Moore - - Parent

I'll have to move those up the reading list a bit. Thanks for the recommendations.

Have you read Thinking Fast and Slow? I'm only partially finished it but am enjoying it an awful lot! Go figure: a book that explains part of how your thought patterns work is good at influencing your thought patterns.

Orinoco - - Parent

oooh, good question... ones that immediately spring to mind.

Lars Andersen - archery

Jane Zhang doing the Diva song from the Fifth Element live with no synthesizer assistance.


Adam Winrich - whip cracking


Sean DeBurca - fingerstyle guitar, I first saw Sean perform live in Tunbridge Wells when he was I think 17 years old, I had never heard fingerstyle before.


Veronika Petrova, Inna Lymar, & Yuriy Danilchenko - skipping


Mike Moore - - Parent

Sometimes when I see something that SHOULD reframe how I see a discipline, I can feel myself rationalizing that I had obviously thought of that before, or that "of course it should be at this level". It's kind of hard to explain, but that's how I felt when I first saw Lars's archery video (and how I used to see Dave Kelly's and Chris Hodge's videos). Almost like they're doing something categorically different, and the stuff they're doing CAN'T be similar to what I've seen before.

That whip cracking video was something else!

I don't know why, but I've randomly encountered so many VERY good skippers. In high school I saw a professional skipper perform in a talent show. At Turbofest in the first few years I went (2010-~2012?) there was a really amazing skipper. In Japan, while walking the streets randomly, I came across this:


It's funny how things happen.

And the middle section of that Raw Art video was very cool!

Orinoco - - Parent

Congratulations on the health front! Facing leukemia is a far more impressive trick than a 5 ball cascade so this should be easy for you!

Don't focus too much on 5 ball like patterns. Getting a good start when you launch the pattern is really important, & launching 2 balls from one hand is different to launching 3 so make sure you practice that part.

Also try to practice a little bit more than a flash as soon as possible, even if it is just 1 more throw. With a flash it is fairly easy to compensate for errors in rhythm, during the running pattern, not so much.

If you like data & analysis ty keeping a practice log, it can draw graphs for you & everything!

Maria - - Parent

Wrong address in the "log" link, it doesn't work. :)

Orinoco - - Parent

I should know that by now!

Hermit Of Masada - - Parent

Thanks man! valuable input. so you say i should stick to the flashes to learn launching 5 balls?
the practice log was a major reason to come back here, though i never used it before :P

Orinoco - - Parent

I think so.

I don't think it is worthwhile breaking down base patterns (3, 5, 7 ball cascade etc) too much. The best practice for a 5 ball cascade is a 5 ball cascade. Breaking things into components only makes sense to me for combination tricks involving different skills, & for more complex patterns where you need to do different types of throw.

In a cascade every ball does the same thing, for 5+ balls the important points are rhythm, accuracy & speed. If you take out a ball for 55550 it is still possible to do the pattern without the correct timing which allows bad habits to develop.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Hi Hermit,

for 5 ball cascade, I warmly recommend this: http://juggling.tv/16767 with 3 balls, the idea being: if you can't do it with 3 balls, how can you expect to get it with five?! And it will be necessary to keep a 5 ball cascade up and to get it stable, that one has at least somewhat of control on most of those dimensions shown in the vid, especially 5b speed (and handspeed) and 5b height (and precision \accuracy \aiming well there), but also for correcting or for working against any drifts, twists, furthermore for controlling the front plane, then for finding your most comfortable and efficient posture, so far for what I can think of.
It's pure cascade training; this approach skips any 4b exercises, but as you seem to be getting along well with the fountain and siteswaps, all this is maybe just a minor alternative. Yet, checking it out at least briefly might find the one or other exercise that could be a precious clue for improving on 5b.

( I'm afraid my practise, though structured mostly after priorities, that i stubbornly work on, a huge ``plight´´-part, "good-fors" and only a small ``leisure´´-part, .. afraid, my practise isn't as efficient as should, so I'd rather not extend on it. )

cheers & happy juggling

Hermit Of Masada - - Parent

Thanks man! thats a lot of material! I always check my posture when juggling, but having a check list like this might be beneficial.


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