Advanced juggling tricks

Backcrosses

Backcrosses juggling trick tutorial animation

With backcrosses you throw each ball behind your back, over your shoulder, and then catch it in front of you. The concept is sounds pretty simple but backcrosses is a difficult trick to perform and will most likely take you a month or more to learn. To learn Backcrosses, you want to get used to throwing a ball behind your back and catching it. Start  out with just one ball. Swing your arm behind your back and throw the ball, crossing it over your other shoulder and catching it with your other hand. Practice this with both hands until you are consistent consistently. When you think you're ready, start juggling a Cascade and try to add in single behind the back throws. Switch your hands and make sure you're equally good with both hands. Practice this until you can perform the single backcrosses while juggling a cascade consistently with both hands. The next step is to try doing more and more behind the back throws until you can do consecutive backcrosses.

The Kraken

Juggling trick the kraken step 1
Step 1
kraken step 2 trick tutorial animation
Step 2
juggling trick the kraken step 3
Step 3
juggling trick the kraken step 4
Step 4

The Kraken is a trick that was originated from the Mills' Mess pattern, in which the balls are caught and tossed mid-air with little force making them seem so float. This gives the pattern an odd, stop-and-go effect that is unique among Mills' Mess style tricks.  It's highly recommended you learn Mills' Mess before you learn The Kraken.

Step 1: Start with one ball in each hand and cross your arms so that your dominant hand is over your non-dominant hand, then make a vertical under-the-arm toss from your non-dominant hand. When the ball reaches it's peak, do a vertical toss from your other hand and  quickly uncross your arms, claw catching the first ball with your dominant hand while the second ball lands in your non-dominant hand. The balls are always caught by the hand that did not throw them.  Practice this starting with your dominant hand as well as your non-dominant hand.

Step 2: When you're ready to add in the third ball, start out with two balls in your dominant hand and one in your non-dominant hand. Cross your dominant hand underneath your non-dominant hand like we practiced, and do a vertical toss from your dominant hand. Once that ball reaches its' peak, do a vertical toss from your non-dominant hand and then uncross your non-dominant hand, leaving your dominant hand where it was. Claw catch the first ball with your non-dominant hand, and then do a second vertical toss from your dominant hand (your non-dominant hand should be above it). This will make room for your dominant hand to catch the second ball (the vertical toss made from your non-dominant hand when it was crossed). The third ball will then be caught from above with your non-dominant hand. Again, practice this on both sides, make sure you don't have a handicap with one hand over the other.

Step 3: We're going to do the same tosses as before, but instead of catching the last ball with your non-dominant hand, do a small toss from your non-dominant hand which is facing palm down, making room for that hand to catch the last ball. The toss your non-dominant hand makes should be very light, just grab the ball, move your hand up a few inches and release the ball. When your non-dominant hand catches the ball, you want to cross it under your dominant hand, which is going to cross back over and catch the ball that was lightly tossed from your non-dominant hand. Your hands will now be crossed and in the opposite position from when you started. Practice on both sides.

Step 4: Do as explained in the previous step but instead of catching the last ball with your dominant hand (the ball that was dropped after being claw caught by your non-dominant hand), you want to do a toss from the outside of your body towards the center of your body. Then cross your dominant hand back over the non-dominant hand and catch the ball we mentioned before. The ball just thrown from your dominant hand will be caught by your non-dominant hand. We've now completed a full cycle of this trick! Now it's just a matter of smoothing it up, connecting it all together and keeping the flow going. Keep practicing both sides.