Intermediate juggling tricks

Chops

Chops is a fast paced juggling trick. You essentially "chop" your arms diagonally through a cascade pattern. To learn Chops, there two things to practice: the toss, and the catch-and-chop.

The balls in this trick are tossed more vertical compared to a cascade because you toss the ball right after chopping (your hands end up on opposite sides after chopping across your body). Start by juggling a Cascade and try doing a claw catch and chop your hand across your body swiftly, then quickly toss your ball up vertically and resume the normal cascade. Practice with both hands and don't try to get it all in one go. Start out with just one chop and try to progress into more consecutive chops.

Half shower

juggling trick half shower

This juggling trick is a-symmetrical, meaning that your left hand is doing different throws than your right hand. Basically one hand is doing a cascade while the other is doing a reverse cascade. This may feel a bit awkward if you have not tried similar tricks before. Try focusing on your rhythm, a common mistake when learning this trick is getting out of sync with your throws. You can give yourself more time by exaggerating your throws and juggling higher.

Shower

juggling trick tutorial shower animation
Shower exercise 1
Shower exercise 2
If you can already do the half-shower you're on a head start here. This juggling trick is often tried by people juggling for the first time, though it is a significantly harder trick than the 3 ball cascade.
Most jugglers throw the balls with their dominant hand and pass the balls with their non-dominant hand. I learned to juggle this pattern the other way around, passing with my dominant hand and throwing with my non-dominant hand. Do whatever feels right to you.

Practice quick passes between your hands until you're comfortable and are not constantly dropping balls because of missed passes.

Exercise #1

 Take one ball in each hand and toss one ball with an arch to the other hand. When the ball reached it's peak and starts falling down, you quickly pass the other ball between your hands before catching the first ball. This prepares you for the short period of time you have between passing and catching.

Exercise #2

Take one ball in each hand and toss one ball with an arch to the other hand. Right after your throw, you pass the the other ball to your throwing hand and throw that ball the same way. You have to be very quick with your pass and second throw, both balls should be in the air at the same time for a short period. Catch the first ball with your passing hand and pass it to your throwing hand before catching the second ball. This will prepare you for the short period of time you have between passing and throwing.

Flashing

Take 2 balls in your throwing hand and 1 in your passing hand. Throw one ball with an arch to the other hand and follow with the second ball. When the first ball reached it's peak and starts falling down, pass your third ball to your throwing hand and catch the first thrown ball. Right after catching the first ball, throw the ball you just passed and pass the ball you just caught. This is the complete flash, practice it. If you properly practiced the first two exercises you should be able to continue your pattern without too much effort. Take it easy and start with high throws so you have more time to think and react.

Fake mess

fake mess juggling tutoril

The Fake Mess looks a lot like Mills' Mess, but is way more beginner friendly. It's still an impressive looking trick. 

To learn the Fake Mess, start out with two balls in your dominant hand and one ball in the other. Cross your dominant hand over the other and toss one ball toward the center of your body. While you toss, uncross your hands and toss a ball slightly more vertical from your non-dominant hand. With your non-dominant hand now free, catch the first ball and cross your dominant hand (which is still holding one ball) under your other hand. While the second ball is falling back down, make a throw from your non-dominant hand back toward your dominant hand, while uncrossing your arms. Catch the second ball with your non-dominant hand and cross your dominant hand over your non-dominant hand and catch the third ball. I know, I know.. that sounded way too complicated.

Study the animation and slow motion in the video and I'm sure you will be able to figure it out. Try to get used to the pattern and practice flashing before connecting the cycles together.

Mills' Mess

Mills mess juggling trick exercise 1 ball
1 ball exercise
Mills mess juggling trick exercise 1 ball
1 ball exercise #2

Mills' Mess(invented by Steve Mills) is a fun juggling trick to learn and looks very impressing. It is recommended you practice your reverse cascade for this trick. Mills' Mess has the same siteswap as the cascade but you cross your arms constantly which makes it look very complicated.

1 ball exercise

We'll start with practicing the movements your arms make. Take one ball in your hand and cross that arm over the other, now toss the ball across your body towards the other hand. While you throw the ball, uncross and recross your arms quickly, now with your other hand on top, and catch the ball. Practice this with both hands.

Under-the-arm catch

For the second exercise, throw the ball towards the center of your body with your arms in a normal position and catch it while crossing your the arm that did not throw the ball underneath your other arm and catch the ball. Same story here, Practice with both hands. 
 

 2 ball exercise

We should now be ready to combine the moves we practiced. Start with your arms crossed and one ball in each hand. Toss the first ball while you uncross your arms, then toss the second ball while your arms are uncrossed. The second ball should follow roughly the same path as the first ball thrown. Recross your arms, now with the different arm on top. While recrossing your arms, you catch the first ball and when they are fully crossed you catch the second one. Practice with both hands starting out.
 
The last step to complete this juggling trick is also the most difficult. Add a third ball in your dominant hand, this ball is thrown last, and is caught by the hand starts the next cycle. Try practicing single cycles and make sure you are accurate and consistent before moving on to connect it all together.

Windmill

Step 1
the windmill juggling trick tutorial animation
Continuous Windmill

The Windmill is a three ball trick in which the balls travel in a circular pattern, always staying on the same side of each other. The movements of this trick feel very similar to mills' mess. If you can already perform the mills' mess pattern, you will have a head start in learning the Windmill. It also works the other way around, if you can do the windmill, mills' mess will be easier to learn. Remember that all your throws follow the same path and that all balls are always thrown from one side of the body, and caught on the other side.

First Cycle

Start out holding two balls in your non-dominant hand and one in your other hand. Cross the arm that is holding 2 balls over the other arm and toss one of the two balls towards the center of your body while uncrossing your arms. When your arms are in normal position, throw a ball from your dominant hand, following the same path as the first ball. Now cross your arms again with your other hand on top this time, and then catch the first ball with your dominant hand. As the second ball starts to fall down, throw your last ball under your dominant arm and catch the second ball with your non-dominant hand and the third ball with your dominant hand. Practice this cycle until it feels decently smooth.

Continuous pattern

Step 1 finished with your arms crossed, dominant arm on top. To add more throws, uncross your arms while the third throw (from step 1) is still in the air and make a fourth throw with your dominant hand. Now cross your arms again with your dominant arm on top, and catch the third throw. While your fourth throw is coming down, make a fifth throw with your non-dominant hand under your dominant arm (the same way as in the second throw). uncross your arms, catch the fourth. When juggling the continuous pattern you keep making those fourth and fifth throws, and when your arms are crossed, the same arm is always on top. 

Takeouts

Takeouts juggling trick tutorial animation step 1
Step 1
Takeouts juggling trick tutorial animation step 2
Step 2
Takeouts juggling trick tutorial animation step 3
Step 3

This trick looks a lot like another trick called Burke's Barrage. Takeouts looks like a very chaotic and fast pattern but is not as hard to perform as it seems. Video is not consistent with the explanation below by te way.

Step 1, two balls


Start with practicing one ball in each hand. Cross your arms with your dominant arm on top and toss a ball straight up from your non-dominant hand. With the ball in the air, quickly make an orbit around it with your dominant hand and then cross your arms again with the other arm on top this time. Now catch the ball with your non-dominant hand. Switch sides and practice both, make sure you are equally good with both hands. When you're getting used to the orbit movement, you can try and add in a third ball.

Step 2, three balls

Again, start with crossed arms, two balls in your non-dominant hand and one ball in your dominant hand. Perform the same steps as before, vertical throw from your non-dominant hand and orbit with the other hand. As you are recrossing your arms and just before catching the first ball, toss the other ball from you non-dominant hand up vertically the same way and catch both balls. Practice with both hands.

Step 3, connecting cycles

If you think you are starting to get the hang of it, try connecting two cycles together. Instead of catching the second ball with your hand that's on top, you make a vertical throw with the your bottom hand and catch the second ball with that hand. Now orbit your top arm around that ball you threw with your bottom arm (ending with your arms crossed the other way around again) and catch the last ball with your hand that is now on top. The only thing left now is trying to progress into more and more cycles. If you can juggle this pattern, check out Burke's Barrage too. It's slighly more difficult but very similar to Takeouts.

Burke's Barrage

juggling trick tutorial Burke's Barrage animation

Burke's Barrage is a slightly harder but very similar trick to Takeouts. Check the Takeouts tutorial If you need more info. Instead of orbiting around the ball in the air with Takeouts, you do a smaller orbit underneath the ball. This smaller orbit speeds up the pattern a bit. You don't have to use Mills' Mess for a base pattern like the guy in the video if you haven't learned that pattern yet.

The Box

box juggling trick tutorial animation

The Box has similarities with the Shower trick, you might find it beneficial to also take a look at that trick.

start practicing quick, straight throws from one hand to the other. Once you have the feel you can add another ball which you toss in the air while quickly throwing the other ball back and forth from one hand to the other. Once you have that down you can try to do it with 3 balls, keeping 1 ball in the air at all times and forming a box pattern.