Jon performing with Gandini Juggling
The Juggling Pyramid System for Juggling Practice
A note from Adam
Following on from my post last week about how to practice juggling without getting frustrated, I thought it would be nice to share with you another juggling practice method that can be used to keep your practice interesting and entertaining. What follows is a guest post by juggler, Jon Udry, about the juggling pyramid system and was originally published on the Circus Geeks website.
For those of you who don’t know him, Jon is a fantastic juggler who performs all over the world. He was the first person to win Young Juggler of the Year in 2006 at 16 years old (you do the math) winning over 50% of the votes (but he feels a bit vile talking about it these days). Jon is a Circus Geek and began writing his own blog recently too.
Over to Jon…
In the ever growing world of juggling, people are improving, at different rates, all over the world. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The thing that surprises me is that a lot of jugglers are happy to spend hours practicing their hobby, but do not train in a structured and organised manner. I am constantly surprised at people who arrive at the training space, completely unaware of what they intend to practice and how to do it. I am however impressed at the increase of skill made by people with good practice discipline as opposed to those with no or bad practice structure.
As juggling is a huge part of my life, I have spent time trying to find the most efficient way to practice. I understand that not everyone likes to practice in the same way, and that some systems will suit some people more than others, but I have seen some people slog away at a trick for years with no progress, and I am shocked that they haven’t tried to find the reason why. I firmly believe that if you find a practice system that is good for you, then you shouldn’t strictly only stick to that chosen system. I feel it is important to mix things up, try other practice structures and challenge yourself.
I am not the creator of these systems. Some of the systems I have fused with others to develop them in ways that I feel make them stronger. I have also, taken inspiration from some systems, to develop others in ways that are more suitable for me. I’m not claiming that all of these systems are going to work for you.
These methods are starting points for you to test for yourself and see if:
- You enjoy them.
- See any improvements in your juggling.
I’d be interested to hear about your opinions, experiences and own training methods and how they compare to mine so please leave any comments or feedback below.
The Juggling Pyramid System
The Pyramid system is a common and efficient juggling system. Though at times it can be tedious to execute, if you are dedicated to it, you WILL get results. This system is suited mostly to patterns as opposed to tricks. The main goal of this system is to solidify patterns to a consistent level.
Example: 5 clubs
- 5 catches (a flash) x 10
- 10 catches x 7
- 15 catches x 5
- 20 catches x 3
- 25 catches x 1
Above is a pretty classic example of a Pyramid system. Obviously the Pyramid will be altered depending on one’s level. You must complete the first layer, in this case the flash x 10, before you proceed to the next level, and so on.
Creating your Pyramid
In order to begin this splendid exercise, you first need to create your perfect Pyramid. I am sure there are many ways to do this, but here is the method that I would use if I was creating a Pyramid for 7 balls.
- Find the amount of catches that you know you can achieve. For me, I know I have achieved 100 catches a few times. So this is going to be the top of my pyramid, because if I get this, I will be very happy.
- Next, I would work my way down to the second layer, to just over half way. For me I will have 30 catches. This I will have to achieve three times. I go just over half way because I feel that if I waste my energy doing 35 catches, then 40, then 45, that I do not have enough energy to concentrate on the full 100 catches. But that’s just me.
- Next I will go down to the third layer which is 20 catches. I will have to achieve this 5 times.
- The second to last layer I use is 10 catches this I want to get 7 times. This is the amount I would ideally like to perform.
- Finally I get to just a flash. This I try to make as perfect as possible and do this 10 times. As one should always start from the bottom of the Pyramid, the first exercise should be easy, and should act as a warm up for what is to come.
Now that my Pyramid is designed, I would now have to execute it. Starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top. In doing this I would take regular short breaks (maximum 1 minute) every 5 minutes. If I do not achieve my Pyramid that day, then that is ok. It’s either too hard for me, or I’m just having a bad day. Give yourself a time limit. If your Pyramid isn’t complete in say 30 minutes, then admit defeat and try again tomorrow.
I hope that this practice method helps in someway. If there are any questions then please email me at email@example.com