Friday, October 20, 2006

Juggling with an Oddball

I've been working on 5 balls for a while now, I don't get as much practice as I would like, so I have been trying to make the most of the few minutes I get here and there. One issue I have with 5 balls is counting throws. I am trying to get certain throw counts solid before moving on.

I have been stuck at 7-8 throws for a while. So last week I picked up 4 balls of one color and 1 of another to act as a sort of "tracer". Now I place the odd ball in the 5th ball position. For me, this is in the palm of my left hand (I start on the left)

Now it is visually very easy to see throw #10 is the 2nd throw of the odd ball. It is also easy to figure other #'s of throws this way. If you wanted 13 throws, put it in the 3rd ball position and it will be the 3rd throw. You just need to know in what order you throw the balls.

Now I'm sure this is not rocket science to anyone, and certainly not a new idea, but I must say in a matter of a couple practices I have gotten to 16 throws after a couple months of only having had qualified a couple of times. Now I can qualify most of the time and am ready to make some upward progress.

I have also thought of a way to introduce an idea that I used to use whe practicing the guitar. I would set my metronome to a tempo where I could accomplish what I wanted to play. Then I gave myself a few tries at that tempo. If I played it to my satisfaction I would bump up a notch, otherwise after a few tries I would go down. So applying this to learning 5 balls. I start with a flash. When I do it well, do 6 throws. Now if I don't get 6 within 3 tries, I go back to 5. If I do get six, I go to seven throws. 3 tries at 7, if I get it I go to eight, otherwise back to six. You get the idea. So using this in conjuction with the oddball, once you learn where to place the oddball for 5-25 throws, it should be an easy game to play to help get the pattern solid without making yourself go insane counting to 8,9,8,9,10,11,10,11,12 etc.

What are your thoughts? How did you work through the initial hump? Let me know what you think.
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