Ok, so here is a little step by step tutorial of how to learn the 3 ball cascade.
1. Purchase 3 juggling balls. You can try with tennis balls, however these tend to not be as easy to catch. Bowling balls don't work particularly well either.
2. Leave 2 of them on the ground, for the moment you wont be needing them.
3. Start with the ball in your strongest hand, Keep your arms by your side with your elbow at 90degrees. Now throw the ball to your weaker hand, with the ball forming an arc that should peak just above eye level and catch it in your weaker hand.
4. Repeat above with your weaker hand throwing to your stronger.
5. Continue steps 3 and 4 until this is solid and becomes easy.
6. Time for another ball! Hold a ball in each hand just as before and throw from your strongest hand as before, only this time, when the first ball reaches its peak (just above eye level) you throw the second ball. Both of these throws are what you practiced in steps 3 and 4, only there are 2 balls to contend with.
*****CHEATING USUALLY TAKES PLACE HERE*****
When starting out most people find it easier to trow one ball from their strongest hand as i explained above and then pass the second ball to the stronger hand to then throw again. This is NOT a cascade. If this were done with 3 balls (which i can assure you, you will eventually get there!) is called a shower and is a fast paced trick, and a lot more difficult than the cascade.
Try to look through the pattern you are creating and not at a specific ball. Looking at 1 ball means that you will probably drop the other. Our peripheral vision works well and is utilised greatly in juggling!
7. Practice starting with both your stronger and weaker hand as you will need to use both, remembering to throw BOTH balls in an arc where the peak is just above your eye level. This feels un-natural and difficult at first, however with practice it becomes achievable. Make sure this is solid (ie, you can throw both and catch both correctly!) before thinking about moving on to the next step. If you are having difficulty, then drop a ball and go back to step 1, making sure the arc is good and that you can catch is smoothly. Every Time you go back a step, that step will seem easier, and it is! Your brain is working out what you are trying to do and sometimes needs a little break from being pushed!
Don't get annoyed if you are unable to do something in the time you want to do it in. Juggling is difficult, if we were supposed to throw around 3 balls we would all have 3 hands! it's the fact that we weren't supposed to which makes it fun! Getting annoyed will drastically diminish your practice and learning will come to a stop. If you find you are getting frustrated (and this goes for all levels of jugglers) go back a step, do something you know you can do, give your brain a rest, then try again.
8. Ok, so 1 ball is easy, 2 balls is for losers, you want to move on to 3! This is where the fun begins. 3 balls. 2 hands.
Start with 2 balls in your stronger hand, the other in your weaker. What you are going to try and do is to throw the 3 balls (in the proper order) and catch the 3 balls....what could be harder than that??
So do everything as before, throw the first ball in the arc, when that ball reaches its peak, throw the second and when that throw reaches its peak, throw the third ball (which is in your stronger hand). Just after throwing the third ball you will catch the first throw, then the second in the opposite hand then then third in the hand that is already holding a ball.
Sounds easy.... Have a go, then read on.
9. How was that? more difficult? were the balls going all over the place? Did the 3rd ball get stuck in your hand with you unable to throw it? Were your hands and arms flailing all over the place trying to catch the balls in whatever order? Did the throws go wild? were your hands raising up to catch the balls before you had a chance to throw the other one in your hand?
These are all classic first timer issues (you probably have a few issues of your own too!) that occur during the first try of 3 ball cascade. Now lets try and rectify them.
First...relax. Juggling is a smooth motion, this will come naturally, however it takes time. Just try to keep calm and things will flow as time goes by.
Second... Make sure you look through the pattern. One of the biggest problems first time jugglers have is to watch a single ball. While this (after you have learnt the 3 ball cascade) is technically possible to do with the 3 ball cascade, it is almost impossible with 5 balls and completely impossible with 7, 9 and 11 balls (yes, you can get there if you want to!) Looking at a single ball takes your focus off throwing and catching the other 2. Therefore you will drop. (it's best to get used to the familiar sound of the thud the ball makes when it hits the floor, it'll happen a lot to begin with!).
Third... Just keep practicing!!!!! The age old saying of parctice makes perfect is very true.
What you are aiming for to begin with is to throw 3 and catch 3, once that is solid, throw 4 throws and catch them, then when that is solid, work on 5, then 6 etc etc until you are able to keep going and going and going.....
It will take time. You will get frustrated. You will have to go back a step and work on things you can already do from time to time. Percivere and you will get there. Time and practice is all it takes.
If you need any help with the 3 ball cascade then contact me in the forum where there is a thread called '3 ball cascade help' http://yokeljugglers.com/forum/2-welcome-mat/20-3-ball-cascade-help#20