Juggler's World: Vol. 39, No. 1

Tips and Tricks

Passer's Corner

Balance Bash: After a pass in "every-others" timing, set the club in your left hand onto the club in your right hand so that it is balanced vertically. This must be done fast before you receive the incoming pass. When it is time for your next pass, hit the balanced club with the club that is now in your left hand.

Hitting the balanced club approximately in the middle will result in a flat pass. Hit it low for a regular spin. If you have trouble maintaining the balance, try paying attention only to the top of the balanced club for the whole time it is there. This balance is easier if the knob of the balanced club is very close to your right hand, rather than on the fat part of the club you are holding.

Balance Fake: Set a club in a balance as described in the trick above, but instead of hitting the balanced club, lift it straight up vertically about a foot and pass the club it was balanced on. Then catch it in your right hand and keep juggling.

Balance Send: Set a club in a balance as above. After allowing it to start to fall forward, push it toward your partner using the club it is balanced on.

Big Arm Circles: These are some of the most graphic passing tricks and great for shows because they are very reliable. Using any of the standard approaches to buy some right hand time (multiplex or left doubles, for instance), you can swing a club around in a big circle. You can go counter-clockwise or clockwise. It is important to start the swing as early as possible in order to get a clean, smooth circle.

For the best appearance, work on holding the club by the very knob and swinging as large as possible. Variations include a forward swing followed by a shoulder throw, or double circles.

Bounces: The basic maneuver is like a chop pass. The club should hit the ground with a forward spin, and it must hit flat. If the club end hits, it can break. A standard move is the right club bounced to your left hand following the pass in every others. A weird variation is a right multiplex bounce of two clubs followed by a left triple spin pass to your partner's left hand while you try to recover the bounced clubs. Use the same grip as for multiplex passes.

Chops: This word seems to have two different meanings in the passing world. Everyone knows chops in three club solo. In passing it can also mean a forward spinning, overhead throw. This is a difficult trick to learn. The biggest trouble seems to come from having the chop pass crash into the next self throw coming to your right hand. This is overcome by juggling your self throws low and wide and by throwing your chop over the top of your pattern.

It's wise to throw the chop holding it close to the knob. This will also make the chop more graphic. Hold the club like a hammer, with your thumb pushing it forward.

There are two schools of thought regarding where the chop (and shoulder throws) should land. Most good passers from five or more years ago seem to prefer throwing the chop to the same place a regular throw would be caught. This requires a higher level of skill in your catcher, however, because it arrives upside down, or actually, spinning backwards.

Most passers today throw the chop inside and low because the catch is natural and a beginner can catch it. If you aim for a place in front of your partner's crotch, it will come in under the pattern and your partner will not need to use a strange hand position.

(Jeff Napier's book, "Advanced Passing, Vol. 4," is available for $12. Write to 130 Mattison Lane, Aptos, CA 95003.)

More Juggling Tips

by Dave Castle

Dr. Dropo's Comic Dictionary

by Bruce Fife

Tips and Tricks / Index, Vol. 39, No. 1 / jis@juggling.org
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