The answer: You throw the ball with an arrow that is a few inches longer than the ball.
This is how we learn to juggle: We start with a ball that is a little too small, and we increase it until we can handle the large ball. In order to learn a new trick, we practice it with our ball to be sure it’s working.
When we work out an arrow, we’re learning new mechanics, and learning to take our new arrow and put it through our balls.
This is one of the most difficult things we do to get better at juggling. We use an arrow that’s a few inches longer than the tip. What does this do, exactly — and how do we do it?
Why does our arrow move a bit too far forward? Why does it go so far, but still keep the same base height?
The answer: it’s because our balls and our arrow have to overlap a lot. Let’s say our bow is a quarter-inch shorter than the ball. The shaft of our arrow is 3/4, or 1/16″ in diameter. So our balls and our arrow should overlap a bit, just as the base of our ball.
So our arrows and our balls have to be slightly off center. Now, if you’re working with very similar arrows and balls, they’ll probably overlap about as much as they should, but for our little trick we’ve got a good deal more overlap than we have.
What do we fix this problem? We take our ball, and we remove the pointy end — we call our pointy end “ball point.” This doesn’t change how our ball is supposed to swing, but there is a reason our arrow and our balls are designed that way. You see, what the ball point does is let you bend the shaft of your arrow slightly in a little twist.
Since we know that our arrow and our ball are supposed to overlap, we need to make sure it’s going over our balls pretty well. In other words, when we want to change length, just pull our arrow straight up out of its socket.
A lot of juggling instructors are pretty bad at this, though, because they don’t get very specific about what should happen when our arrow slips into its shaft.
So I want to fix this problem. What do I do?
Instead, I look straight at the problem. I look at the ball and