You’re welcome to start playing with these drills before you have finished your dowel training to get a taste of it, but it will be a serious challenge.
With a club balanced on your face, raise your hands over your head and flail them wildly. Maintain focus on the club at all times.
This drill is good for two things – first, it introduces movement into your field of vision. If you look away from the club (even for a second!) it will fall. Don’t get distracted! Second, raising your hands over your head will reduce your range of corrective motion. This makes maintaining the balance harder.
Throw and Catch
Balance a club on your face, then throw and catch a ball. Throw the ball as a 4, so it doesn’t cross the line of the balance. Try to do this ten times in a row with one hand, then ten times in a row with the opposite hand.
To make it more difficult, try throwing a 6 or an 8. These higher throws should pass the top of the club in your picture plane. You’ll likely find this to be disorienting.
This drill tests your focus, helping you realize that at no point are you ever allowed to lose focus on balance.
Down and Up
Balance a club on your face. Slowly sit down, then lie down on the ground. Can you get the back of your head to touch the floor without losing the balance? Stand back up while maintaining balance.
This drill is a nice measure of your proficiency with a balance, and a nice way to see how small you can make your corrective movements.
The Reading Test
No balance involved with this one. Juggle three clubs while looking up at the ceiling. Trace the lines of the ceiling with your eyes. If there were a book on the ceiling, you could read it out loud. You’d be able to pass a reading comprehension test. This drill is to help you learn to trust your lizard brain. See? You don’t have to think to be able to juggle!
The Face Cascade
This is a drill with three clubs. Balance a club on your forehead. Once you have control over the balance, hold another club and lower it onto your nose. When the nose club makes contact with your skin, shift your focus away from the forehead club, allowing it to drop while you maintain the new balance on your nose. When you have control over that club, place a club onto your chin. Again, once it makes contact with your skin, your focus will switch to the new balance, and the old balance will fall. From the chin, work your way back up – nose, forehead.
Do this drill with alternate hands (so, right to forehead, left to nose, right to chin, left to nose, right to forehead, etc.)
This drill helps establish the rule of “100% focus on the balance at all times.” It also helps you maintain balance with movement happening in your peripheral vision.
Place into a Balance
Juggle three clubs, and place one on your face in a balance. The final catch happens after you place the club in a balance. Think about making the last throw slightly higher than normal, so you have extra time to make the catch after you place into a balance.
This drill helps you shift focus – the second a club is placed into a balance, 100% of your focus shifts to that. The final catch is made by your lizard brain, and is spotted passively by your peripheral vision.