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Juggling 3 Balls – Enhances Connections in the Brain – 11/1/17


Juggling 3 Balls – Enhances Connections in the Brain – 11/1/17

Benefits of Juggling

Brain Anatomy:

White Matter Tracts, Frontal Lobes



Juggling Balls

This seemingly simple exercise has a profound effect on your brain. In fact, two independent studies have shown that juggling stimulates the growth of white matter in the brain. For those who are unfamiliar the white matter, the white matter is analogous to the rubber insulation on an electrical wire. It ensures proper conductivity of electrical and chemical flow. This is how signals are moved from individual neurons, down their "axon sheaths". Neurons that fire together wire together. This wiring process of millions or billions of neurons in the motor function of the brain causes a greater coordination to be achieved and thus becomes a new, permanent, procedural memory. This enhanced procedural memory, specifically for motor control, for using both arms in unison for the juggling act, causes permanent changes in the brain that have been conclusively determined by scanning the brain with functional MRI scans proving that there was growth on the surface of the cerebral cortex. That growth occurred for novices; people that were introduced to the skill of juggling and, over a 90 day period, became quite proficient with it.

This is the most simple of the steps and should only be performed a few times.

Take two balls - one in either hand.  Throw a ball from your first hand to your second hand, and just after, throw the other ball from your second hand to your first hand.  This step is essential to learning how to throw multiple balls at once.  Make sure that the second ball goes underneath the first ball as it is in the air.  Continue performing this step until you really get the feeling of it.

Think of it as throwing the second ball "under" the first ball, just after it is thrown.  The act of juggling is continuous throwing each ball "under" the other one - then catching and repeating with the other hand.

Now, perform the "mirror image" of step 2 - aka switch hands.  By this, I mean that if you were throwing the ball in your right hand first, throw the ball in your left hand first.  Now throw the ball in your opposite hand "under" it.  

It is time to start training with all three balls.  Place two balls in one hand and one ball in another.  Now, start off with the skill of throwing two balls in the previous two steps.  All you have to do is keep throwing, catching, and throwing balls repeatedly without dropping them.  At first, you will drop the balls many times.  Learning to juggle, in fact, learning to do anything is about repetition and failure.  Keep practicing and you will be juggling in no time!

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