From the very first Brainware workshop which I ran in 1985 juggling became an integral part of the workshops. Students enjoyed doing it, and the key overall message imparted was that all learning should be fun! Over a series of workshops students were provided with a set of three bean bags, and they would use these to develop their juggling skills and at the same time would use this experience to explore all aspects of their learning.
Learning to juggle can teach you many things about learning, including the following:
- Everyone can juggle! And discovering this can give people the confidence and motivation to tackle other activities which they previously believed were beyond them.
- We seem to have an infinite capacity to do things and to move beyond what we are currently capable of. After successfully juggling three bean bags people find that they can move on to more advanced skills: four bean bags, clubs, unicycling and so on!
- Progressing from one skill to a slightly more difficult one teaches you many elements of problem-solving: getting tips from books and other people, experimentation and the importance of regular practice.
- Juggling is a wonderful teacher of how to handle failure. Thus, you are never going to learn to juggle if you cannot accept that you will occasionally drop the bean bags. If you're not failing, you're not learning!
- It is important that you don't try too hard, but stay relaxed and flexible. This links up with the concept of the Inner Game.
- Learning proceeds best when you're having fun!
Juggling is catching! So if you've never seriously attempted to juggle, then have a go now. The equipment is cheap, portable and readily available for use anywhere. Start with a set of three bean bags - these are preferable to balls at the beginning, as they don't roll away when you drop them! Further helpful information is available at the links listed below, and there are also several useful and entertaining books on the subject. Many people find that juggling is great for relaxation and stress management, and that once you get into it it can become a really focused and totally involving activity, rather like a meditation.
For further information on juggling see:
- Basics of Three Ball Juggling
Juggling Information Service
Open Directory Project - Juggling