IJA eNewsletter – September 2021

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   IJA eNewsletter   

   September 2021

Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost



  • Halloween haunts
  • Juggling as a cross training activity
  • IJA Virtual Hangout Jam takes a break
  • Latest articles in eJuggle (find a few that interest you and check them out!)
  • Upcoming juggling festivals



Halloween haunts  by Don Lewis

In about a month, Halloween will be back for another round of trick or treating.  It remains to be seen what it will look like this year.  COVID vaccination hasn’t extended to young children yet.  To avoid spreading the virus, it is probably best to appreciate the little hob-goblins from a distance.  Last year, I devised a chute out of a piece of drain pipe to deliver candy to the little tykes.  The kids got their candy, and I got to keep them at a safe distance!

Get out your lighted props and juggle for the masses as they shrill for treats.  You never know when you are going to inspire someone to start juggling.  I’m always surprised at the number of adults accompanying the kids that identify as having juggled at some point in their lives.  It would be nice to have some way of leading them gently to the IJA with their families.



Juggling as a cross training activity  by Don Lewis

The benefits of cross training are well understood in many sports.  Hockey teams have experimented with ballet, skiers bike and surf, and tri-athletes take the thing to a much higher extreme.  Runners who also joggle (juggling while jogging) report a finer sense of rhythm when they run.  Some of them just keep joggling because for them it is a better challenge than either alone.

Juggling is a rhythmic exercise that sharpens proprioception and combines easily with other sports as a cross training activity.  Teaching juggling as a cross training activity is rewarding because you are generally starting with a group of fit and coordinated individuals.  They already have some skill at another sport, so they are less likely to fall into the trap of thinking, “I could never learn to do that.”  These folks from other sports may never develop into obsessed jugglers, but they do make excellent ambassadors for juggling.

As the trainer, you have to remember that juggling isn’t going to be their primary focus and be satisfied with a solid cascade.  Some points to emphasize are: being aware of your center of gravity, your range of motion, and how that affects your balance while standing still.  Most sports feature active movement through space.  Jugglers are trying to exert control in a rather constrained space.  Being centered and in balance is important while your upper body is working hard to keep a pattern in the air.  Contrast that with downhill skiers who want a quiet upper body while their legs are trying to beat the hill into submission as they slide through the effects of gravity.

As an aside, I’ve seen people in videos juggling on skis, both cross country and downhill.  I’ve tried both myself.  Trying to juggle clubs while skiing a slow slalom pattern is interesting.  To manage any speed, you have to throw the club to where you are going to be, not where you are at the time of the throw.  It is a bit like going back to the beginner’s “sprinting juggler” syndrome;  it just feels wrong until you get the hang of it.  Of course, you have to watch out for trees as you go.

Andrew Zerling is a black belt martial artist.  He has published an article about the use of juggling as a cross training activity for the martial arts.  You can see his article here: https://www.martialjournal.com/juggling-for-the-martial-arts-supercharge-your-skills/

Do you know a group of dedicated sport enthusiasts that could benefit from cross training with juggling?  Why not offer to teach them?  The IJA has lots of online resources for both learners and teachers.  Younger groups can benefit from the resources of the IJA’s Youth Juggling Academy.


IJA Virtual Hangout Jam takes a break

The popular monthly hangouts are taking a break.  As life returns to various degrees of normality, the participation has fallen off a bit.  So the moderators are taking a break as they get back to their regular activities as well.  If you would like to keep this activity going, and even help grow it in new directions, you can volunteer to be a moderator.  If that interests you, please contact Chris Garcia.



Latest articles in eJuggle


Upcoming juggling festivals

Note: Virtually all juggling festivals planned for the coming months have been canceled or rescheduled because of the worldwide pandemic, though some will be held online.

To find a juggling fest near you or online, check the fest list at The Juggling Edge.  Eventually festivals will return.


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