Overhead Juggling for Hand-Eye Coordination

Overhead juggling - hand-eye coordination

Over the years, I’ve written several articles related to hand-eye coordination. I’m a big believer in challenging your coordination on a daily basis. Doing so is not only useful as an athlete but it is also beneficial for the brain. With that in mind, I am constantly looking for new ways to challenge myself. Most recently, I saw Vasyl Lomachenko (world champion boxer) juggling three balls overhead. Overhead juggling was something I hadn’t tried before, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite variations.

Overhead Juggling Demonstration

Below you can see a quick demonstration of overhead juggling. The pattern is similar to a basic three ball cascade. The difference is that I create the pattern over my head rather than in front of the body.

What’s the Point?

Considering all the juggling posts I’ve already shared, you might be wondering what’s the point of me writing another. Do you really need to add overhead juggling to your hand-eye coordination training?

The short answer to that question is no. I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to learn this juggling pattern. With that said, I’m a firm believer in variety when it comes to hand-eye coordination training. The goal should not be to master one particular drill. Instead, the goal should be to regularly challenge yourself with a variety of drills.

When I saw Lomachenko juggling overhead, my immediate thought was that I need to give it a try. To no surprise, the balls fell to the floor. My hands and eyes had to adjust to the new pattern. And even though it didn’t take long for me to learn the new skill, I’m glad that I initially failed. I like to be challenged. If I’m not challenged, there’s a good chance that I’ll be bored.

Embrace Failure

When training hand-eye coordination, it’s useful to work with an exercise or drill that will cause you to fail (at least initially). In other words, if you can juggle three balls in front of you without ever dropping one, it’s time to progress towards a more challenging variation. You should be dropping the balls to the ground on occasion.

Overcoming a challenge or skill that you can’t initially perform is valuable in many ways. Don’t simply work with drills that come easy to you. Working with a variation that causes you to struggle at times will pay much greater dividends in the end.

Final Thoughts

As I’ve said before, hand-eye coordination training doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Many athletes and coaches wrongly assume that coordination is something that you’re born with and can’t be improved. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone can make considerable improvements. It all comes down to hard work and consistency.

Furthermore, a drill such as juggling is accessible to anyone. You don’t need any special equipment or facilities. Any balls will work, although a cheap set of juggling balls are handy. They won’t bounce away when they hit the ground. It’s much less frustrating to pick the balls up where they land, rather than waiting for them to stop bouncing and rolling.

In summary, if you haven’t tried overhead juggling before, I suggest giving it a try. Your hands and eyes will certainly be challenged, and you may even notice your shoulders starting to burn after a while.

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“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” – John Wooden

One comment:

  1. Overhead juggling is definitely a challenge that’s worth acomplishing. After you accomplish the overhead pattern try the same pattern position (Over HAND) against the wall and then on the floor. Before you know it you will be able to do all three pattern positions continuously starting from either pattern. Your hand eye coordination will soar.

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