531 Mills Mess

Other Tutorials:

eMretsiM (video)

     The 531 Mills Mess is a variation of Mills Mess (or the 531 depending on your reference point) in which the balls are thrown in a tower pattern while your arms cross and uncross during each cycle. This adds a whole new layer of complexity and movement to the otherwise rigid 531, though the pattern itself is surprisingly easy to learn if your are already comfortable with the two base patterns. While this pattern is the most common version of the 531 Mills Mess, there are in fact two other variations of the trick: one where the high throw is made with arms uncrossed, and one with the throw made from the hand crossed over. However, this version, with the high throw made under-the-arm, is by far the most popular.

    To learn the 531 Mills Mess, start with one ball in each hand. Cross your dominant hand underneath your non-dominant hand, and then make a high throw toward the center of your body from your dominant hand. After that ball is thrown, quickly make a low throw toward the center of your body from your non-dominant hand, and then uncross your arms.  Cross your dominant hand over your non-dominant hand and catch the low ball, and then catch the high ball with your non-dominant hand.
    As shown, practice this on both sides. Now that you have learned the high/low throw combination, you can move on to the high/pass combination. Start with two balls in your dominant hand, and then cross your dominant hand underneath your non-dominant hand. Make a high throw and then uncross and recross your hands such that your dominant hand is now on top. Right as your hands are uncrossed, make a pass from your dominant hand to your non-dominant hand, and then finish crossing your arms. Catch the high throw with your non-dominant hand, which should now be on the bottom.
    As shown, practice this on both sides. The only combination you haven't practiced yet is the low/pass, so this will be the final two ball exercise. Start with one ball in each hand, and then, like before, cross your dominant hand underneath your non-dominant hand. Make a low throw from your non-dominant hand toward the center of your body, and then uncross and recross your hands in the opposite configuration (just like you did in the previous step). At the moment your hands are uncrossed, make a horizontal pass from your dominant hand to your non-dominant hand. Finish recrossing your hands and catch the low throw with your dominant hand.
    Once again, practice this on both sides. Now that you have every throw combination mastered, you can finally put them all together. Start with two balls in your dominant hand and one ball in your non-dominant. Cross your dominant hand underneath your non-dominant hand, and then make a high throw from your dominant hand. Shortly after that ball leaves your hand, make a low throw from your non-dominant hand and uncross your arms. Once they are uncrossed, make a horizontal pass from your dominant hand to your non-dominant hand, and then cross your dominant hand over your non-dominant hand, catching the low ball with your dominant hand in the process. At this point the high throw should be approaching your non-dominant hand, with which you will catch the ball.
    As shown, practice these three throws on both sides. To run the full 531 Mills Mess, simply make another high throw using the ball passed to your non-dominant hand. This will clear space for your non-dominant hand to catch the high ball from the previous cycle, which will then be used to make a horizontal pass back to your dominant hand. The 531 Mills Mess is not a particularly hard trick, though it is one of the more difficult three ball Mills Mess variations.

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