Boston Mess

Other Tutorials:

Guillaume Riesen (video)

     The Boston Mess is a Column variation of the standard three ball Mills Mess in which every ball is thrown from the same location while your hands do all the moving. This pattern lacks the more intuitive flow of Mills Mess, and doesn't look as cool to spectators.

    To learn the Boston Mess, it is best to start by juggling The W. After catching an inside throw with your dominant hand (the outside ball on your dominant hand side should be in the air), make an outside throw with your non-dominant hand and then cross that hand under your dominant hand, catching the outside ball usually caught by your dominant hand. Then throw the center ball currently in your dominant hand, clearing space to allow that hand to catch the outside ball normally caught by your non-dominant hand (essentially your hands have switched which balls they are throwing without changing the overall shape of the pattern).
    Practice this until it is second nature, since the next step is simply going to add more throws to the sequence. After the last throw of previous step, you should end up with your arms crossed and the center ball in the air. As that ball comes down, you are going to make an outside throw with your non-dominant hand (which should be crossed under your dominant hand) and catch the center ball. Then, as that outside throw is coming down, you are going to make an outside throw with your dominant hand, and then uncross your arms, catching the non-dominant hand's outside throw. Finally, as that last outside throw is coming down, you are going to make a center throw with your non-dominant hand and catch the outside ball.
    Again, practice this step until it is second nature. At this point, the Boston Mess pretty much starts over back at step one, with your dominant hand making an outside throw and catching the center ball, and your non-dominant hand reaching over to grab the outside ball normally caught by your dominant hand. However, as you may have noticed, the full Boston Mess alternates the top hand, such that after you complete one cycle with your dominant hand crossed over your non-dominant hand, the next cycle will have your non-dominant hand crossed over your dominant hand. This doesn't actually change the order of the throws, it just alters the relative position of your hands. The Boston Mess is a pretty difficult pattern to figure out, so if you are still unable to perform the pattern, try following one of the other tutorials listed at the top right corner of this page. 

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