Six Ball Fountain
- Siteswap: 6
- Difficulty (1-10): 9
- Prerequisites: Fountain, Three in One, Five Ball Cascade (optional)
- Related Tricks: Six Ball Synchronous Fountain
The Six Ball Fountain is, as it
sounds, the six ball version of the Fountain. It is the base pattern of six
ball juggling, and therefore an important milestone in one's juggling
career. Like the Five Ball Cascade, the Six Ball Fountain is very difficult
and time consuming to learn, and only with dedicated practice can it be
mastered. Given that one does not simply learn the Six Ball Fountain in a
day, and seeing as how the pattern is in fact quite simple in principle,
this tutorial will only be able to offer basic advice to help you along.
Before attempting the Six Ball Fountain it is very important that you already be fairly comfortable with the Three in One using both hands. While outright mastery isn't really necessary, you should at least be able to perform runs of 15-20 catches with good consistency.
When you first start practicing the Six Ball Fountain it is most helpful to begin with a flash, which means you will throw and catch each ball once. It is important that you take time to really focus on this step as it will provide you with a solid foundation for when you try to add more throws. When performing the flash make sure that the balls are staying on their respective sides and not crossing through the center, and that the timing feels roughly balanced (it's okay if it isn't perfect).
Once you are comfortable with the flash you can begin to add in more throws. Now this is where different juggling paradigms come into conflict a bit. Some jugglers argue that you should engage in highly structured practice, adding in only one or two throws at a time then purposefully stopping. Others say that you should just try to juggle the pattern for as long as possible, only stopping when you drop a ball. Both of these approaches have some merit, so I personally recommend a compromise method. You should not stop juggling based on a particular number of throws, but instead stop when the pattern becomes unstable. For the Six Ball Fountain this usually means when throws from different hands begin crossing over each other. Not only does this allow you more flexibility but it also allows you to practice collecting all six balls at the end of a run.
Unfortunately there isn't much more to say. The Six Ball Fountain is not a very hard pattern to figure out, but it can be grueling to learn. Progress will likely be slower than for the Five Ball Cascade, but not extremely so—just try to remember that the world of six ball juggling is waiting for you.