- Siteswap: (4x,2x)(2T,4x)*
- Difficulty (1-10): 7
- Prerequisites: 531 Mills Mess, Orca's Mess (both optional)
Alex is a difficult three ball
pattern established by William Penman as part of his
Series. It contains an odd mix of synchronous throws, high throws, and
wrist-drops. The trick has a very rushed cadence, and this, along with its
wide variety of throws, makes Alex quite hard to master. There are no true
prerequisite patterns, but it would probably help to be well versed in
general three ball juggling before attempting this trick.
To begin learning Alex, start with one ball in each hand. Cross your dominant hand over your non-dominant hand, but keep both hands fairly close to the center of your body. Simultaneously, make a roughly vertical throw from each hand such that the ball from your dominant hand goes roughly twice as high as the ball thrown from your non-dominant hand (measured from the palm of your hand). As the lower ball reaches its peak, you are going to grab it out of the air with your dominant hand and then recross your arms such that the palm of your dominant hand is pointing toward the ground. You will catch the second ball under-the-arm with your non-dominant hand.
Practice this on both sides. For the next step, you are going to add in the wrist-drop. A wrist-drop occurs when, in a crossed-arm position, the top hand releases its ball and then quickly uncrosses and recrosses underneath the other hand, catching the ball that it had just released. In Alex the wrist-drop occurs after the first catch of the previous step, when your dominant hand grabs the lower ball. After that catch is made, you are going to release the ball in your dominant hand with a small amount of upward movement, giving you enough time to recross your dominant hand underneath your non-dominant hand, catching the released ball palm-up as your hand moves into position. The other ball should be caught by your non-dominant just as you begin to uncross your dominant hand.
As shown, practice this on both sides. To add in the third ball, you are going to start with two balls in your dominant hand and one ball in your non-dominant. Make a high vertical throw from your dominant hand along the outside of your body, then cross your dominant hand over your non-dominant hand and make the simultaneous throws from the previous two steps, catching the outside vertical ball with your now empty non-dominant hand (which at this point is crossed underneath your dominant hand). Grab the lower ball out of the air with your dominant hand and execute the wrist-drop from step two. As you do this, you are also going to make a high throw from your non-dominant hand along the outside of the upper ball, which should now be descending toward your non-dominant hand where it will then be caught. The high ball will then be caught by your dominant hand, which should now be crossed underneath your non-dominant hand.
Practice this extensively on both sides. To run the full pattern, simply make another set of simultaneous throws underneath the last high ball, setting up a new cycle on the opposite side of your body. Alex is not an easy trick, and will most likely take a week or two of practice to get solid.