I think the biggest caveats (aside from the obvious: greater eye-hand coordination) we can get from learning to juggle are:
- sharpening attention skills
- sharpening metacognition
- gaining greater self concept/confidence
- Attention - the juggler is always focusing on the ball or pin in the air and NOTHING else is interfering with that focus;
- eye-hand coordination - the juggler knows at all times which ball or pin he has released and where he will catch it;
- cognition - knowing HOW and WHERE to throw the object so that it WILL land where expected;
- intrinsic awareness of weight and gravity - understanding the weight of the object about to be thrown, how hard to throw it and where to catch it - which can be learned with practice
- sensory integration - learning how to hold, touch and catch the objects;
- an awareness of timing, sequencing and patterns (patterns of throwing and catching, primarily) - which is learned and sharpened with practice
- patience and practice
Life Lessons Learned from Juggling:
- "Break down learning to juggle into the most basic skills" - do this with other looming projects. Anything overwhelming can be broken into manageable parts.
- "If you make a bad throw, don't continue. Stop, regroup, gain good form. " Isn't that true with leaning just about anything? Memory - muscle memory - any memory is important to gaining expertise. You don't want that memory to be bad form.
- When leaning to juggle, "stop, think about what you did, and do it again." Another great learning technique. In educational terms this would be called "metacognition" being aware of your thinking and actions. Very important to learning - anything.
- "Just do it already, don't let the third ball control you" Boy if I don't need that recorded in my head all the time. So often juggling (projects, chores, responsibilities) seems so overwhelming. The key, again is break it down into basic parts and don't let it control you!
While I have never really picked juggling up, one of my daughters did. Aside from sharpening her attention to detail, she gained greater poise (as she had to stand and throw straighter) and greater self confidence. She found a peace-of-mind as she juggled and every so often she still juggles as an adult.
I recommend juggling as a tool and hobby to help build all sorts of important life skills. What's your feeling/experience?