View Full Version : Break Stroke
First off I have a pretty strong break and 75% of the time whitey will stay in the middle of the table, unless caromed by another.
There is a good player that suggested I try adjusting my stance to where my elbow is closer to my body on the break only. His theory is that when throwing a punch more power is generated when coming from the body (more compact) rather than a wide sweeping swing, which is correct.
I was practicing this and think there might possibly be some merit to this. Any opinions?
02-20-2002, 12:07 AM
I'll give the elbow a try. At my age I'm starting to loose some cue tip speed. Here is something that was suggested to me a few months ago. Aim your lead foot directly forward with some weight remaining forward on the balls of that foot and let her rip. This supposedly gets you through the break shot with no resistance. I hope that makes sense.
I used to be a martial arts instructor.
There is definately merit in what that player said. But I would describe it a bit differently. It isn't so much the elbow being close to the body during the stance, but what is really important is that the elbow stays close to the body during a stroke.
See, with a Pool stroke, you are propelling the cue forward in a straight line. More force can be generated for a straight technique by keeping the elbow close to the body, and moving your arm straight forward, as opposed to a circular motion. The explanation for that is too much to type out, but can be demonstrated in person pretty easily. You'll just have to take my word for it. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
The best example I can think of is Francisco Bustamante. I think he hits the power break harder and better than anyone. I know a lot of pro's that feel the same about Francisco's break, too. Watch Francisco's break in slow motion. He keeps his arm in close to his body as he strokes through on the break. As he is turning (very slightly, compared to a punch, but there is a turn) into the break, his arm being close into his body enables him to push STRAIGHT through the stroke. As opposed to wasting energy generating a circular motion.
That's the main difference between people who break like Bustamante, and the "just another good pro break" breakers. Look at photos and videos of the break. Those from the "just another good pro break" group usually have their arm out away from their body as they are stroking through the break. Those in the "taking the 9-ball break to a new level" crowd, like Francisco, have the arm close in during the break stroke.
I've been trying to copy Django's break for over a year with no luck - no consistancy in my stroke what so ever. I can't seem to grasp the tea-cup grip he uses on his grip hand - can that be one of the keys to his break as well? Can it be done with a firmer grip and have that kind of power?
Well, his exact grip isn't necessary for the power. But a loose relaxed grip is.
What sort of problems are you having on the break?
I can't get any kind of power. Whenever I go for that power break I either pop the cueball off the table or miscue a lot.
What's happening is that you are hitting the cueball far off center. As to why that is happening, I can't tell without watching you. But here is my best guess.
Be conscious of staying down until the cue has hit the cue ball. This is my "best guess" at what is going wrong, based on what you describe is happening, and knowing that this is a common flaw. Often, when people are pushing off of their rear leg, they push themselves up and forward, instead of just forward. You do want to push off of the rear leg, but keep your head and shoulders at the same height as you push forward. After (or somewhere around when) you hit the cue ball, your body will start coming up, due to the follow through.
Again, watch Francisco in slow-motion. He starts pushing off of his rear leg, while keeping the top half of his body still. Then his upper body starts moving into the break stroke also, but he is moving his body forward, not up. Around we he hits the cueball (sometimes just a FRACTION of a second before), is when his body starts moving up.
Do you have a video camera? Or know someone who does? Videotape your break. It can be an eye-opening experience. That's actually how I found out that I was coming up too early.
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