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Skilor
12-16-2003, 10:11 AM
Hello everyone. Iím new to posting here on the boards. I have been lurking and reading a lot of the post here. Itís nice to find a board with so many knowledge people. Iím hoping that I could get some suggestions on my break shot.

Here is a little history that may or may not help with your suggestions. Iím just coming back to playing pool after a 2-year break. Before I quit shooting I was just an average bar room player.

My problem is I cannot keep the cue ball on the table. I use two break styles. I break from the side at the 2nd diamond and also use a straight on break. It is happening with both breaks. I have tried breaking with less power and same thing happened. Although sometimes the cue ball stayed on the table but still popped up in the air and bounced around. I try to hit the cue ball a half tip above center. I do this most of the time. We use red dot balls so I put the dot in the center and after the break I check to see where the calk mark is. As far as I can tell I'm following through and keeping my stick straight. I cannot seem to figure out what Iím doing wrong. I know it will hard to help with this problem with out being able to see my break. Just hoping that someone else may have had this problem and can tell me what they did to fix the problem.

Many thanks,
Skilor

Pizza Bob
12-16-2003, 10:15 AM
Hit below center!

Adios,

Pizza Bob

cheesemouse
12-16-2003, 10:49 AM
Sounds like the cueball is air-born when hitting the rack...stop doing that....LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

stickman
12-16-2003, 11:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Skilor:</font><hr> As far as I can tell I'm following through and keeping my stick straight. <hr /></blockquote>

I see this often when someone breaks with an elevated butt. It might not be your problem, but it's the most common thing I see. Have you had a friend watch your break?

Scott Lee
12-16-2003, 11:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Skilor:</font><hr>


My problem is I cannot keep the cue ball on the table. I use two break styles. I break from the side at the 2nd diamond and also use a straight on break. It is happening with both breaks. I have tried breaking with less power and same thing happened. Although sometimes the cue ball stayed on the table but still popped up in the air and bounced around. I try to hit the cue ball a half tip above center. I do this most of the time. We use red dot balls so I put the dot in the center and after the break I check to see where the calk mark is. As far as I can tell I'm following through and keeping my stick straight. <hr /></blockquote>

Skilor...These are not "styles" of a break, they are CB positions. It doesn't matter at all where you break from. It matters quite a bit HOW you stroke (or don't stroke) through the break shot. I'm guessing (without being able to see you) that you are trying to put your body weight into the break, and creating far too much force. The most effective break, imo, happens without any extra body movement. Truth is, there are many break styles, and the top pros DO seem to use their bodies a lot. I do not teach this style of break, and it has helped many players of all abilities to improve their break percentage, both in terms of balls pocketed, and CB control. The break stroke is no different than any other stroke. By using just the weight of the cue, a pendulum swing, and perfect timing, you can hit the rack plenty hard enough (15-20 mph) to scatter the balls, yet keep the CB in the middle of the table. You say you have tried to back off your speed, but I suspect it is not near enough, and you likely are moving your whole body. This is a very common error for many players. Another thing, is that you must still have a preshot routine, with a pause at the CB, and a SLOW backswing, in order to accurately stroke the CB where you THINK you're aiming. DEAD center is the most practical place to strike the CB for an effective break. That results in the CB skidding into the rack (with NO top, bottom, or sidespin). If you can hit the head ball of the rack square, you effectively transfer the energy from the CB, into the rack...while maintaining good control of the CB in the middle of the table. Try shooting your CB up and down your table 4 lengths. This will approximate the correct speed that I am describing. Hope this helps...

Scott Lee

RedHell
12-16-2003, 01:27 PM
The only thing that make the CB got out is that it is hitting the first ball above the equator of the ball (in the air). Now to fix this you have to understand what make the CB go up in the air.

The CB will go up in the air if you drive it in the slathe while your braking. It simply bounce of the table after being driven in it by the cue, just like a legal jump shot.

Even if you hit half a tip above center or even a tip above center it possible to get the CB airborn, just like if you were performing a jumpshot with follow...

So what you must concentrate on is not as much your contact point to fix this problem (tho it is important for CB control), but the level of your cue at impact.

Like Scott suggested, to much body motion will impair the stroke and if you lift you body while stroking, the cue will start pointing downward at impact and get the CB airborn.

I had exactly the same problem about 9 months ago. I fixed it by removing all body movement, lowering my speed and I changed my bridge hand to get the cue as level as possible.

Many pro players will get the cueball airborn on the break and it is very easy to see on TV replays. But where they excel is at controling the speed to that the CB will have time to come back down on the table and contact the first ball dead even.

The bridge I use to break on 9-ball from the second diamond right or left is a flat hand over my cue which is in between my index and major finger sliding on the rail. I fold my thumb under my palm to get it out of the way.

Reducing the angle you hit the break will allow you to increase the space between your bridge and the cueball and should let you get the cue more level.

Start with very slow speed break and concentrate on the stroke, increase speed slowly until you hit your limit (ie: until the CB bounces). If you want to add more speed you will need to improve your stroke more. The better your stroke will be, the faster you can hit the CB.

And remeber, there is a difference between a hard break and a fast break....

buddha162
12-16-2003, 02:45 PM
As other's have pointed out, your cueball is probably going airborne and striking the 1-ball too high. I used to have this problem, but instead of backing off my break I simply place the cueball further behind the second diamond.

If you watch Yang Chin Shun's break, this is what he does as well (break from further back). In slow-mo, his cueball flies into the 1-ball in a perfect arc. If he breaked from the second diamond, I would think his cueball will fly over and miss the one ball entirely. He has one HUGE break, probably one of the best in the game.

I don't like sacrificing power. I think power + control is best, and that's what I strive for in my breaks. It also sends a message to you opponent, if that's what you want.

Roger

ceebee
12-16-2003, 03:25 PM
Excerpts from "Play Your Best Nine Ball", by Phil Capelle. First Edition by Billiards Press
Chapter 2 *The Break*
Pg. 39
Breaking a rack of Nine-Ball is sort of like a Golfer*s Drive or a Basketball Player's Jump Shot; sometimes you've got it &amp; sometimes you don't.
The Pros work on their Break as much as any other single shot and yet, as examples demonstrate , their results in this crucial area of performance are highly inconsistent. This is due to changing conditions &amp; minor fluctuations in their techniques. In the final analysis, you've got to perfect your Break so you can wring as much from the table as you can.
Pg. 40
LAW: the greater the ability of the players, the more of a role the break plays in determining the outcome of the match and vice versa.
Pg. 41
Karin Kaltofen, then the editor of the magazine (Pool &amp; Billiard Magazine), &amp; engineer Steve Kasten measured the speed of the break shots of over 300 hundred amateurs &amp; professionals using his "Laser Speed Meter". The 23 male pros averaged 24.9 MPH while the 15 women pros averaged 19.3 MPH. The most fundamental conclusion of the study was that high-speed hits, with accuracy, does produce more balls on the break. Imagine that! The test also revealed that going all out, for speed, creates a big variable in your results. A controlled, yet powerful break speed gives you consistency. Once you have come close to mastering the fundamental techniques of the power break, you will probably be within 1-2 MPH of the maximum you could ever hope to achieve. From that point forward, incremental improvement will come only from focusing extensively on a training regimen designed to enable you to reach your absolute maximum, period.
Pg. 42
The break shot is the most crucial shot for the pros, when you consider they break &amp; run 28% of the time. Even though the break is less important for amateurs, it can still provide you with the winning edge. B players &amp; above should be looking to accomplish the following objectives; 1. Make at least one ball 2. Have the balls spread in such a way that the rack can be run 3. Have a reasonable makeable shot on the lowest numbered ball 4. Park the Cue Ball in the center of the table.
Pg. 44
A less than perfect hit on the Cue Ball and/or the One Ball can cause you to lose control of the Cue Ball.

Skilor
12-16-2003, 05:02 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the tips.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr> Sounds like the cueball is air-born when hitting the rack...stop doing that....LOL /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif <hr /></blockquote>
Lol Iím trying! /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


Scott you are right. I do put a lot of body into my shot. When I break I put all of my weight on my back leg and move forward with the stroke. At the end of my shot I have all my weight on my front leg leaning over the table a little with the tip of my stick a little past the side pockets. I have always thought the more momentum I could get the better I would break. I will try it your way tonight and see if I improve any.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote RedHell:</font><hr> And remeber, there is a difference between a hard break and a fast break.... <hr /></blockquote>
Hmm I do not know the difference. Could you explain this to me a little more, please?

Thanks to everyone that has posted. I have printed out the post and will refer to them tonight as I play. I will give a update later tonight or in the morning.

Thanks again,
Skilor

bigbro6060
12-16-2003, 07:38 PM
With today's wonderful TV camera angles there is no doubt the top pro 9 ball players all make the cueball fly through the air and land just before the pack. This of course takes heaps of practice because if the cueball doesn't land just before the pack, it will hit the rack and bounce off the table

buddha162
12-16-2003, 08:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigbro6060:</font><hr> With today's wonderful TV camera angles there is no doubt the top pro 9 ball players all make the cueball fly through the air and land just before the pack. <hr /></blockquote>

From what I've seen the number of pros who can do this consistently is more like 20%. That doesn't mean the rest have inferior breaks; just that their cueball does not achieve that perfect arc.

Take Yang for example. He's almost 100% consistent with his cueball "arc." I think he's able to do this because he's breaking at full speed every time, and he uses the placement of the cueball to compensate for excessive force.

I think it's harder to control your consistency when you're telling yourself to break at 80% power, or 75%, etc.

Roger

Scott Lee
12-17-2003, 11:53 AM
Skilor...There is another fellow from McDonough, GA. (one of my students), who posts here. Do you know him? He and his daughter played in the Moose Lodge National tournament in VA, earlier this year.

Scott Lee

RedHell
12-17-2003, 03:30 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Quote RedHell:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And remeber, there is a difference between a hard break and a fast break....
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hmm I do not know the difference. Could you explain this to me a little more, please?
<hr /></blockquote>


Mmmmh, I didn't express myself to well there did I ?

OK, heres in a short what I meant. If you want maximum spread of the ball you need maximum power transfert from the CB to the rack. You will only achieve this with balance between speed and accuracy, hence a hard break.

A fast break is simply a break where the CB travel at great speed but most of the energy isn't tranfered to the rack.

While thinking about the breaking subject, I remebered an excellent article by David "Black Jack" Sapolis that really help me in understanding the mechanics of the break and what I would have to concentrate on to improve mine, and fix that airborn ball problem.

Heres the link, Enjoy !!! (http://www.azbilliards.com/blackjack/blackjack8.cfm)

The Watchdog
12-17-2003, 06:54 PM
Some great replies, some not so great.

All that matters is cueball speed. To achieve this, hit with NO SPIN. Spin slows the ball. Hit from center of headstring,this is SHORTEST DISTANCE to rack, so less slowing down.

And keep the cueball flat on the table. At a certain threshold it will rise, the key is then to have it impact the table and the rack at the exact same time, and flat, which is very tough.

Most players err in that they forget to be super accurate on break. Pretend you are fine cutting a ball from across table, into a half blocked pocket. You would focus and be precise. This is also required on the break, to hit the ball FULL, but most forget this.

One other note. The break is a fluke shot. You can never control it totally. Compromise with your priorities straight. Right now that appears to be keeping the CB on the table. You are aware, that is 3/4 of the battle.

Best of luck. Best advice I could give is to videotape your break, and your game. You will learn a ton.

JimS
12-17-2003, 07:32 PM
All that matters is cueball speed??? Huh??

Then you talk about the need to be accurate. Which is it? Which is everything? Which is important? Speed...accuracy.........

Some great replies some not so great. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

buddha162
12-18-2003, 02:04 AM
Yet another observation after watching some matches on video:

Mika and Hsia Wei Kai both "throw" their shoulder into the break, I suppose to gain that extra hmmpf of power. I tried it last night, and though it was hard at first to keep the CB from flying, once I worked out the kinks it seems like a keeper.

Roger

Skilor
12-18-2003, 11:15 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> Skilor...There is another fellow from McDonough, GA. (one of my students), who posts here. Do you know him? He and his daughter played in the Moose Lodge National tournament in VA, earlier this year.

Scott Lee <hr /></blockquote>

Yes that would be my wife and Father in-law. Him and I use to shoot every night toghter before I took my break. While on my break he got a lot better and the wife took up pool! Now she can beat me easy. If I keep my mouth shut durning the game that is. But I donít so we stay about even on the win/loss. But I end up sleeping on the couch a lot for some reason. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote RedHell:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
While thinking about the breaking subject, I remebered an excellent article by David "Black Jack" Sapolis that really help me in understanding the mechanics of the break and what I would have to concentrate on to improve mine, and fix that airborn ball problem.

Heres the link, Enjoy !!! (http://www.azbilliards.com/blackjack/blackjack8.cfm) <hr /></blockquote>

That is a great article RedHell. He described the way I was breaking to a ďTĒ.

[ QUOTE ]

The West Texas Lunging Thrust
The West Texas Lunging Thrust afflicts many of the players indigenous to the Southwest Region of The United States. This break shot is characterized by a combination of all of the earlier shots described. The player not only generates all of the power in the universe for this shot, but makes sure that he gets his whole ass into the shot by lunging towards the rack on the follow through as if he has been shot out of a cannon. Not only does this look ridiculous to someone that knows better, it is downright suicidal. The rack usually spreads very well, but God only knows where the cue ball is going. If you want to leave the cue ball position up to the pool Gods, be my guest. Personally, I would like to know where the cue ball is going before I shoot the shot. Also, if the pack spreads well and you scratch, your opponent will have an obstacle free table, ball in hand, and a smirk on his face while you watch him run out.
<hr /></blockquote>
That is the exact way I was breaking.

I only played a few games the other night but I was able to keep the cue ball on the table. I tried to take all of the movment out of the break and took 50 to 60 percent of the power off of the stroke. I spread the balls out decently and the cue ball stayed on the table. Now I just have to train myself to do that everytime. I caught myself powering up everytime I got ready to break. Iím also trying to get a pre shot routine down. I have none at the moment. I just go straight to the table and start shooting.

Again thanks everyone for all of the tips and suggestions.

Thanks
Skilor

Scott Lee
12-18-2003, 12:27 PM
Skilor...LOL Small world! Say hi to Mark for me! I'll be back in Atlanta this spring, and perhaps we can get together for a little round robin tournament! LOL

Scott Lee

Skilor
12-18-2003, 01:22 PM
Sounds fun. Just let us know when and where you will be. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Skilor

RedHell
12-18-2003, 02:59 PM
Skilor, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. It helped me a lot when I was having break problems.