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dr_dave
10-13-2006, 09:11 AM
Colin Colenso has put out another great online instructional video, this time dealing with the power break. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. The video is long, but is full of useful advice. You can find it with others here (http://www.cue-tv.com/blog/InstructionalVideos).

Happy viewing and breaking,
Dave

Stretch
10-14-2006, 04:48 AM
Thanks for the link Dave! Lots of good information there. Plus a bonus tip! It finaly inswered the question i posed a few Months ago as to why one would chock up slightly on the power break. Answer" it puts your muscles in a stronger postion When you come through the ball. Lots of great idea's to work on and he explains the pocess in each phaze of the break. Excillent VID! 4 thumbs up /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

dr_dave
10-14-2006, 10:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Stretch:</font><hr> Thanks for the link Dave! Lots of good information there. Plus a bonus tip! It finaly inswered the question i posed a few Months ago as to why one would chock up slightly on the power break. Answer" it puts your muscles in a stronger postion When you come through the ball. Lots of great idea's to work on and he explains the pocess in each phaze of the break. Excillent VID! 4 thumbs up /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>
Stretch,

I was also very impressed with his presentation, thoroughness, and insight. That Colin is putting out some good stuff. I hope he comes out with a book some day.

About the only possibility for improvement I saw was with the follow through. He pulls up his cue stick quite a bit. That's fine if it happens only after cue ball contact, but if the timing were a little off, excessive follow (with less power) or a miscue would result. Many great breakers follow through horizontally and even down into the table, driving the cue stick straight through the ball. In this case, a small change in timing is not disastrous.

Anybody have any other comments or suggestions?

Regards,
Dave

wolfdancer
10-14-2006, 02:42 PM
I think colin's break theories have lots of merit. I now feel like I'm getting some upper body movement incorporated into my old arm only swing...with a noticeable improvement in my break.
It'll be awhile though, if ever, before I can time and launch the whole body into the break..like Colin appears to do.
It also seems to me he has an open bridge??? tried that earlier...and true story, cleared the balls and the table by at least a foot.
I guess it'll have to be one step at a time for me.......but
these are the best tips I've read on the break.....ever.
Some good poolvids on thew site as well

dr_dave
10-16-2006, 08:37 AM
I was hoping to get some input from some of the instructors and good breakers out there.

- Do you have any difference of opinion with his advice?

- Do you think his advice is suitable for all levels of player?

- What aspects do you think are suitable to all levels of player?

- Would you add anything to his advice and recommendations?

- How do you think his advice differs from what is demonstrated by some of the great breakers out there now?

Thanks for your input,
Dave

wolfdancer
10-16-2006, 08:49 AM
Dr. Dave, thought you might get a few good responses from your questions....I was hoping Bob J. would chime in since Bob did some break research awhile back.
I'm "sold" on his break theory.....it's added some force to my break.
Under the instructional video link, Colin has a couple of more interesting vids.

dr_dave
10-16-2006, 09:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>Dr. Dave, thought you might get a few good responses from your questions....I was hoping Bob J. would chime in since Bob did some break research awhile back.<hr /></blockquote>
I also hope Bob, Fran, Randy, Steve, Scott Lee, Colin, and others will chime in.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>I'm "sold" on his break theory.....it's added some force to my break.<hr /></blockquote>
I'm also sold on his advice. The only things I'm not sure about and want to experiment with are the grip position and the follow through.

Regards,
Dave

Cornerman
10-16-2006, 09:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr>
I'm also sold on his advice. The only things I'm not sure about and want to experiment with are the grip position and the follow through.

Regards,
Dave <hr /></blockquote>The grip hand being forward on the break is being taught by different instructors today, all with different reasons. And if they don't directly teach it, many of the top breakers when showing either their power break, or their power stroke (super power draw), their grip hand is clearly forward of perpendicular. Colin's strength reasoning is probably the sanest reasoning.

Colin's upward follow-through is due to a circular stroke or what he's calling "using centrifugal force." He gives an analogy to a hammer thrower at release. Colin is a national level hammer throw coach.

If there's any issue with his video (and there aren't many issues), it's that it's a strength maximizing break. I think this is important, but understand that Colin is a pretty big dude. Some of us don't have the luxury of using our pectoral and deltoids in such a manner.

The other side would be a video and biomechanical discussion on Sarah Rousey's break. I missed that opportunity last time (to video Sarah's break). I shan't do that again.

Fred

wolfdancer
10-16-2006, 09:42 AM
Great post, Fred...thanks for adding your input !!!
I happened to watch the ladies play yesterday on TV,a semi final match.
and while they both have played better pool, the match was entertaining..hill,hill.
I was impressed with the break of the young gal...just can't recall her name right now??

dr_dave
10-16-2006, 10:42 AM
Fred,

Thank you for your insightful comments. That's good stuff.

The only thing I can think to add is below.

Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cornerman:</font><hr>The grip hand being forward on the break is being taught by different instructors today, all with different reasons. And if they don't directly teach it, many of the top breakers when showing either their power break, or their power stroke (super power draw), their grip hand is clearly forward of perpendicular. Colin's strength reasoning is probably the sanest reasoning.<hr /></blockquote>
Another possible reason for the forward grip is that the upward motion of the forearm (due to elbow and shoulder rotation) helps cancel the downward motion caused by elbow drop (which is necessary to invoke the additional muscles). Some players also seem to compensate for the elbow drop by lifting their upper body during the stroke (in addition to or instead of using the forward grip).

Regards,
Dave

PS: Thanks again for sharing your insights. You haven't been as active on the CCB as you once were. I hope you continue to contribute. Your input is valued.

Stretch
10-16-2006, 10:47 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Great post, Fred...thanks for adding your input !!!
I happened to watch the ladies play yesterday on TV,a semi final match.
and while they both have played better pool, the match was entertaining..hill,hill.
I was impressed with the break of the young gal...just can't recall her name right now?? <hr /></blockquote>

Wolf, another interesting thing about that break vid. Did you catch his statement that he's successfully makes balls on break with his technique 75% of the time. Whoa! that aint bad! Has anybody here tracked thier breaks lately? What percent are you now doing? St.

As to the absence of our local authorities on these matters, perhaps we can chalk it up to professional courtesy? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif St.

wolfdancer
10-16-2006, 02:16 PM
75% "make" on the break shot....is what legends are made of.
while it sounds doubtful...the 8 ball breaks shown on the videos...are the best I've ever seen. I'd say it's a combination of great strength and great technique....perfect timing....and as Fred notes...the hammer throw is also strength, technique and timing.
Hitting the cueball on the upswing I'd guess adds a bit to the force being directed more forward instead of partly downward...similiar to a driver swing in golf.
I'll never get his entire technique to work for me...but I can see and hear a difference in my break...
While none of the instructors here have added their yeas or nays to Colin's break technique....it was one of them that pointed out that link to me..originally posted over on AZB

SPetty
10-17-2006, 10:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> I was impressed with the break of the young gal...just can't recall her name right now?? <hr /></blockquote>Jasmin Ouschan?

wolfdancer
10-17-2006, 11:02 AM
It may have been...I've always had trouble with names, faces, and driving directions....and getting older ain't helped much.
Her break was pretty solid.

wolfdancer
10-18-2006, 09:47 AM
Tried out the "new" power break the other nite in a tournament.
I may have a few "kinks" to iron out...
It seems with all these new body parts getting involved in the break stroke....I have a tendency to hit a bit low on the cue ball.
Since I went two matches and out, I only got to break 3 times.
All three had the cueball coming back with draw action....the first break turned into a 3 rail scratch in the upper left corner pocket (a personal best draw action on a break for me)...the second a mediocre 2 rail draw...and the third....stopped inches short of repeating the first break.
Pretty bad breaks, but seems to me you need to hit em pretty good, to hit em that bad.

dr_dave
10-18-2006, 10:37 AM
I tried out the Colin power break technique last night and also had mixed results. I was able to generate significantly more power than my normal (more controlled) break technique, but I wasn't very accurate with hitting the center of the cue ball (or slightly above center, as desired). I was usually left or right of center, which causes squirt and a non-solid hit on the head ball. The good news is that I didn't miscue once, which actually surprised me, given how much I was moving my body, shoulder, arm, and wrist. That's the down side of getting so many body parts involved ... there's more stuff to control and time.

I guess "practice, practice, practice" is the answer.

Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Tried out the "new" power break the other nite in a tournament.
I may have a few "kinks" to iron out...
It seems with all these new body parts getting involved in the break stroke....I have a tendency to hit a bit low on the cue ball.
Since I went two matches and out, I only got to break 3 times.
All three had the cueball coming back with draw action....the first break turned into a 3 rail scratch in the upper left corner pocket (a personal best draw action on a break for me)...the second a mediocre 2 rail draw...and the third....stopped inches short of repeating the first break.
Pretty bad breaks, but seems to me you need to hit em pretty good, to hit em that bad. <hr /></blockquote>

wolfdancer
10-18-2006, 11:16 AM
Sounds like you got similar results...more power, less accurate hit.
I think the trade off is worth it though...and with some more practice, we'll both improve our accuracy.
Almost feel like giving the game up...after watching the 15 yr old Mr. Wu (2005) run 6 consecutive racks, on his way to an 11/0 win.The vids are on Colin's site...but pulling them up directly from youtube, allowed for full screen viewing...

Bassn7
10-23-2006, 12:08 PM
All great info . . . BUT . . . he may be making balls 75% of the time with the cue ball NOT landing somewhere in the middle of the table 95% of the time with that huge upward stroke. Watching the video he scratches and sends the cue ball off the table. Excellent information but the lack of cue ball control scares me. I am going to try these techniques with my own personal changes: staying down and keeping the cue level and through the cue ball. Shouldn't the cue be in your bridge when a break is complete, and not the sky? Curious.

dr_dave
10-23-2006, 12:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bassn7:</font><hr>All great info . . . BUT . . . he may be making balls 75% of the time with the cue ball NOT landing somewhere in the middle of the table 95% of the time with that huge upward stroke. Watching the video he scratches and sends the cue ball off the table. Excellent information but the lack of cue ball control scares me.<hr /></blockquote>
Agreed. The tradeoff for more power is less accuracy and cue ball control. But isn't it difficult to control the cue ball anyway in 8-ball, because there is so much chance for OB-CB collisions (with a good break)?

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bassn7:</font><hr>I am going to try these techniques with my own personal changes: staying down and keeping the cue level and through the cue ball. Shouldn't the cue be in your bridge when a break is complete, and not the sky? Curious.<hr /></blockquote>
I also had these same thoughts at first, but I've recently tried to mimic Colin's style more closely, and the results have been good for me after some practice. I'm generating more power, getting a fairly square hit on the cue ball and rack lead ball, making at least 1 ball on almost every break (on my 8', average speed table), and my follow through is going up (but straight). Give it a try.

Concerning the bridge, I've always liked an open (V) bridge on the break. It allows for a longer, free, level follow through (without burning your closed loop index finger), and it allows for the lifting follow through with the super power break.

Regards,
Dave

hectorcaves
10-23-2006, 04:36 PM
what do think of theBAT

hectorcaves
10-23-2006, 05:49 PM
have you heard of the left right right left aiming system

The_Doctor
10-23-2006, 06:18 PM
Theres definitely some interesting items in there but I think there are some problems with his reasoning an explanations.

1. Muscle length tension relationship. He says that his reason for shortening his grip down is to place the muscles in a shorter position. This allows the muscles to produce more force. The length tension (or force) relationship in fact follows an inverted u curve and muscles actually produce their most strength in mid range not inner range. If the length tension relationship were to be used as a justification for shortening down the grip then it could be argued that when the body moves forward at the beginning of the action the distance between the bridge and the front shoulder will decrease. As the distance between the bridge an back hand at cue ball impact remains constant due to the length of the cue the decrease distance at the front must be made up for at the back putting the muscles in outer range, moving the grip forward would mean that the muscles would remain in mid range at contact.

2. Eccentric muscle contraction. I think the concept he is getting at is plyometrics. This is a phenomenom whereby if a muscle is lengthing under contraction it is capable of creating a larger shortening force than if it were just to shorten. The example he gives of flicking a coin actually has nothing to do with eccentric muscle contraction or plyometrics. The index finger resists the extension of the thumb an allows recruitment of all the muscle fibres with no tone at all in the flexor muscles of the thumb. The index finger can then be removed allowing the thumb to extend all of a sudden with maximal muscle fibre recruitment and no opposition from the muscles on the other side of the joint. If you just try and extend your thumb the body cannot recruit all of the muscle fibres instantaneously and there will still be some tone in the opposing muscles. Plyometrics is important for large force ballistic movements like jumping from a squat. A person can jump higher if they quickly squat down then suddenly jump up than if they squat, pause, then jump. The key is that the quad muscles are contracting while lengthening on the squat to control the body weight during the descent. This could well be relevant to hitting the ball hard as there are many muscles that will be lengthening on the back swing that will then need to shorten on the delivery. The question would be how much tension will be under when they change direction the more the better they wold need to be at least under some prior to the change in direction, i.e. they must be working to slow down the movement of the cue on the back swing. This would suggest using a heavier cue for more momentum for the muscles to slow down when cue changes direction, and obviously a heavier cue would have more inertia so a greater force would be needed anyway to accelerate it anyway. So would this extra force be negated? Anyway all that would be needed to do to gain any benefit from this effect would be to change direction from back swing to delivery very suddenly. Something which the brain will try and do anyway.

3. I would have thought the long lever is a great suggestion for breaking technique.

Damn I've written alot, Sorry. Andy.

dr_dave
10-24-2006, 06:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hectorcaves:</font><hr> what do think of theBAT<hr /></blockquote>
I assume you mean the BAT Trainer 3-cut aiming system tool. If so, I don't have an opinion because I haven't seen it in person. In general, I think aiming trainers are useful for people who don't aim very well and have trouble with visualization.

Regards,
Dave

dr_dave
10-24-2006, 06:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hectorcaves:</font><hr> have you heard of the left right right left aiming system<hr /></blockquote>
No. But if you want to share it with us, I suggest you do so in a new thread. Also, FYI, many aiming systems and been described here before. For more info, see the numerous links under "aiming" here (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/threads.html).

Regards,
Dave

dr_dave
10-24-2006, 07:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote The_Doctor:</font><hr> ... He says that his reason for shortening his grip down is to place the muscles in a shorter position. This allows the muscles to produce more force. The length tension (or force) relationship in fact follows an inverted u curve and muscles actually produce their most strength in mid range not inner range. ... <hr /></blockquote>
He is using this argument for the pectoral and front deltoid muscles, which provide much of the break power. The shorter grip shortens these muscles closer to the middle range, making them effectively stronger. With a more traditional stance and grip, these muscles are stretched fairly long.

Regards,
Dave

dr_dave
10-24-2006, 07:50 AM
Thank you for your responses. You make some good points. I'm surprised this thread hasn't had even more discussion.

I also want to thank Colin for posting this video. I takes guts to put something like this out in public, open for critique. His explanations might not be perfect, but he deserves a lot of credit for contributing.

Thanks Colin,
Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote The_Doctor:</font><hr> Theres definitely some interesting items in there but I think there are some problems with his reasoning an explanations.

1. Muscle length tension relationship. He says that his reason for shortening his grip down is to place the muscles in a shorter position. This allows the muscles to produce more force. The length tension (or force) relationship in fact follows an inverted u curve and muscles actually produce their most strength in mid range not inner range. If the length tension relationship were to be used as a justification for shortening down the grip then it could be argued that when the body moves forward at the beginning of the action the distance between the bridge and the front shoulder will decrease. As the distance between the bridge an back hand at cue ball impact remains constant due to the length of the cue the decrease distance at the front must be made up for at the back putting the muscles in outer range, moving the grip forward would mean that the muscles would remain in mid range at contact.

2. Eccentric muscle contraction. I think the concept he is getting at is plyometrics. This is a phenomenom whereby if a muscle is lengthing under contraction it is capable of creating a larger shortening force than if it were just to shorten. The example he gives of flicking a coin actually has nothing to do with eccentric muscle contraction or plyometrics. The index finger resists the extension of the thumb an allows recruitment of all the muscle fibres with no tone at all in the flexor muscles of the thumb. The index finger can then be removed allowing the thumb to extend all of a sudden with maximal muscle fibre recruitment and no opposition from the muscles on the other side of the joint. If you just try and extend your thumb the body cannot recruit all of the muscle fibres instantaneously and there will still be some tone in the opposing muscles. Plyometrics is important for large force ballistic movements like jumping from a squat. A person can jump higher if they quickly squat down then suddenly jump up than if they squat, pause, then jump. The key is that the quad muscles are contracting while lengthening on the squat to control the body weight during the descent. This could well be relevant to hitting the ball hard as there are many muscles that will be lengthening on the back swing that will then need to shorten on the delivery. The question would be how much tension will be under when they change direction the more the better they wold need to be at least under some prior to the change in direction, i.e. they must be working to slow down the movement of the cue on the back swing. This would suggest using a heavier cue for more momentum for the muscles to slow down when cue changes direction, and obviously a heavier cue would have more inertia so a greater force would be needed anyway to accelerate it anyway. So would this extra force be negated? Anyway all that would be needed to do to gain any benefit from this effect would be to change direction from back swing to delivery very suddenly. Something which the brain will try and do anyway.

3. I would have thought the long lever is a great suggestion for breaking technique.

Damn I've written alot, Sorry. Andy. <hr /></blockquote>

hectorcaves
10-24-2006, 08:48 AM
put right hand english on the cue ball,high,middle,low
doesn't matter,your aiming point on the OBJECT BALL will be
a bebe(monk click) left of center,and vice versa a bebe to the right CENTER OF POCKET,CENTER OF BALL bebe left or right left or right english

dr_dave
10-24-2006, 08:54 AM
Sorry, but this description is not very clear. Please clarify in the pertinent thread (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccb&amp;Number=236612&amp;page =0&amp;view=collapsed&amp;sb=5&amp;o=&amp;fpart=1).

Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hectorcaves:</font><hr> put right hand english on the cue ball,high,middle,low
doesn't matter,your aiming point on the OBJECT BALL will be
a bebe(monk click) left of center,and vice versa a bebe to the right CENTER OF POCKET,CENTER OF BALL bebe left or right left or right english

<hr /></blockquote>

colincolenso
10-25-2006, 05:55 AM
This is Colin, the video maker in question. I just found this thread as I don't pop into BD too often.

Thanks for all the positive comments and even the crtiques are appreciated as they help me to improve the quality of further instruction.

btw: There is a pretty detailed discussion about this video and the concepts here:
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=43309&amp;highlight=Power+Breaking+Vi deo

Now let me address a few of the comments / questions:

The short hand position - The_Doctor is spot on here, in that a muscle is strongest in an intermediate position. I was sloppy with my description in the video. So what we are doing by moving the hand forward, is creating and angle for delivery where the most active muscles are stronger. I can definitely feel this when breaking.

Open Bridge / Cue Flying Up - Yes, I use an open bridge. For no other reason than it feels more stable for me. Using a closed bridge would stop the cue from flying upward so drastically. The cause for the cue lifting is mainly that my hand tightens on impact and the wrist is under a lot of tension which pulls the cue upward after the impact.

Practice - A few months ago my break was pretty ordinary. So I got to thinking about what technique I needed to develop to increase power and control. After several hundred breaks, a lot of them pretty wild, I began to learn how to control the factors. It just takes time, repetition and adjustments.

I don't lose the CB too badly once I'm warmed up. In the video I broke from the left, so that the camera had a better view. Being less familiar with shooting from this side, I hit nearly every shot a touch right of my aim, hence one ball bounced off the table....anyway, the point is that I think it's reasonably controllable with practice, and you can always wind down the speed a little.

Plyometrics - The_Doctor mentioned plyometrics. Yes, it's kind of plyometrics, but usually when we talk of plyometrics, we are talking about bounding. Plyometrics does utilize eccentric contractions.

The chalk flick with the thumb is an example of a concentric contraction. The two types are closely related in effect, but clearly during breaking, the effect is different to the thumb being locked in position.

In the break we are getting small eccentric effects in phases in the different muscle groups. I think it's important for people to be aware of this aspect as it explains why we are aiming for a kind of whip like technique with progressive stages of contraction.

That's all I can think of for now.

Colin

dr_dave
10-25-2006, 07:03 AM
Colin,

Thank you for your thorough and inciteful follow-up, and thanks again for posting your instructional videos. We look forward to seeing more in the future.

Regards,
Dave

PS: I think you should ditch the AZ forum and become a more permanent member here. You would certainly be very welcome.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote colincolenso:</font><hr> This is Colin, the video maker in question. I just found this thread as I don't pop into BD too often.

Thanks for all the positive comments and even the crtiques are appreciated as they help me to improve the quality of further instruction.

btw: There is a pretty detailed discussion about this video and the concepts here:
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=43309&amp;highlight=Power+Breaking+Vi deo

Now let me address a few of the comments / questions:

The short hand position - The_Doctor is spot on here, in that a muscle is strongest in an intermediate position. I was sloppy with my description in the video. So what we are doing by moving the hand forward, is creating and angle for delivery where the most active muscles are stronger. I can definitely feel this when breaking.

Open Bridge / Cue Flying Up - Yes, I use an open bridge. For no other reason than it feels more stable for me. Using a closed bridge would stop the cue from flying upward so drastically. The cause for the cue lifting is mainly that my hand tightens on impact and the wrist is under a lot of tension which pulls the cue upward after the impact.

Practice - A few months ago my break was pretty ordinary. So I got to thinking about what technique I needed to develop to increase power and control. After several hundred breaks, a lot of them pretty wild, I began to learn how to control the factors. It just takes time, repetition and adjustments.

I don't lose the CB too badly once I'm warmed up. In the video I broke from the left, so that the camera had a better view. Being less familiar with shooting from this side, I hit nearly every shot a touch right of my aim, hence one ball bounced off the table....anyway, the point is that I think it's reasonably controllable with practice, and you can always wind down the speed a little.

Plyometrics - The_Doctor mentioned plyometrics. Yes, it's kind of plyometrics, but usually when we talk of plyometrics, we are talking about bounding. Plyometrics does utilize eccentric contractions.

The chalk flick with the thumb is an example of a concentric contraction. The two types are closely related in effect, but clearly during breaking, the effect is different to the thumb being locked in position.

In the break we are getting small eccentric effects in phases in the different muscle groups. I think it's important for people to be aware of this aspect as it explains why we are aiming for a kind of whip like technique with progressive stages of contraction.

That's all I can think of for now.

Colin <hr /></blockquote>

Bassn7
10-25-2006, 09:22 AM
YES! Thank you so much for the video and your comments. Truly appreciated!

wolfdancer
10-25-2006, 09:45 AM
Colin, thanks so much for making that video, and adding your insights. It's changed my own break, with noted improvement.
I mentioned it the other day to a top local player. His natural breaking style is very similar to yours, with the exception of the open bridge.
Seems some years back he was in a big tournament playing well, and breaking well. Hal Mix was watching and mentioned he'd like to see the guys grip moved back, and his upper arm higher on the break....well since Hal was a noted authority, he did that..and that ended the good breaking.
He doesn't have to change anything ...but now, thanks to your video....he feels his style has been validated....
He beat me again, by the way, with a break and run.

wolfdancer
10-30-2006, 03:02 PM
I was hoping some players would report back, with any problems, or improvements, using Colin's "Big Bang" theory.
I'm having good luck with the break, and still working on the new mechanics of it.
Seems that there's added freedom, lengthening both the backswing and forward stroke. I feel like the power source now goes back to the shoulder joint, instead of just the elbow.
I'm also a little more erratic, and not sure where the cue ball will end up...a couple of times it ended up on the floor. "Not a good thing" according to Martha Stewart.
I'm also using this style for a power draw, and managed to get a few more diamonds in total distance...doing that.
Here's the catch.....instructors now preach against any elbow drop type swing, yet letting the elbow drop adds power. So, I'm using 2 different strokes....after spending 15 years trying to master the old one.
I had shortened my bridge on draw shots, because the elbow high stroke increased my tendency to dip the cue before contact. Now i can employ a more normal length bridge, get decent follow through, etc
AND, it all goes along with Fast Larry's ideas.....
I've taped my breaks...may put the vids up for sale...special discounts for IPT members, still waiting for a paycheck, and newly unemployed politicians....

dr_dave
10-31-2006, 07:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>I was hoping some players would report back, with any problems, or improvements, using Colin's "Big Bang" theory.<hr /></blockquote>
I was hoping the same thing. For me, the new technique has been quite effective in terms of extra power ... I seem to be making more balls on the break more often. However, my precision (and cue ball control) still leaves a little to be desired; but hopefully, this will improve with practice.

Regards,
Dave

PS: The power is intoxicating. For now, I don't care about lack of CB control.

dr_dave
10-31-2006, 07:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>... instructors now preach against any elbow drop type swing, yet letting the elbow drop adds power. So, I'm using 2 different strokes....after spending 15 years trying to master the old one ...<hr /></blockquote>
I think there is a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation in the "elbow drop" arena. But I don't want to start the same old debates again (BTW, for interested readers, some of the important highlights from past debates can be found at the links under "elbow drop" under "stroke" here (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/threads.html)). I don't feel I can speak for the instructors out there, but it is my understanding that the general "don't drop the elbow" advice is not as rigid as some people think. Obviously, for an extreme power shot, the elbow will want to drop naturally during the follow through (due to the momentum of the arm and stick). The problem lies with dropping the elbow when it is not intended, especially if the elbow is dropped before cue ball contact. For most (almost all) shots, and for most people (especially beginners), accuracy and consistency will be better if the elbow is not dropped before (or after) cue ball contact. The problem with dropping the elbow after cue ball contact (e.g., when it is not required based on shot power) is that if one's timing is a little off, the elbow might drop a little before contact, which can affect CB contact point accuracy. I think that is the main point the non-elbow-drop instructors try to make. Hopefully, they will correct me if I have misrepresented their philosophy.

Regards,
Dave (mostly a non elbow-dropper)

Fran Crimi
10-31-2006, 08:04 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I think there is a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation in the "elbow drop" arena. But I don't want to start the same old debates again <hr /></blockquote>

Dave, I don't think there are misunderstandings and misrepresentations. I think it's more like differences of opinion as to the benefits of it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including yours, which you've stated in your post, but let's keep in mind that it's your opinion that you've stated and not a general conclusion.

As for elbow dropping prior to contact, over time I've come to learn that's what it's all about. If it's not happening prior to contact then it may as well not happen at all. And yet I'm in favor of it on certain shots. Therefore, logic dictates that I must be in favor of dropping one's elbow prior to contact on certain shots, which I am.

So, again, you see, Dave, we differ in opinion. I have no problem with that, but let's just make it clear to everyone that the pool world hasn't come to a general conclusion with regard to what's right and what's wrong.

Fran

dr_dave
10-31-2006, 08:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>... As for elbow dropping prior to contact, over time I've come to learn that's what it's all about. If it's not happening prior to contact then it may as well not happen at all.

So, again, you see, Dave, we differ in opinion. ...<hr /></blockquote>
Fran,

Thank you for your opinion. But I'm curious if you agree or disagree with my summary statement:
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr>... For most (almost all) shots, and for most people (especially beginners), accuracy and consistency will be better if the elbow is not dropped before (or after) cue ball contact.<hr /></blockquote>
I'm not saying it is right or wrong to disagree. I'm just curious what you think.

Respectfully,
Dave

Fran Crimi
10-31-2006, 08:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>... As for elbow dropping prior to contact, over time I've come to learn that's what it's all about. If it's not happening prior to contact then it may as well not happen at all.

So, again, you see, Dave, we differ in opinion. ...<hr /></blockquote>
Fran,

Thank you for your opinion. But I'm curious if you agree or disagree with my summary statement:
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr>... For most (almost all) shots, and for most people (especially beginners), accuracy and consistency will be better if the elbow is not dropped before (or after) cue ball contact.<hr /></blockquote>
I'm not saying it is right or wrong to disagree. I'm just curious what you think.

Respectfully,
Dave <hr /></blockquote>

Dave, words are a powerful thing, and sometimes it's as simple as how you present something as opposed to whether something is true or false. For example I could say the same thing you said, only with the following words:

For some shots and for some people, beginners included, accuracy and consistency can be better if the elbow is dropped prior to cue ball contact.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe we both just said the same thing. Now, do I disagree with your statement? Probably not, however, I strongly disagree with the way you presented it.

My statement focuses on the possibilites, while yours focuses on 'staying the course.'

Fran

dr_dave
10-31-2006, 08:48 AM
Fran,

Thank you for your response. I still like my statement better; although, some statements made by some people, especially if they are sufficiently general, might be accepted by some people, so I can't "disagree." /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Seriously though, the type of statement you use might depend on whom you are teaching. If one is teaching a beginner that has poor stroke consistency, one might recommend trying to limit some of the unnecessary motion. If one is teaching a great player that is overly constraining his or her stroke by forcing the elbow to stay perfectly still, one might suggest something else.

Thanks again for your input,
Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>... As for elbow dropping prior to contact, over time I've come to learn that's what it's all about. If it's not happening prior to contact then it may as well not happen at all.

So, again, you see, Dave, we differ in opinion. ...<hr /></blockquote>
Fran,

Thank you for your opinion. But I'm curious if you agree or disagree with my summary statement:
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr>... For most (almost all) shots, and for most people (especially beginners), accuracy and consistency will be better if the elbow is not dropped before (or after) cue ball contact.<hr /></blockquote>
I'm not saying it is right or wrong to disagree. I'm just curious what you think.

Respectfully,
Dave <hr /></blockquote>

Dave, words are a powerful thing, and sometimes it's as simple as how you present something as opposed to whether something is true or false. For example I could say the same thing you said, only with the following words:

For some shots and for some people, beginners included, accuracy and consistency can be better if the elbow is dropped prior to cue ball contact.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe we both just said the same thing. Now, do I disagree with your statement? Probably not, however, I strongly disagree with the way you presented it.

My statement focuses on the possibilites, while yours focuses on 'staying the course.'

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

colincolenso
10-31-2006, 12:01 PM
I just popped in again, so wanted to say thanks again for some kind words and to display my pleasure that some of you and your friends are finding some benefits to some of the power breaking advice I suggested.

Certainly this technique requires practice to gain control in power, accuracy and CB control. There's not a lot of advice beyond what was said in the video other than to continue working on it.

As most have quickly ascertained, some extra power can be found, and this power can be increased significantly as the timing / coordination is improved. CB control is just a matter of continual adjustments.

Anyway, the conversation drifted into some standard coaching protocols regarding a static elbow position...

This breaking techinique is almost an entirely different beast. As has been mentioned, the main power drivers for this technique are the muscles in the shoulder, rather that the elbow flexing muscles (primarily the biceps but also a forearm muscle that I've forgotten the name of) for normal playing shots.

But with a standard stroke, power is not usually important. Touch and straightness is most important, so a fixed elbow position works well.

Having taught a few beginners, their worst stroke flaw is usually a dipping elbow. Hence the static high elbow is good advice for them.

But for advanced players, few who seem to have static elbows consistantly btw, I believe they can hit the CB as required with vertical / up and down, elbow movement, and often it is helpful.

To me, bridge positioning for alignment of the shot, as a variable, far outweighs the variability in shot making than any scooping, dipping or lifting which might actually be a useful way in transfering from original alignment (perhaps center ball) to the required CB contact to achieve potting and positional requirements.

Colin

dr_dave
10-31-2006, 01:38 PM
Colin,

Thank you for your excellent post. Great summary (IMO).

Dave

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote colincolenso:</font><hr> I just popped in again, so wanted to say thanks again for some kind words and to display my pleasure that some of you and your friends are finding some benefits to some of the power breaking advice I suggested.

Certainly this technique requires practice to gain control in power, accuracy and CB control. There's not a lot of advice beyond what was said in the video other than to continue working on it.

As most have quickly ascertained, some extra power can be found, and this power can be increased significantly as the timing / coordination is improved. CB control is just a matter of continual adjustments.

Anyway, the conversation drifted into some standard coaching protocols regarding a static elbow position...

This breaking techinique is almost an entirely different beast. As has been mentioned, the main power drivers for this technique are the muscles in the shoulder, rather that the elbow flexing muscles (primarily the biceps but also a forearm muscle that I've forgotten the name of) for normal playing shots.

But with a standard stroke, power is not usually important. Touch and straightness is most important, so a fixed elbow position works well.

Having taught a few beginners, their worst stroke flaw is usually a dipping elbow. Hence the static high elbow is good advice for them.

But for advanced players, few who seem to have static elbows consistantly btw, I believe they can hit the CB as required with vertical / up and down, elbow movement, and often it is helpful.

To me, bridge positioning for alignment of the shot, as a variable, far outweighs the variability in shot making than any scooping, dipping or lifting which might actually be a useful way in transfering from original alignment (perhaps center ball) to the required CB contact to achieve potting and positional requirements.

Colin <hr /></blockquote>

wolfdancer
10-31-2006, 06:28 PM
Mere modesty prevents me from adding too many personal accolades concerning my new break...but "awesome" might be apropos.
Seriously, there is a marked improvement, and I'd recommend trying it out to anyone. I've already made half a dozen converts up here.
I think you, Colin and Fran, have done a nice job explaining the pluses and the minuses, the tradeoff of less accuracy Vs mo power....."Power to the People!!!!!!"
The forward grip just makes the elbow drop natural it seems, so it's an easy adjustment to the classic setup.
I nominate it as best pool tip of the year!!!!! and it'll be hard to come up with a better one.

Cornerman
10-31-2006, 06:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> Fran,

Thank you for your response. I still like my statement better; although, some statements made by some people, especially if they are sufficiently general, might be accepted by some people, so I can't "disagree." /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif<hr /></blockquote> Sometimes the statement must be vague because there isn't always a "right answer" for every situation. That is, Fran's vague statement is more correct than yours in this case. It helps to prevent people from being stuck in the mire of rigidity, leading to mediocrity and overall being unopen or unexposed to some of the beauty of this game that goes beyond keeping your elbow still.


Like this:

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Dr. Dave:</font><hr>Seriously though, the type of statement you use might depend on whom you are teaching. If one is teaching a beginner that has poor stroke consistency, one might recommend trying to limit some of the unnecessary motion. If one is teaching a great player that is overly constraining his or her stroke by forcing the elbow to stay perfectly still, one might suggest something else.
<hr /></blockquote> There is no reason to pigeon hole when or why to discuss the elbow drop, and whom it would be helpful. If it is helpful in any way to a champion, then it can be helpful to a beginner. If anyone, champion or beginner is having problems because of being too rigid, then other things should be considered. Surely by your own example stated, the importance of when and what to discuss has nothing to do with beginner or champion level, but rather issues due to contstaining rigidity or elbow drop. Maybe by taking out any references to beginners, champions, or level of play in general, these vague statement will make more sense to the majority.

Fred

BTW, by writing "great summary" or "great input" while quoting the entire post (like Colin's "great summary") give many of us the feeling that you didn't read the important aspects of the post, only to rehash these "debates" in the future with the same words the next time around.

Bob_Jewett
10-31-2006, 06:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> .. ..I was hoping Bob J. would chime in ... <hr /></blockquote>
Well, having just seen this thread now, I'm a little late, but...

If in fact a grip further forward on the stick gets more power, then I suppose most break sticks are made wrong. They need to be 50 inches long or shorter. And probably they should have a pistol grip or at least a rubber grip. Weight forward is better both for energy transfer and keeping the stick down, and I don't think you want your hand to slip. A fixed grip makes sense for a single-purpose stick.

dr_dave
11-01-2006, 07:36 AM
Fred,

Your points are well taken. Thank you for your candor.

Concerning my enthusiastic acceptance of Colin and his posts, I don't feel any need to apologize. I most certainly have read ever word he has written, and I appreciate his input, and I hope he continues to contribute. When I respond with "great post" (which I don't do often), it usually means that everything the person wrote resonated with me.

Regards,
Dave

PS: Great post! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cornerman:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> Fran,

Thank you for your response. I still like my statement better; although, some statements made by some people, especially if they are sufficiently general, might be accepted by some people, so I can't "disagree." /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif<hr /></blockquote> Sometimes the statement must be vague because there isn't always a "right answer" for every situation. That is, Fran's vague statement is more correct than yours in this case. It helps to prevent people from being stuck in the mire of rigidity, leading to mediocrity and overall being unopen or unexposed to some of the beauty of this game that goes beyond keeping your elbow still.


Like this:

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Dr. Dave:</font><hr>Seriously though, the type of statement you use might depend on whom you are teaching. If one is teaching a beginner that has poor stroke consistency, one might recommend trying to limit some of the unnecessary motion. If one is teaching a great player that is overly constraining his or her stroke by forcing the elbow to stay perfectly still, one might suggest something else.
<hr /></blockquote> There is no reason to pigeon hole when or why to discuss the elbow drop, and whom it would be helpful. If it is helpful in any way to a champion, then it can be helpful to a beginner. If anyone, champion or beginner is having problems because of being too rigid, then other things should be considered. Surely by your own example stated, the importance of when and what to discuss has nothing to do with beginner or champion level, but rather issues due to contstaining rigidity or elbow drop. Maybe by taking out any references to beginners, champions, or level of play in general, these vague statement will make more sense to the majority.

Fred

BTW, by writing "great summary" or "great input" while quoting the entire post (like Colin's "great summary") give many of us the feeling that you didn't read the important aspects of the post, only to rehash these "debates" in the future with the same words the next time around.<hr /></blockquote>

colincolenso
11-01-2006, 11:19 AM
Bob,
I've been thinking the same think about a specialized shorter cue, though I have wondered if the length hanging off the back may provide a little stability, in a similar way to how a tight rope walker can stabilize with a wide balancing pole.

Certainly worth some trialing anyway:)

I've also tried wrapping several layers of tape in front of the back hand grip, to assist it re-gripping (without slipping) when the wrist flexes back and then accellerates forward. I found that helps a little.

Colin

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> .. ..I was hoping Bob J. would chime in ... <hr /></blockquote>
Well, having just seen this thread now, I'm a little late, but...

If in fact a grip further forward on the stick gets more power, then I suppose most break sticks are made wrong. They need to be 50 inches long or shorter. And probably they should have a pistol grip or at least a rubber grip. Weight forward is better both for energy transfer and keeping the stick down, and I don't think you want your hand to slip. A fixed grip makes sense for a single-purpose stick. <hr /></blockquote>

mworkman
11-21-2006, 02:27 PM
I've been practicing some of Colins Techniques because I've always felt that my break needed some work. I've found a lot more power. I'm a league 8-ball player on 7 foot tables. I've been getting more ERO's because the table is spread out more.

I break from the end rail with as long of a bridge length as I can accurately. I tried his open bridge technique and I was terrible at it, sending the ball off the table.

Just wanted to thank Colin for helping me out. I think it will make me a more dangerous and feared player. I will keep working on it to increase accuracy.

TennesseeJoe
11-21-2006, 06:37 PM
This has been a great tip from Colin---Many thanks.

Some have commented at the loss of accuracy with this power break. I tried to use a little draw when breaking (from near the center of the break area) to bring the cue ball back to the end rail and then back to the middle of the table. This seems to work a good deal of the time by not having object balls hitting the cue ball. The low English does use some of the added power---but it may be worth a try. Let me know.

jayzoll
11-21-2006, 09:08 PM
Hey All,

Very good information here, WOW what a powerful break!! Serves motivation to practice harder (or should I say hit'em harder). Thanks for the link!

I just want to share with everyone my excitement for significantly improving my break shot over the last 8 months. A year ago, my breaks produced a decent spread and typically pocketed a ball or two. Cue ball control on my 8 ball breaks (within the box) was better than 9 ball breaks (from the side rail or even from the edge of the box) Not really any consistency at all. Well, I was notorious for leaving the cue ball every where but center table. (Keep in mind I did not let the cueball loose all around the table) Unfortunately, parking that rock center table doesn't always guarantee a shot. I don't know my win/loss % was when my break wasn't working.

I racked, found tweezers to remove splinters, and racked some more on my table here at home. I would get sick of racking after about 30min. At Super Billiards Expo in VF, I bought a break rak. Many who I shoot with laughed at me for wasting money on yet another training aid. Those laughs turned into compliments.

Since, I have developed consistent control on the break, stopping the cueball in the center 9 of 10 times (if not kicked by another ball). I am getting a better spread as a result of hitting the head ball more square. My game has improved since, so I cannot contribute a better win/loss % soley to an improved break. I usually like the road map laid out after I break now. The accuracy is there, now it's about adding more power. Again, thanks for the great link.

Good breaks are not given to us. I respect all that read this who spent countless hours perfecting a fine break shot. I'm sure there are others reading this who have a break similar to mine 8 months ago. There are no short cuts toward attaining an excellent break. Using that product eliminated my frustrations of racking and allowed me to focus more on my mechanics and tempo.

My apologies for going off on this tangent or if this reads anything like the humdrum paper I'm writing for class tomorrow. This was a nice way to procrastinate some more and chalk up another post for the newbie.

~Jay

supergreenman
11-22-2006, 02:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dr_dave:</font><hr> I was hoping to get some input from some of the instructors and good breakers out there.

- Do you have any difference of opinion with his advice?

- Do you think his advice is suitable for all levels of player?

- What aspects do you think are suitable to all levels of player?

- Would you add anything to his advice and recommendations?

- How do you think his advice differs from what is demonstrated by some of the great breakers out there now?

Thanks for your input,
Dave <hr /></blockquote>

I know I'm replying to this a little late, I don't visit CCB as much as I really should. What I liked best about Colins presentation was his explanation of the mechanics. Especially the part where he talks about making a longer fulcrum (sp)

To answer your questions in order.

-While I don't have a difference of opinion regarding his advice, I don't personally feel that I need that powerfull of a break to be successfull at 8ball which is what his presentation is for. I feel sacrificing accuracy for power isn't always the best route.

- I don't feel his advice is for all levels. You should have good mechanics and stroke before attempting the level of power he is presenting.

- as I said before I really liked his presentation on the mechanics. If applied with less power it could realy benifit a lesser player.

- The only thing I can think of adding would be to keep the bridge hand anchored on the table untill well after the stroke is complete.

- no comment on last Q

BadBob
12-12-2006, 03:53 PM
I am not a very accomplished player. I got lucky last week and sank the 8-ball on the break. This inspired me to work on my break.

After watching the video one time, I was putting much more power into the break with a much improved success rate of both eliminating problem balls and sinking a ball on the break.

I couldn't say thank you enough for the video!

dr_dave
12-12-2006, 04:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BadBob:</font><hr> I am not a very accomplished player. I got lucky last week and sank the 8-ball on the break. This inspired me to work on my break.

After watching the video one time, I was putting much more power into the break with a much improved success rate of both eliminating problem balls and sinking a ball on the break.

I couldn't say thank you enough for the video!<hr /></blockquote>
That's great. I wish you continued success. But don't thank me ... thank Colin. I have also incorporated some of the recommendations into my break technique, with good success.

FYI, links to other instructional videos available from Colin and others can be found in the new video collection section of my website (http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~dga/pool/videos/index.html).

Happy viewing,
Dave