View Full Version : Changed my break... for the um-teenth time.
12-19-2010, 03:10 PM
Along with my other problems (including eye surgery) I've ditched my old break completely.
I used to use a more "stand up" stance, gripping the cue about 5" up shaft and moving forward on the follow through. This break had served me well for a while but its not consistant. I had seen this break demonstrated on a video 3 years ago and I liked the power it generated but its major flaw is with your head above the cue its harder to aim and get a clean hit. So I decided to drop it.
I was watching a video of a Japanese player (forgot the name) who was making balls consistantly on his break with just a nice clean stroke. I recorded it and ran it again and again until I felt I could copy it.
Basically he is completely down on the shaft with his chin almost touching, he practice strokes 6 or 7 times until he is zeroed in... then he releases with a normal backswing but a lot of power and not a lot of head movement or leg kick. He beat Darrell Peach by never letting him to the table.
This break is nothing more than accuracy with controlled power. I did'nt see a lot of wrist snap but I'm sure there was some.
I'm getting balls almost everytime with this break and controlling the QB leave better,which is a nice feeling as before I had no confidence in my break at all.
12-24-2010, 10:17 AM
...way to go bradb. Glad to hear about your success.
Since the advent of internet forums, news like this travels fast. Learning the power of a good break shot makes a believer out you.
For those that question this philosophy... try playing the Ghost & record the games with video.
Then, play the Ghost again, with Cue Ball in hand (place anywhere inside a 24" diameter circle in middle of table) Record the the games with video.
See if you can see a measurable difference in the outcome.
Hi Brad: I found an unorthodox break stroke addition that works well for me. I am sure that lots of people will say not to do it but it is worth a try.
A guy at the pool hall has this super powerful break and I watched him for some time. He is big (6'3" 280 lbs or so)and has a sorta lazy break that drove 6 - 7 balls up table on a 9-Ball break.
Seems the guy is a carpenter and when we talked he said he breaks using the cue stick like a hammer. Contrary to all the advice from many sources I tried a modified version that yields a powerful break (for me).
Just before making contact with the cue ball grip the cue stick tightly (like a hammer) and drive that old cue ball like it is a nail that you are trying to drive through a 2 X 4 with one hit.
Give it a try a few times. I had to work with it for a half hour or so to get the feel for it.
12-24-2010, 11:56 AM
I like that analogy & have used it many times.
If a carpenter were to blindly strike the nail with the hammer, his efforts would be futile. However, "Cocking the Stroke", to a pause, then releasing the energy through the hit is a great way to develop a good hit on the Cue Ball and subsequently the "rack of balls.."
12-25-2010, 03:19 PM
Re: the carpenter break.
Interesting name for it Joe. I think I might be doing something like that now, but its more subtle. I like to feather the practice strokes with the cue loose in my grip but tighten my grip just at the point of impact as you say. I think this is neccessary since there is so much forward force the cue would push back in the hand almost like a slip stroke at contact. I never thought about how much grip I have there so I'm anxious to try it. Unfortunately I broke my right hand recently (not in pool) so along with my eye surgery I'm the walking wounded right now. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif
Merry christmas by the way. Brad
BCA Master Instr
12-26-2010, 10:01 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ceebee</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I like that analogy & have used it many times.
If a carpenter were to blindly strike the nail with the hammer, his efforts would be futile. However, "Cocking the Stroke", to a pause, then releasing the energy through the hit is a great way to develop a good hit on the Cue Ball and subsequently the "rack of balls.." </div></div>
Nice post. I agree...randyg
12-29-2010, 12:06 PM
That's an interesting observation.
Certainly, given this man's reported size (and probable similar outsized strength), it's possible that WHATEVER he did would splatter the balls on the break.
But I'm interested in whether to really grip the cue on the break stroke, or more to 'let it go' and rely on the 5x weight advantage of the cue to do the work on the cue ball.
It SEEMS that when I try to really grip the cue at impact I end up LESSENING the force of my break (maybe because I decrease the speed by doing that?).
On the other hand, even when not trying to overly grip at contact, I still am not slipstroking, or truly letting the cue 'go' on the break. So for me, I'm thinking maybe being MORE free of grip pressure might accelerate the cue more, and gain some mph and resulting increased power?
I have never heard anyone recommend a no pressure grip AT IMPACT on the break (although I've seen that recommended for the stroking of the break shot, with a tightening of the grip at the moment of impact).
I am not sure how to explain this and I can only present what I have found. When I first learned about the carpenter’s hammer grip at cue ball contact I just did it, so to speak. It did improve the spread of the balls but not as well as the carpenter who used it.
After a week or so of working with this break it occurred to me that I was not following through with the tighter grip. I know that sounds a little silly but it is the best way I can explain it. When I tighten the grip at contact and hold that tighter grip all the way through to the end of the stroke the “magic” happens.
There is something to the idea that when you drive that nail you have to try to drive the hammer head into the 2 X 4. It is not just a matter of hitting the nail it is about driving that nail all the way into the wood. When I do this I am now able to drive 6+ balls up table and have at times pocketed three balls on the 10-Ball break. I am only 5’ 7” tall. At 160 pounds, this is a major break for me.
I should add that I have also learned to stand about six inches higher than my usual stance and to move my upper body towards the cue ball by about nine inches or so. This allows for more (better?) leverage with the upper arm.
In addition to not being very tall I am 67 years old. So now I am this old little guy with a pretty powerful break.
BTW, the key, for me, is to tighten the grip just before contact with the cue ball. If I tighten any sooner I tend to steer the cue ball and lose power.
I have a similar break off as that Japanese fellow you mentioned, bradb. I play snooker and break off like any regular shot, but I simply drive/rotate my torso forward through the stroke and, by effect, through the cue. It generates good power and I don't risk kicking anybody or the table behind me.
01-03-2011, 03:36 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Lux</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have a similar break off as that Japanese fellow you mentioned, bradb. I play snooker and break off like any regular shot, but I simply drive/rotate my torso forward through the stroke and, by effect, through the cue. It generates good power and I don't risk kicking anybody or the table behind me.</div></div>
Yes, I do come up a bit and move forward as you note, although not near as much as I did with the more stand up break.
I've always been suspect of that leg kick, it looks dynamic but I don't think it adds anything to the power.
I used to play snooker also and setting up down close to the cue feels more comfortable in aiming... glad I went back to that.
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