As I advised some of my better players for national competition recently, offering them specific pool coaching I’m sharing with you, the subject of breaking a 9-Ball effectively came up.
Let me tell you what I told them:
1. Pick a spot for the white ball that works. Take the cue ball an inch or two off the side rail, on the right side if you are a right-handed player, and vice versa for a lefty. (see accompanying illustration).
2. Fire that puppy straight into the 1-ball in your mind. You are to take your break stance as I teach here at About.com as though you plan to go on the shortest possible path from cue ball to the side of the 1-ball facing you. In other words, do not hit the front of the rack where the 1-ball faces the middle of the table but plow straight into it.
3. Adjust your aim like a pro to pop the 1-ball into the side pocket. Move that imagined line a teensy bit to the right, so that following impact, the 1-ball moves on a straight line into the side pocket. Bingo!
You may adjust your aim break-to-break to make the 1-ball go in. Note each break whether the 1-ball sinks in the side or goes just past the side pocket to strike the rail toward you or away from you and adjust the break accordingly.
Pow! Bam! You will begin to pocket the 1-ball routinely and retain your turn. As a sidebar, if the 1-ball misses, it tends to move up table toward the breaking player and away from the 9-ball, leaving you less vulnerable to the opponent’s sinking the nine off the one following a missed break.