One secret to this break shot is in the thumb of your bridge hand. Place your thumb atop the rail so you may easily run the cue stick alongside it at speed.
Next, curl your forefinger over the thumb and cue stick so it secures the stick atop the rail. If you shoot the cue stick left-handed, your bridging thumb is to the right of the stick and your forefinger is now along its left side. Reverse my instructions for right-handed players.
Push the cue ball to one side and assume this breaking hand bridge again. Note how fast you can move the stick back and forth between your fingers, sliding along the surface of the rail. You should be able to move the stick at great speed, taking the cue tip just a few inches back and forth with each practice stroke.
It is the vigorous motion of your shooting hand that provides this great speed for the break shot. Keep the hand and wrist loose and flexible. Hold the cue stick so lightly that it would clatter to the ground if you loosened your hold any further.
The upper arm does not have to move fast to generate break speed nor does the elbow or shoulder. Not even your lower arm need move much at all on the open break shot. Simply race the hand back and forth as fast as you can. Quick hands equal a quick and powerful break stroke movement.
Return the ball to the break position and quickly rush the cue stick back and through for a powerful break action. Strike the cue ball down along its vertical axis. Topspin tends to cause the cue ball to loft into the air following the break and diminishes the energy dispersed through the pack of balls, reducing the power of your break. Strike the cue ball lower down instead. Visualize the cue stick coming through the cue ball toward the rack of balls rather than lifting into the air.
On the next page, we’ll work on technique to power the cue ball even faster through an exciting break shot with a somewhat different cue ball placement.