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How To Sink Balls On The Break - Sink More Balls On The Break!

When You're Crushing The Break, But The Balls Thumb Their Noses At You

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Balls Break, break in more balls, breaking balls, ball breaker

Break in more balls, I'll show you how

Photo courtesy of Louis Turner/Getty Images
I respond to a reader's request from a Master/AA level player who is having trouble sinking balls with his Eight Ball break. His other questions re: table dimensions and bar tables versus 9-foot tables you'll also find enlightening this week-Matt Sherman

How To Sink More Balls On The Break

"Hey Matt, I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me? I've been working on my eight ball break, (bar box) and lately just can't make many balls consistently. I'm spreading them all over the table, but most of the time I'm not getting one to fall, perhaps only three or four times out of ten that I make one.

I've tried hitting them from every spot imaginable and also vary speed, etc. but nothing seems to work right now. The only thing that I have noticed is that most of the time I am getting unwanted right hand english on the cue ball.

Remember during our playing lesson you noticed a swerve in my stroke as I was coming into and through the cue ball? Do you have suggestions that might help me try to overcome that swerve, so I can get more solid contact without the added english? Any drills for checking that kind of flaw?

Also, I'm working out on a nine foot table now every day, so I was wondering if there are any drills you could suggest for me to work on. I hope to get down there again by next month of early March, so I hope we can get together again for lessons from you in person in Florida. Any thoughts you might have would be awesome!

Thanks Matt and God bless, Mike M."

Here we go-Mike, get two golf wooden tees, they're cheap and easy to reset during play. Place them to either side of your cue stick on a gentle center ball shot. If you're still straying right you'll knock over the right tee, yes? Stop knocking over the tees. :)

Then work up to a full break with the tees. If it was me, I'd go a little wider and get to where I could tolerate a little right english rather than a lot of it on the break. Going between tees on a full break is VERY difficult to execute.

Certainly, as you break stroke straightens, far less force will deflect to the sidespin on the cue ball and more speed will be added to the mass of the cue ball for a break force multiplier. And a very cool tool for measuring and improving your break force speed is shared here at About.com.

Remember from our lesson that a powerful 8-Ball break will brings seven or eight balls back behind the side pockets (!) if that's what you mean by spreading them all over the table rather than the bottom half near the original rack placement.

Be sure you are getting a super TIGHT rack to begin the break process - then you'll know if your break stroke is the true culprit. In the real world of pro pool, referees will not last long in the ranks if they rack loosely. On a tight Nine Ball rack, for example, the Nine Ball should barely move at all out of the pack on most breaks. If it constantly sinks, something is wrong, as in:

Do You Believe These Guys Broke The Nine Ball In Eight Times Running? - Probabilities And Techniques For 9-Ball

But I will say that it's not unusual at all to pound the heck out the 8-Ball break. I can sink three or four balls off a 9-Ball rack without giving all my oomph to the pack yet without sinking ANY balls in 8-Ball.

And your opponent often will runout if you bust 'em apart without sinking anything, right?

For this reason and about five other reasons (for fun, I took the side of "Yes, break in Eight Ball" in a recent printed debate and still lost badly), the 8-Ball break is a dangerous thing even in the hands of a playing pro. Where I can, I give the other player the break in most cases and where the rules allow!

Go To Part II Of Our Break And Concentrate Question And Answer Session
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