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How To Improve Your Break Shot. ~ Allan Sand

If you are getting inconsistent results in your break, you have an inconsistent stroke.

The key to developing a good break shot is to reduce the number of variables. Here are some tips to apply:

  1. Do not move the cue ball to different places each time you set up for a break shot. This is no way to determine which position is consistently good.

  2. Move your stick hand back to the butt—closer to the end.

  3. Spread your feet a little wider. This is necessary to stabilize your stance.

  4. Stand a little straighter over the cue stick. This places your head a little higher to allow room for a strong stroke.

  5. Line up the shot and only then look at the cue ball. On the practice strokes, make sure that the tip touches the cue ball a little below center.

  6. Lengthen your bridge by about one-third. If you normally use an 8 to 10 inch bridge, make it a 13-16 inch bridge.

  7. On your practice strokes, place the tip near the cue ball. When moving the stick backwards, move the tip so that it is very close to your bridge hand. You want to practice this longer stroke and, if you don’t get it right, you just look silly.

  8. Do not jerk the stroke. Accelerate your stroke—quickly. Push through the ball as far forward as you can.

  9. Stroke at about 75% of your best speed. This ensures you are able to maintain control of the cue ball.

To practice the break over and over, have a friend (or a young relative—niece, nephew, grandkid…) help you. Offer whatever bribe is necessary to get their cooperation. Have them rack three balls up on the foot spot, and over half an hour you can easily get 50 to 60 breaks. With this practice setup, you can concentrate on a solid break and leave the cue ball sitting somewhere in the middle of the table.

*Blog originally posted on Billiard Gods.

Allan Sand is a certified pocket billiards instructor, qualified by the PBIA (Professional Billiards Instructor Association) and ACS (American Cue Sports). His focus is on helping players become the “Intelligent Shooter” (thinking before shooting). He has played the Green Game for more than 50 years and now resides in Santa Clara, CA. He keeps his skills sharpen on a 5×10 Saunier & Wilhelm 1938 table with double-shimmed pockets. He has written 10 books on pocket billiards and produced five videos on how play better and smarter. He has one of the most popular billiards blogs on the planet with three posts every week.

Editor: Hannah Blue Photo: Steve Petrucelli/Flickr
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