Practice Drills That Develop Breaking Skills Part 1
Question No. 1: What one shot is made at least once in every pocket billiard game? Answer: The Break Shot!
Question No. 2: What is the most unpracticed shot in every pocket billiard game? Answer: The Break Shot!
Most players never practice breaking. They tend to do it like a pre-game function with hopes of making a ball so they can start shooting pool. Wrong!
The break shot is VERY important. That's right, the Break Shot is a shot, and like any other shot, you want to play it well. It sets the tone for the rack and sometimes the match. Some would say it's the single most important shot in the game. It's certainly the first shot of the game. It's an very important shot and should be practiced to perfection.
Many times when I'm practicing, I make it a point to hire someone to set up shots, including breaking practice; $10.00 per hour plus soft drinks is a fair wage, just in case you was wondering what I pay. It's well worth the investment. Here's a drill for making the 8 Ball on the break.
Drill No. 1: Pocketing The 8 Ball On The Break
It is widely contended that the 8 Ball can be made on the break. This is true. I've made it many times. The theory for making the 8 Ball on the break is quite simple. Actually pocketing it is a lot harder. Usually it will find its way into one of the side pocket from a ball that kicks back from the bottom rail.
Place the cue ball a few inches off the rail at the second diamond. Shoot the second ball, past the head ball, as solid a possible, one tip below center with outside English. Outside English would be the same side your breaking from. If you're breaking from the right side rail, Outside English would be on the right side of the cue ball. It's considered outside English because the cue ball is spinning off of, not in to, the object ball. Breaking from the left side would apply left side English.
For those of you who were just put off by my explaining outside versus inside English, relax. You was once a beginner level player too.
Now, at first use a medium (5 speed) stroke with a full follow through. Shoot the shot as if you was pocketing the second ball into the corner pocket. That's the theory of the shot. See how I show the 14 Ball as the second ball in the diagram below? Set up three balls, remove the two gray balls and pocket the second ball into the corner pocket. Do this from both sides of the table until you can feel which side is the most comfortable side.
Remember to keep your stick as level as possible. By raising the butt of the stick, or if you nip the head or third ball, you'll likely cause the cue ball to fly off the table. Work hard to pocket the second ball into the corner pockets an average of 7 out of 10 times using a 5 speed (get a copy of BOOT CAMP volume 7 if you want to learn the 10 speeds of a pool table and to master the 10 cue ball speeds with control).
The next step is to start adding speed to your break shot. While you continue to hit the second ball solid into the corner pocket, add more speed to your stroke. Your maximum break shot speed should be the hardest you can shoot while maintaining accuracy pocketing the second ball. Once your there, rack up all the balls and watch the results.
Next month we'll look at more breaking drills. For now, Order the BOOT CAMP volume 7 Book and DVD then get to work on this drill.