The Power Break In 9-Ball - Crush The Rack To Powder!

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Look Over The Spot

Quick Aiming. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

Is there anything as exciting as utterly demolishing a rack of nine balls on the break? These photos were taken at an unusual angle to emphasize the movement of the feet and legs. Mimic me a bit and add power and style to your break.

After settling into my pool stance, I take a last look at the lay of the land before bearing down to break.

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Bearing Down

Bear Down To Break. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

I get set a little deeper down to the table in preparation to break. Grimace optional! With power and not micro-accuracy as the emphasis, I stand a little straighter than I would for a regular pool stroke, and you should too.

My weight has been shifted mostly to my front (left) foot. I'll start to pull the trigger next.

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Top Of Backswing

Completion Of Backswing. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

I've withdrawn the cue stick with my backswing as far back as my bridge hand. My feet and body have moved a bit, unlike the classic pool stroke where the body remains immobile.

The body will be used to add power and speed to the shot.

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Ka-blammo!. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

My weight is all on my front foot as I rise up with the force of the hit. Like a boxer, golfer, tennis player, etc. it will be easiest to pass forward motion along the line of ball travel with the front of my body leading.

Set into your pool stance without any equipment in your hands. Punch forward into the air with a fist, leaning on your front foot. Now repeat the punch leaning more on the back foot this time. See the difference in how much power is wasted?

To maintain an accurate hit on the head object ball, in this case the 1-ball, I've kept my main thought “keep the shooting hand out in front of my body”. My right fist and arm are always moving forward at speed toward the target throughout the stroke.

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Following Through

Following Through. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

The right hand, which has always gripped the cue stick loosely, just a bit tighter than usual for this powerful stroke, is shown here in line with the right forearm, upper arm and shoulder, all in line toward the spot where the 1-ball rested, the point of aim.

My left hand came off the cue fractions of a second ago—if it hadn’t, the cue’s taper would have caught up inside the hand and abbreviated the stroking motion.

The white cue ball has left the hit and is traveling straight to the side of the table, under control rather than wandering off somewhere.

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All Done

All Done. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

The cue ball is headed back to the middle of the table, a great place from which to shoot the balls no matter where they will come to rest. All my weight rests on my lead foot. I will drop my right foot to the floor and watch the balls finish their journey.

 Next, we explore the 9-Ball break from a different perspective in the next several photos.

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Lined Up Right

Lined Up On The 1-Ball. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

From this angle, you can clearly see my shooting arm is aligned with the head of the 1-ball.

One of the reasons for placing the cue ball so close to one side of the table is the pro can vigorously move their body into and through the stroke without bruising a thigh against the table itself!

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And Away We Go!

Powerful Break Shot. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

A great stop-motion photo, showing the break just after the impact between the white ball and my cue stick.

What is one secret to a powerful 9-ball bust? I move my body forward while still heading for the end of my backswing. My body has a running start ahead of the forward motion of the cuestick. As captured here, you can see my body has risen somewhat from the previous photo.

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Boom, baby!. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

The cue ball has left the surface of the table, which does not imply a powerful break stroke—there could have been a wobble spot in front of the 1-ball. But I hit this one fairly hard while maintaining accuracy, the right hand and stick pointed all the way to my spot of aim as shown two photos ago.

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Break Almost Done

Always Follow Through. Photo (c) Matt Sherman

The forward energy has been spent in full. My body’s weight is leaning over my left (front foot). Again, the white ball has headed to the side of the table and will rebound to its center, leaving an optimum chance to shoot the 1-ball wherever it comes to rest.