# Break Speed DISCUSSION

#### nobcitypool

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
With e = mc squared, c is not speed of any mass, it is the speed of light. While useful in nuclear physics, the formula has zero applicability to breaking a rack of cue balls. It was eventually very applicable to ending WWII with the Japanese.

#### ENGLISH!

##### Banned
Silver Member
Obviously controlling the cueball and getting shape on the lowest ball is important except when you don't make a ball on the break. If your break truly is bad or not working on a particular day and you can't consistently make a ball on the break then maybe you should try to not spread them out too much and to not leave a shot on the lowest ball ( the one ball in this case ). This is the only way to make sure you will get a decision at the table even if it is from a push out. I would rather face a push out than give my opponent an easy shot on the one.

I agree & that is what I have been doing more of since I am older & not as young & strong as I once was. But I can be strong once if not a young as I once was. Isn't that what Toby Kieth said?

#### JoeyA

##### Efren's Mini-Tourn BACKER
Silver Member
Obviously controlling the cueball and getting shape on the lowest ball is important except when you don't make a ball on the break. If your break truly is bad or not working on a particular day and you can't consistently make a ball on the break then maybe you should try to not spread them out too much and to not leave a shot on the lowest ball ( the one ball in this case ). This is the only way to make sure you will get a decision at the table even if it is from a push out. I would rather face a push out than give my opponent an easy shot on the one.

#### ENGLISH!

##### Banned
Silver Member
With e = mc squared, c is not speed of any mass, it is the speed of light. While useful in nuclear physics, the formula has zero applicability to breaking a rack of cue balls. It was eventually very applicable to ending WWII with the Japanese.

Sorry if I offended you in some way. The techically correct formula is Force = Mass x Acceleration (see response to Krupa). It & other physics are totally applicable to pool & everything else in existence. I know some physics per high school & college but I never think of it when playing pool other than what I have observed while playing or watching pool. You want your mind as free as possible to focus on the task at hand. While playing softball I once hit a line drive out with a 34" bat straight to the left fielder where he did not move one foot & caught the ball at shoulder height. For my next at bat I used a 30" bat and hit the 'same' line drive. He took 4 steps forward to catch the ball at ankle height. I should have used a 28" bat. Equipment & physics do make a difference. If not there would be a lot less discussion on this site. Voice inflection & hence intentions are lost in the written word. I mean no ill intent in any of my posts or replys. I merely hope to help someone if they need or want help. Again I apologize if my thoughts on the matter of breaking a rack offended you. Again that was certainly not my intent.

#### krupa

##### The Dream Operator
Silver Member
You're technically correct, but more people are familiar with Einstien's E= MC^2.

People are also familiar with "for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction". There aren't shades of grey on this one. E=mc^2 is nuclear physics not Newtonian mechanics.

#### softshot

##### Simplify
Silver Member
as far as I'm concerned "Useful" break speed ends when you get a ball to every rail.. any more than that and the balls cluster back up..

crazy hard breaking is like drawing a ball 3 table lengths.. it's kinda cool to watch .. but completely useless when it comes to playing the game well

#### ENGLISH!

##### Banned
Silver Member
People are also familiar with "for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction". There aren't shades of grey on this one. E=mc^2 is nuclear physics not Newtonian mechanics.

I agreed. You are technically correct. I did not mean to imply that any human being now on earth could break a rack of pool balls at the speed of light. But I do know that human beings make mistakes & obviously I did. I did not realize that some might take me literally. I appologize but the principle still applies even if I used a tecnically inapplicable formula to try to exlain it. I should have just said, "try a lighter cue stick".

#### nobcitypool

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sorry if I offended you in some way. The techically correct formula is Force = Mass x Acceleration (see response to Krupa). It & other physics are totally applicable to pool & everything else in existence. I know some physics per high school & college but I never think of it when playing pool other than what I have observed while playing or watching pool. You want your mind as free as possible to focus on the task at hand. While playing softball I once hit a line drive out with a 34" bat straight to the left fielder where he did not move one foot & caught the ball at shoulder height. For my next at bat I used a 30" bat and hit the 'same' line drive. He took 4 steps forward to catch the ball at ankle height. I should have used a 28" bat. Equipment & physics do make a difference. If not there would be a lot less discussion on this site. Voice inflection & hence intentions are lost in the written word. I mean no ill intent in any of my posts or replys. I merely hope to help someone if they need or want help. Again I apologize if my thoughts on the matter of breaking a rack offended you. Again that was certainly not my intent.

English, you in no way offended me. Just being my often anal retentive self. Like smoking, it's a hard habit to break and there are no nicotine type patches available to help. I do however have some good points one being skin as thick as a rhino, particularly when posting on the internet. From what I can remember in reading your posts here, you seem like a rather nice gentleman that doesn't come remotely close to offending people.

#### ENGLISH!

##### Banned
Silver Member
English, you in no way offended me. Just being my often anal retentive self. Like smoking, it's a hard habit to break and there are no nicotine type patches available to help. I do however have some good points one being skin as thick as a rhino, particularly when posting on the internet. From what I can remember in reading your posts here, you seem like a rather nice gentleman that doesn't come remotely close to offending people.

#### zpele

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Alright English I'm going to attempt to blow your mind.

Force = Mass * acceleration.

If you change one of those factors then the force will also change. The problem with using this equation to explain using a lighter stick is that it would seem to be counter to your theory.

In other words- decreasing the mass of the breaking stick would decrease the end force applied.

But this does not happen and that is because the person doing the breaking is able to increase the acceleration when they use a stick with less mass. So the end force is the same.

The force applied does not technically change with a heavier or lighter stick when applying the exact same technique. All changing stick weight does is change the acceleration that is applied by that person.

So now we get into a discussion about velocity as it applies to cueball acceleration and this is where the discussion always seems to come to a dead end.

There are so many people that think the weight of the breaker matters and that either lighter or heavier sticks make you break harder. I believe the reality is that the vast majority of people who play pool cannot exactly replicate a break and do not have the body control needed to hit the cueball with exactly the same speed each time. Because of this there is no way to tell subjectively what using a lighter vs a heavier stick does.

In the end it all comes down to whatever your preference is. Now we could get into a discussion of someone reaching terminal velocity with a lighter cue. In that case a heavier cue would do them good but the reality is that no one can reach terminal velocity on a break so using those that say strong people should use heavier sticks are wrong too.

#### Matt

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I usually play a cut break in 9-ball, but for 10-ball I've had to develop more of a power break lately. The key thing for me is relaxing my forearm and wrist at the beginning of the stroke and tighten everything in sequence to whip the cue into the CB. If you can bring power up through your feet, body, shoulder, forearm and wrist in sequence and finish with a snap right at the moment of contact, you will send the balls flying.

#### zpele

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I usually play a cut break in 9-ball, but for 10-ball I've had to develop more of a power break lately. The key thing for me is relaxing my forearm and wrist at the beginning of the stroke and tighten everything in sequence to whip the cue into the CB. If you can bring power up through your feet, body, shoulder, forearm and wrist in sequence and finish with a snap right at the moment of contact, you will send the balls flying.

Listen to this guy he's saying basically what I said on the first page but in less words and much easier to understand lol.

#### branpureza

##### Ginacue
Silver Member
I think if we could have a video of your break it would be a lot easier to suggest adjustments that might help you increase your speed. That way we could see your grip hand and bridge position, bridge length, body motion, stuff like that...

Honestly I don't really think you're going to be able to improve that much... maybe a couple miles an hour. I feel like it's something you are (to some degree) born with and develop early on... kind of if you don't have that sort of stroke after 10, 20, 30+ years of playing you'll never have it.

My break speed hasn't changed much since I was around 14 years old. I don't think being super strong or working out has a great affect on it either. When I was 14 I weighed about 135 pounds. I lift weights 5-6 times a week now, weigh 195, and my break speed hasn't increased more than 5mph since I was a weak little kid. Take someone like Manny Paquiao for instance, he's a little guy and I'm stronger than him in every aspect but he could knock me out with a jab.

To start things off I will offer some background information on my break, where I am at right now and where I hope to go. Also, I want to lay the cards out there and search through the posts to find nuggets to help with my break.

For the record, I have NEVER worked on my break speed. Mostly I play one pocket, so the rotation games just weren't a big part of my game.

It was a major shock to me when my break speed was clocked by Doc Hutch and his Iphone app. I always assumed that I broke around 20-21 mph. :lol:

When the app read 15 & 16 mph, I was like, WTH? We then had all kinds of guys, some of them out of shape so bad, you would have thought they couldn't break 18 if their life depended on it. It was really kind of an awakening for me. I always thought I had a fairly solid break. In 9 ball on a bar table, with a Magic Rack, I can do a little damage. :wink: In the pool room where I play, balls get switched around and they are hard to rack tight, so breaking results are often inconsistent.

If you were to categorize my break style, it would be called a stroke break with speed, meaning that I break, mostly with using my forearm to account for my speed. I can squat the rack pretty well doing that but like I said, at 15 & 16 MPH with different sized balls and tight pocket Diamond tables, it doesn't always produce if you know what I mean.

Anyway DocHutch and I decided to try out the BreakRak and purchased the "radar" accessory to go with it. The radar unit resets itself, comes with a shield that protects it from being hit by a flying cue ball and is a convenient accessory. After getting the installation process down pat and tweaking the BreakRak, I got down to the botton line and that my break speed is VERY SLOW. It didn't take me long to figure out that my break speed wasn't going to change radically and certainly not overnight. However, I quickly came to realize that I could regularly break at 17-18 mph after using the BreakRak for an hour. I didn't want to work out too severely with break speed and risk an injury so I stopped and let some of the other guys hit the break. Every single one of them could not beat me at ANY game but some of them hit 22-23 mph without flying off the table and they used, MY BREAK CUE. It was a sobering experience to say the least.

I did figure out that some body movement is definitely a help in increasing break speed. Being 20-40 years old helps with break speed, especially if you have fast-twitch muscles. Most of the guys who can easily break over 20 mph are surprisingly strong. I think muscle strength, fast twitch muscles and technique are all important in break speed.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think break speed is more important than controlling whitey and having a shot on the lowest numbered ball on the table. I am simply on a quest to increase my controlled break speed. I plan on a weekly training schedule with the break rack to see how that goes and will post the results as they occur.

At 17-18 mph, I noticed a lot more 9 ball activity on the break and that's a very small increase in speed. I did clock myself at hitting 20.48 mph but not that often. I hit more 19 mph than 20 and as I said 17-18 seemed to be my average. Hopefully, I can increase my speed over time without pulling a muscle or causing a rotator cuff injury. :grin: Prior to having my break speed clocked, if someone had wanted to be me that I didn't hit regurlarly at 20 mph, they would have easily gotten a bet from me.

If any of you have some tips or results that you would like to share, please do so. This thread may go on for a while. I don't plan on becoming a 30 mph breaker like Dechaine or Bryant but I will increase my break speed from where it is. I know some of you will probably say that it isn't a big stretch but the truth is that I have watched a lot of videos and thought that I was already doing a lot of what was suggested in the break videos as well as the info on this forum.

So if you've got something to share, get after it.
Thanks,

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#### branpureza

##### Ginacue
Silver Member
I'm fully convinced that the more scientific your explanations are in this forum, the less you know about pool... and the exceptions are few and far between.

The science is E=MC^2. E is energy or in this case force. Which is what you r seeking, an increase in force. M is mass or in this case weight or cue weight. C is velocity or speed. In the formula the C or speed is squared or multiplied times itself. Therefore a slight increase in speed increases the force much more than a slight increase in mass or weight. I know you want to increase your speed. So we need to convert the equation to E divided by mass = C^2. Assuming you are doing everthing humanly possible with regard to technigue to maximize the force you can apply, the only other variable is mass or weight. Since the energy or force is constant so to speak, a reduction in weight should result in an increase in velocity or speed. In other words, try a lighter cue. You should be able to increase your cue speed with a lighter cue. The problem is not to go too light were the increase in speed is offset by the reduction in mass or weight. Experiment with it. It does not matter what someone else can do with your cue. It's about finding the cue that maximizes what you can due with it. Good luck! Sorry for long scientific explanantion but it is more credible than just saying 'try a lighter cue'.

#### ENGLISH!

##### Banned
Silver Member
Alright English I'm going to attempt to blow your mind.

Force = Mass * acceleration.

If you change one of those factors then the force will also change. The problem with using this equation to explain using a lighter stick is that it would seem to be counter to your theory.

In other words- decreasing the mass of the breaking stick would decrease the end force applied.

But this does not happen and that is because the person doing the breaking is able to increase the acceleration when they use a stick with less mass. So the end force is the same.

The force applied does not technically change with a heavier or lighter stick when applying the exact same technique. All changing stick weight does is change the acceleration that is applied by that person.

So now we get into a discussion about velocity as it applies to cueball acceleration and this is where the discussion always seems to come to a dead end.

There are so many people that think the weight of the breaker matters and that either lighter or heavier sticks make you break harder. I believe the reality is that the vast majority of people who play pool cannot exactly replicate a break and do not have the body control needed to hit the cueball with exactly the same speed each time. Because of this there is no way to tell subjectively what using a lighter vs a heavier stick does.

In the end it all comes down to whatever your preference is. Now we could get into a discussion of someone reaching terminal velocity with a lighter cue. In that case a heavier cue would do them good but the reality is that no one can reach terminal velocity on a break so using those that say strong people should use heavier sticks are wrong too.

I appreciate the discussion. It's fun & we are all on a quest to improve thru knowledge & understanding. ALL things being EQUAL from the force that is moving the mass, that is, the person wielding the stick. the question is what can be done to increase the velocity that that person can move the mass (the stick) If we increase the mass of the stick to a point that the velocity slows down there COULD BE a reduction in the overall force. However, if we reduce the mass to a point where the person can increase the velocity there COULD BE an increase in the force, The trick is to find the mass that ALLOWS the person to deliver it with the most velocity that DOES result in an increase of force without going to low so as to reduce the force. If we reduce the mass too much & there is not enough of an increase in speed there would probably be a reduction in force. In E=MC^2 since C is squared a unit of increase affects the force more than a unit of mass increase. While this may not be the technically correct formula it is virtually the same when taking the speed of light out of it. Force = mass x aceleration. What is accelration? It is the rate of change in SPEED. In my first post I prefessed the assumption that the person was doing all the 'technical' biomechanics. That is the ALL things being EQUAL. If the biomechanical stroke is the same or you take the average, when you change either the mass or the 'change of speed' there must be a change of the resulting force. That is the physics of it. Naturally if the stroke is different with a different mass the result will be different. If the person strokes 100 times with the exact same mass & every stroke is different then every resulting force wil be different. But... if the strokes are exactly the same done with different masses then every resulting force will also be different. What can the person change. Can he grow taller with longer arms? He can work out or take steroids to get stronger. Will that increase his cue speed one might & one might not. Take the heaviest cue you can find & test the speed that 'HE' can break with it. Now find the lightest cue & test the speed that 'HE" can break with it. There should be a difference, ALL other things being EQUAL. Now will the heaviest or the lightest cue be the one that 'HE' can deliver with the most force? I don't know. It probably will be somewhere in between. The bottom line is, if you are looking for the most forceful break you should use the heaviest cue that you can deliver without losing your top speed. ALL other things being EQUAL. Politely & respectfully awaiting your opinion. PS This is just my understanding of it. If I'm wrong I blame my high school & college physics teachers that taught me & passed me. If they were wrong then certainly I am wrong. Keep in mind that was the science taught to me in the late 60's & early 70's. There may have been discoveries since then that i know NOTHING about.

#### Cdryden

Silver Member
When I hear "break speed isn't important" I'm reminded how often it's the last ball rolling that finds a pocket.

I want to hit break shots accurately, but I've never heard of a downside to hitting them as hard as accurately possible.

pj
chgo

Thats just it, most people just hit them as hard as possible and think that speed alone is what's important. Speed is almost useless without control and vice-versa.

#### naji

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Body weight and mussel have a little to do with it, the biggest main thing is you have to pull the cue very slowly at the same time raise your shoulder up such that when you go to forward movement with cue you have long lever effect like long golf club, with long follow through that will be the most powerfull break you can have.

Youtube vedio attached is best describe it all, it works. good luck

To start things off I will offer some background information on my break, where I am at right now and where I hope to go. Also, I want to lay the cards out there and search through the posts to find nuggets to help with my break.

For the record, I have NEVER worked on my break speed. Mostly I play one pocket, so the rotation games just weren't a big part of my game.

It was a major shock to me when my break speed was clocked by Doc Hutch and his Iphone app. I always assumed that I broke around 20-21 mph. :lol:

When the app read 15 & 16 mph, I was like, WTH? We then had all kinds of guys, some of them out of shape so bad, you would have thought they couldn't break 18 if their life depended on it. It was really kind of an awakening for me. I always thought I had a fairly solid break. In 9 ball on a bar table, with a Magic Rack, I can do a little damage. :wink: In the pool room where I play, balls get switched around and they are hard to rack tight, so breaking results are often inconsistent.

If you were to categorize my break style, it would be called a stroke break with speed, meaning that I break, mostly with using my forearm to account for my speed. I can squat the rack pretty well doing that but like I said, at 15 & 16 MPH with different sized balls and tight pocket Diamond tables, it doesn't always produce if you know what I mean.

Anyway DocHutch and I decided to try out the BreakRak and purchased the "radar" accessory to go with it. The radar unit resets itself, comes with a shield that protects it from being hit by a flying cue ball and is a convenient accessory. After getting the installation process down pat and tweaking the BreakRak, I got down to the botton line and that my break speed is VERY SLOW. It didn't take me long to figure out that my break speed wasn't going to change radically and certainly not overnight. However, I quickly came to realize that I could regularly break at 17-18 mph after using the BreakRak for an hour. I didn't want to work out too severely with break speed and risk an injury so I stopped and let some of the other guys hit the break. Every single one of them could not beat me at ANY game but some of them hit 22-23 mph without flying off the table and they used, MY BREAK CUE. It was a sobering experience to say the least.

I did figure out that some body movement is definitely a help in increasing break speed. Being 20-40 years old helps with break speed, especially if you have fast-twitch muscles. Most of the guys who can easily break over 20 mph are surprisingly strong. I think muscle strength, fast twitch muscles and technique are all important in break speed.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think break speed is more important than controlling whitey and having a shot on the lowest numbered ball on the table. I am simply on a quest to increase my controlled break speed. I plan on a weekly training schedule with the break rack to see how that goes and will post the results as they occur.

At 17-18 mph, I noticed a lot more 9 ball activity on the break and that's a very small increase in speed. I did clock myself at hitting 20.48 mph but not that often. I hit more 19 mph than 20 and as I said 17-18 seemed to be my average. Hopefully, I can increase my speed over time without pulling a muscle or causing a rotator cuff injury. :grin: Prior to having my break speed clocked, if someone had wanted to be me that I didn't hit regurlarly at 20 mph, they would have easily gotten a bet from me.

If any of you have some tips or results that you would like to share, please do so. This thread may go on for a while. I don't plan on becoming a 30 mph breaker like Dechaine or Bryant but I will increase my break speed from where it is. I know some of you will probably say that it isn't a big stretch but the truth is that I have watched a lot of videos and thought that I was already doing a lot of what was suggested in the break videos as well as the info on this forum.

So if you've got something to share, get after it.
Thanks,

#### dcb1

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just a quick clarification...you want to be concerned with kinetic energy and the formula for that is Kinetic Energy = 1/2 mass * velocity squared.

I'm not sure quite how to do superscript fonts but you get the picture.

So in other words, the velocity is much more important than the mass and that is why if you can move a lighter cue stick faster than a heavier one, you probably will do better. Of course, if you can move a light cue the same velocity as a heavy cue, the heavy cue will win out.

#### mosconiac

##### Job+Wife+Child=No Stroke
Silver Member
There is a limit that most players reach (expressed in mph) due to lack of timing, leverage, & weight transfer. Older men & most women seem to plateau around 18-20mph. Most males plateau around 22-24mph. Yes, there are freaks of nature that inherently hit 30+mph, but those guys aren’t reading this thread, I suppose.

To get to the next level, players need to add a seemingly un-natural movement (really a series of movements coalesced into one) to the break routine. Most that try it end up striking the CB erratically and give up. Those that can get past that acclimation stage (through practice) will be rewarded.

All great breakers share these tendencies:
1. Low initial body position (aids upward body movement) with compact stance (aids weight transfer) & forward hand position (aids final alignment/delivery of cue)
2. Abruptly raise cue at end of backswing (stores energy in arm & shoulder) and cock elbow behind body (stores more energy)
3. Upper body releases (forward & up) with hips driving forward (sometimes with a turning motion like a golf swing)
4. Elbow begins driving down & thru (cue returning to pre-shot alignment)…arm release lags behind body release
5. At impact, upper body & hips are fully released (driven by rear foot), elbow is fully dropped (& driving forward), and weight shift causes rear leg to rise up for counter-balance.

My break analysis videos:

See any similarities in my other videos?:

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#### dr9ball

##### "Lock Doctor"
Silver Member
I usually play a cut break in 9-ball, but for 10-ball I've had to develop more of a power break lately. The key thing for me is relaxing my forearm and wrist at the beginning of the stroke and tighten everything in sequence to whip the cue into the CB. If you can bring power up through your feet, body, shoulder, forearm and wrist in sequence and finish with a snap right at the moment of contact, you will send the balls flying.

Let me ask, what is the benefit in tightening everything in sequence as you sate above? Would this not slow down your cue before contact with the cue ball?

In your opinion which would produce the more effective break: one as you suggest that has an increasing tension in the muscles of the grip hand and arm and body or one that is reletativey free of tension allowing a faster swing speed?