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BD House Pro
Tony Robles
A longtime teaching pro at Amsterdam Billiard Club in New York City, Tony has dozens of regional and national titles to his name, including the 2004 BCA Open Championships.


Instruction Articles:
• December 2019
Advanced Safeties


• November 2019
Frozen Solid


• October 2019
Itís A Thin Line


• September 2019
Joy in Repetition


• August 2019
Soft Touch


• June 2019
Thin To Win


• May 2019
Perfection Not Required


• March 2019
Hangers


• February 2019
Correct Easy Errors


• January 2019
Weight Problems


• December 2018
Position, Everyone!


• November 2018
Be a Chairman


• October 2018
Never Stop Learning


• September 2018
Carom Corner II


• August 2018
Carom Corner


• July 2018
Slump Dog


• June 2018
Stopping Is Power


• May 2018
Professional Help


• April 2018
Break Dance


• March 2018
A Safe Path


• February 2018
Stunning Results


• January 2018
Know Your Rails


• November 2017
The Straight Dope


• October 2017
Confidence Boosters


• September 2017
The One-Armed Man


• August 2017
Making a Check List


• July 2017
Trust Issues


• June 2017
Rails Away!


• May 2017
Weight Watchers


• April 2017
Opposites Attract


• March 2017
Reach For It!


• February 2017
Adapting to New Rules


• January 2017
Systems vs Feel


• December 2016
It Happens to the Best


• November 2016
Maintaining Focus


• October 2016
Riding the ĎLí


• September 2016
Tips on Tips


• August 2016
The Art of Deflection


• July 2016
Note To Self


• June 2016
Object of Safety Play


• May 2016
Speed Zone


• April 2016
Frozen Ball Shots


• March 2016
Hide and Go Seek


• February 2016
Two-Rail Kicks


• January 2016
Staying Down


• December 2015
One-Rail Kicks


• November 2015
Breaking Bad


• October 2015
Call Shot, Call Safety


• September 2015
Own the Shot


• August 2015
Patterns - Part II


• July 2015
I Notice A Pattern


• June 2015
Two-Way Prt. 2


• May 2015
Two-Way Shots


• April 2015
The Fine Line


• March 2015
Straight Break


• February 2015
The 'Walkaway'


• January 2015
Pushing Your Luck


• October 2014
Walk This Way


• August 2014
Attitude Adjustments


• May 2014
Adapt to the Equipment


• Mar 2014
Turn The Beat Around


• Feb 2014
Straight Is Great


• Sept 2013
Cover the Basics


• June 2013
Getting It Right


• May 2013
Strength Training


• April 2013
Rust Proof?


• March 2013
Not So Fast


• February 2013
Two-Step Jump


• January 2013
Open Your Eyes


• December 2012
Feeling Good?


• November 2012
Hang In There


• October 2012
Back on Track


• September 2012
Straighten Up


• August 2012
On the Rail


• July 2012
Mental Checklists


• June 2012
Respect & Fear


• May 2012
Chin Music


• April 2012
On the Line


• March 2012
Balancing Act


• February 2012
Creative Drilling


• January 2012
Power Outage


• December 2011
Jumping In Line


• November 2011
Soft on Soft Breaking


• October 2011
Find Your Stroke


• September 2011
The Path Off the Rail


• August 2011
Short Position


• July 2011
Inch Along


• June 2011
Into the Unknown


• May 2011
Sharpened Focus


• April 2011
Never Flatline


• March 2011
Stop For A Review


• February 2011
One To Watch


• January 2011
The Straight Answer


• December 2010
Shoot The Lights Out


• November 2010
Never Overmatched


• October 2010
Drawing Conclusions


• September 2010
Through & Through


• August 2010
Along the Rail


• July 2010
The Small Stuff


• June 2010
Three in One


• May 2010
One Ball At a Time


• April 2010
Going Thin to Win


• March 2010
Know Your Game


• February 2010
14.1 For 8-Ballers


• January 2010
Setting It Straight


• December 2009
Hanging Out, Part II


• November 2009
Hanging Out


• October 2009
Control Your Speed


• September 2009
Busting Out of a Slump


• August 2009
Easy Errors, Part III


• July 2009
Easy Errors, Part II


• June 2009
Easy Errors, Part I


• May 2009
Body Language & Breaking


• April 2009
The Break: Body Language


• March 2009
Must-Reads from Robles


• February 2009
Position: Four Square


• January 2009
Romancing the Stance


• October 2008
Look Out for Boingy Rails


• September 2008
Build a Better Break


• August 2008
Q&A: Ask the Pro


• July 2008
'Buzz' Kill: Stay Down


• June 2008
Stop Shots Safeties III


• May 2008
Stop Shots Part II


• April 2008
STOP-SHOT Safeties


• March 2008
How to Keep Winning


• February 2008
The Dreaded Straight-In Shot


• January 2008
Trying the Soft Break


• December 2007
The Hard Way Makes It Easier


• November 2007
How to Sight the Cue


• October 2007
Win from Your Chair


 
Shake íní Break
April 2019

One area that, at first glance, doesnít appear to have any rules is the break shot. Breaking styles among players vary a lot. Some players throw their body into it. Some kick their leg. Some raise their cue in the air. Some are more efficient.

But the one thing that all the top breakers have in common is timing. The theatrics often donít have any value. Someone might launch their arm completely into the break and, immediately after contact, throw their body into the shot. The result? A terrible break shot. The problem was that they threw their body into it after the cue ball had already left the tip of the cue. All that extra energy was pointless.

The timing aspect of the break is absolutely critical.

If you are a shoulder and back leg breaker, thatís fine, but everything must be moving forward in synchronization. If you move your shoulder first and then your arm, you wasted energy. You moved your shoulder for no reason. But if you move your arm and shoulder at the same time you are coming off your back leg, then all of the power is generated into the cue ball at the same time. Thatís when you explode the balls.

Look at players like Shane Van Boening and Johnny Archer. Both break so well, yet they have completely different styles. Shane is very efficient and controlled, while Johnny is all arms and legs. But their timing is exactly the same. Everything is moving forward at the same time. You donít see them wasting energy by having different body parts moving at different times.

When I started playing on the pro tour I had the worst break out there. The one thing that helped me immensely was exaggerating the stroke. I used to bring the cue back so slowly that I took about 10 seconds on my backswing. Bringing the cue back that slowly forced me to focus on maintaining a loose grip. It prevented me from squeezing.

Squeezing on the backswing was causing my stroke to get out of line. I was hitting the cue ball with a lot of spin instead of dead square. So, I broke with only my arm for a few weeks. I couldnít use my body until I was able to hit a stop shot on the break, not allowing the cue ball to hit a rail. When I added my body to the equation, my follow through got to about 12 inches. After that I started lifting my right foot, my follow through increased another foot. I was still hitting the cue ball accurately with a lot of extra power. And that process allowed me to add those components and maintain perfect timing.

The other keys are to make sure you donít drop your elbow, donít lift your bridge hand after you contact the cue ball, and move your head forward, not up.

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