rekoons wrote:Hi chengdu, here are my mini breaks, balls weren't nicely positioned a lot, which is what I need to be able to make some bigger breaks.
17, 15, 11, 13 and 12
Rekoons, what I take away from your scoreline is that you are making four ball breaks just about every single frame. That is great. ChengduFan regularly mentions "10+" breaks, but to be clear, what we are really talking about is four ball breaks. The maths is simple enough to understand....10-16 four ball, 17-24 six ball, 25-32 eight ball, etc. Do you know the difference between a four ball break in the teens and an eight or ten ball break in the 30's in terms of table analysis/management and shot selection? Nothin'. Four ball breaks means you are seeing the correct "next shot" and moving the White around appropriately. And if you are doing that with regularity, then you already have the skills to run 8 or 10 in a row. All you need to do is to actually make the pots and THAT is the physical skills portion of it that Chengdu is talking about in one of his posts above. Obviously, one must have reasonable consistency in potting skills, but one does NOT need to be potting them off the lamp shades all day, every day in order to run the occasional 20+ or 30+.
Anybody, and I mean anybody, can make two ball breaks, aka single digit breaks. I witness far, far, far too many incredible breaks with an end value of 1 point. On a much too regular basis, I witness an opponent line up a fantastically difficult pot of a Red, ponder, get down, get up, walk around some more, then finally, pot a superlative Red that would make Joe Davis roll over in his grave. And the White does nothing. The position left on Colour (if we can even use the term "position" since the mere concept obviously had no bearing on the shot selection anyway) is hideous; even worse than the difficulty level of the original pot of Red. And of course, the break ends at 1. Happens way, way, way too much.
By demonstrating ability to compile four balls on a regular basis, you clearly have the skills to run 30+ on an occasional basis. 40+ and better is a whole different game because that will generally require not only analyzing the lay of the balls on the table, but in fact manipulating
the balls on the table. Strokes like the Pink/Black nudge, or bumping balls off cushion. So getting to the four ball break step is probably the biggest leap in skill that most snooker players will ever reach. For ChengduFan and Juddernaut, there is a way to judge if you are at least improving toward this goal even before you actually reach the goal. And it goes back to watching the pros from the 70's and 80's and it is this......take note of EVERY stroke you play, did you plan and account for EVERY ball that moved on the table surface when you played the stroke you decided on? In general for most shots of course the only balls to move should be the cue ball and the object ball. Occasionally, you will need to plan for nudges but you should have them well-visualized in your mind before you play them. And learn from your results. If your strokes regularly result in other balls being moved around that you had not envisioned and/or planned for, then chances are that you aren't doing something correctly. Once you understand and employ this, the four ball breaks will start happening often.
As example again going back to my break above (not to self-congratulate or harp on it, it is a good break, but far from my best; it is just convenient because the video is there), looking at each stroke, only cue and object moved on every stroke except 1) the Blue in middle which was intended to develop Reds without specific outcome, 2) Pink/Black nudge to put them both in pottable positions, and 3) last pot of Black which was the mistake to end break. In my mind, the intent was to stun past that Red to leave it into the opposite corner. I failed by adding a touch too much screw.
I think that most players do not realize a fundamental paradigm of Professional Snooker gameplay. When a professional player is on a break, they will rarely play cut shots thinner than 3/4 ball. If they purposely leave for themselves a thinner cut than that, then it is far more difficult to calculate positional outcomes because the White will go careening around the table and possibly impact other balls with unpredictable results. 3/4 ball and thicker means you can stun the cue ball the way you want: top, screw, soft, strong. Rekoons, I think you will agree that this is exactly what you meant when you mentioned assessing the "natural path" of White when you were in a situation that you just cannot exactly assess what your precise positional play is going to be. This is often the case when you leave yourself a half-ball or a thin cut. If it is not possible to know exactly where the White will end up after your stroke, at the very least, be very damn sure of where it will NOT end up, i.e., in a pocket for an in off foul, as you mentioned.
Anyone who thoroughly understands these principles is surely on the path to becoming a four ball breaker. And anyone who is a four ball breaker (or better) obviously thoroughly understands these principles (either objectively, or possibly intuitively). And the next step after consistent four ball breaks is the occasional six- and eight-ball, 20+ and 30+. The steps between are significant, but really not all that large.