Should I use an extended follow through on the break shot?

This is a question of cause and effect. A follow-through strictly has no influence on the cue ball because the cue tip is in contact with the cue ball for only a very short amount of time (approximately 0.001 seconds). The only things that significantly affect the breaking power for a given cue stick are cue stick speed at impact, tip offset (distance away from a center ball hit), and the squareness of the hit on the lead ball. However, if a powerful stroke does not exhibit a big follow-through, it is either not very powerful, or effort is being made to limit the follow-through. If one tries to constrain the follow-through, one will probably not achieve maximum speed at impact. Many authors and instructors recommend trying to “accelerate through the ball” for power shots. This thinking often helps one create good power, and it results in significant follow-through.

Follow-through can also be important in achieving good action on draw shots (although, not always for the reasons people think). For more info, see “Draw Shot Primer – Part V: how to achieve good draw action” (BD, May, 2006). In particular, see item “b” under “other advice” and item “5” under “stroke best practices.” I think these points apply equally well to both a power break and a power draw.


from Fran Crimi:

Besides making sure the rack is tight, you MUST exaggerate your follow-through. Even if you think you are following through enough, push through even more. Watch Strickland’s follow-through. The cue literally comes out of his bridge hand and is extended all the way down the table. It’s difficult to master that letting-go technique with accuracy but with lots of practice, it will pay off in spades.

The other option is to leave the cue in your bridge hand but with an over-extended follow-through, if you lean into the break shot, you will definitely bend the shaft and possibly crack or break it like some other players do.

I prefer the letting-go technique.

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