If I had to break down Taking Breaks, these are the 3 main reasons:
- You need to go to the bathroom or smoke a cigarette, Or
- You are losing and need to regroup, Or
- Your opponent is on a good dash, and you need to slow them down.
However, I only do the first one, most of the time (don't follow my lead).
You see, just as I have had bad experiences in the past with cheesing the 9ball, I had a very bad experience once when I took a break.
I was playing in a Ladies Tournament in Florida in the late 90s against a real good player. I was up in the match and she decided to take a break to slow down my momentum and to help her regain hers.
I sat in my chair as she went to the bathroom for her self-pep talk, and was just sitting there, minding my own business.
A friend came up to me and was very adamant with me, "You need to take a break too! She's trying to get under your skin, and you need to also take a break and get away from the table."
"Oh, okay," I said as I walked away, not sure where to walk to or what to do.
And of course all I could think of was how well I was playing, that I was ahead, while also thinking about what this friend said. Which of course was the very wrong thing to do. Up until that point, I had never really thought people took breaks for strategy.
She came back, shooting lights out and I fell into her trap and faltered like a turtle hiding in its own shell and ended up losing the match.
I can't say for certain if I lost focus because *I* also took a break, Or if it was my friends' comments that got me, Or, maybe her taking a break iced me.
Either way, now I don't like to take breaks.
I am not a stupid person and so I know that taking breaks during certain critical times during matches is crucial, but I just don't take break unless I really have to use the bathroom or I need to step outside to shout in frustration.
I see people who are way down in matches and take a break. I also see people who are missing shots and take a break. Or the player who recognizes that it would ice their opponent if a break is taken.
There are two players that do this perfectly on the OB Cues Ladies Tour. Their breaks are calculating and timed well to either give them a boost or ice their opponent. It really is kind of a beautiful thing to witness, at the same time a tactic imo. But, it's not illegal. And the NFL ices the kicker all the time, so it is fairly common.
My problem is when they do it to me, I know what they are trying to do. And THAT gets to me.
I need to look at breaks as a good thing, not a "trap" lol.
I also would like to recognize more when I should take breaks. Sometimes I do, but other times I just fight on.
Breaks are tied directly to being aware of what is going on in your match.