ƒƒƒn is as loud as you can go, pppn is as quiet as you can go.
The distance the stick needs to travel to achieve either of these is irrelevant.
If you can make the guitarist blink from 3" off the skin, you've got one end of the scale.
If the audience thinks you stopped hitting the skins you reached the other.
Everything else is in between.
If you're playing with a single acoustic guitarist singer/songwriter & no-one has a mic then everything you do is going to be compressed towards the ppp end of the scale.
If you join 'Ultra-Mega-Killer-Death' as their new time-keeper, you may never need a p again [I'm sure I could have phrased that better]
If you ever break a stick, you're playing too hard, which is not the same as loud. Loud is technique, not aggression. Aggression may form part of the musical style, but if you're playing with a 30-piece jazz orchestra rather than mega-ultra-whoever-they-were... then you need technique.
I had 20 years out from playing drums. When i came back to it I was rusty as all heck. Not a beginner, but I couldn't do half what I thought I ought to be able to.
I honed back in over about 3 months [many solo rehearsals, long hours] & I found the thing that got me best into the old feel was just playing along to 'records'... CD, cassette, iPod, take your pick - using 2 methods.
With headphones - this way you can immerse yourself in the song you're playing & just enjoy it. If you crank the cans up loud enough to feel like a rock gig, you can hammer away to your heart's content.
With speakers - you need a sizeable rig to overpower a drum kit in a rehearsal room, so this is your opportunity to drop the levels & work as though you're a member of a living orchestration. You have to control your levels so you can still hear what the others are doing. You're still playing the same part, but you have to control your dynamics & not overpower what you're playing along to, or you'll no longer be able to hear sufficient of it to keep in time with a track that won't wait for you.