As far as I understand bond formation, bonds must be broken between reactant particles to allow reactant particles to form new bonds and create product particles. This involves increasing the potential energy of the reactant particles, such that the attractive forces between say, reactant A and reactant B > the attractive forces between reactant A particles.
My textbook states that reactant particles must have sufficient kinetic energy so the collisions are energetic enough to break reactant bonds. What I don't understand is how the KE of the particles is related to breaking bonds. KE describes the energy needed to shift a body from rest to a given velocity, not the magnitude of a distance between particles (potential energy). So my question is: how is KE related to collisions, potential energy and product formation?