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Darren Appleton


Instruction Articles:
• September 2020
A Dip of the Tip


• August 2020
The Big Diamond


• July 2020
Nine-Ball One-Hole


• June 2020
You’ll Kick Yourself


• May 2020
Tight Quarters


• April 2020
Cue Ball Control


• March 2020
Straight Cueing


• February 2020
Saddle up!


• January 2020
9-ball Crossover


• December 2019
Ride Those Rails


• November 2019
Up and Down


• October 2019
Money Balls


• September 2019
Captain Zig-zag


• August 2019
15-Ball, No Rails


• July 2019
One Extra Ball


• May 2019
Up and Down


• April 2019
Ultimate Rotation


• March 2019
In A Good Spot


• February 2019
Center Cut


• January 2019
Breaking Bad Habits


• December 2018
Monster!


• November 2018
X marks the spot


• October 2018
Striking It Rich


• September 2018
So Many Options


• August 2018
Put Hangers On Rail


• July 2018
Mirror, Mirror II


• June 2018
Mirror, Mirror


• May 2018
“V” for Victory


• April 2018
Up and Down


• March 2018
Kick Into High Gear


• February 2018
Up and Down


• January 2018
Up To The Challenge


• November 2017
Taking A Break


• October 2017
End Game Safeties


• September 2017
Get Comfortable


• July 2017
Shape Up For Summer!


• June 2017
The Selection Process


• May 2017
Two For One


• April 2017
A Ghost of a Chance


• March 2017
Banker’s Holiday


• February 2017
Great Eight


• January 2017
Getting Into Shape


• December 2016
Hocus, Focus


• November 2016
Kicking Into High Gear


• October 2016
More Drill Bits


• September 2016
Hand Model


• August 2016
Breaking Tradition


• July 2016
Drawing On Experience


• May 2016
Proper Practice


• April 2016
Drilling For Improvement


• March 2016
Mind Games


 
Two-Pocket Drill
June 2019

This tricky rotation drill will test your stroke and speed.

It is always advisable to mix up your practice drills so that you can work on different parts of your game. This month’s drill is a rotation drill that forces you to focus on cue ball speed and using two or three rails on every shot. It’s a tricky little drill that looks easy on paper but is guaranteed to frustrate a lot of players. It requires a good, solid stroke and proper use of English.

Set up the balls as shown in Diagram One. The 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 get lined up from the center spot along the end rail to the second diamond (foot spot). At the other end of the table, line up the 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 from the center spot along the top rail to the second diamond (head spot).

Starting with cue ball in hand, shoot the balls in rotation, making the 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 in pocket B and the 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 in pocket E.

In this drill, the cue ball must hit a minimum of two rails, which will really help you develop your feel for English and cue ball speed. Obviously, the cue ball is not allowed to make contact with another ball.



Most of these shots will call for low left English and a pretty powerful stroke.You will get a good feel for the table and how it reacts to power strokes and English. This drill will also give you a good feel for the rails and speed, which are two of the most important factors in rotation games.

Like always, the secret is to stay on the right side of the ball. It will make position infinitely easier for the next shot.

I like this drill a lot because every shot requires you to use the entire length of the table. This drill, and drills like it, will be a big boost to your pattern play and in your confidence in cue ball speed. Of course, you will be required to be a little creative if you get out of line with any of the shots. See if you can find your way back in line.

This is a drill that can be completed, but it requires a lot of concentration on every shot.

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