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Darren Appleton

Instruction Articles:
One Extra Ball
July 2019

The extra ball in 10-ball creates more traffic. Be ready.

Most of the drills I do are beneficial in all rotation games, but Iíve been focusing on 10-ball recently in preparation of the World 10-Ball Championships in Las Vegas in July. I need the practice because I havenít played 10-ball for months. This is a perfect drill to work on patterns and to get the feel back.

The one extra ball from traditional 9-ball doesnít sound like much, but it does make a difference and adds to the traffic on the table, creating tougher layouts. Because of that, you need to use a little more imagination to negotiate the traffic, and staying on the right side of the object ball becomes even more critical. That is why this will be the drill that I focus on. You canít make a living in a championship tournament against the best players in the world if you donít keep the cue ball on the correct side of the balls, no matter what kind of pattern it is.

This isnít the most difficult drill I do but it requires good cue ball control. Also, in the first eight shots Iím trying to put the cue ball in a tight area in the middle of the table. This keeps me on the right side of the ball, which is going to go a long way to playing perfect patterns. I am also getting a lot of feedback about speed and about the rails.

Position the balls as shown in Diagram One. Shots 1-4 require a tip of inside English with follow. On shots 5-8 (Diagram Two) try to keep on the right side of the next shot, which makes position natural and so much easier. The difference here is that these shots require more punch with a tip of outside English to help the cue ball swing around the rails better and reach the center of the table.

With the 9 ball and 10 ball (Diagram Three), I try to take the side pockets and corner pockets out of play. I play with a lot of high inside English and go three rails. This takes the pockets out of play, eliminating concern over the cue ball, and allows you to get good position on the 10 ball.