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Darren Appleton

Instruction Articles:
• September 2023
More Money Ball

• August 2023
No rails, part II

• July 2023
Look Ma, No Rails!

• June 2023
Triangle To Triangle

• May 2023
Zone Blitz

• April 2023
Money Ball Drill II

• March 2023
Money Ball Drill

• January 2023
The Dreaded Shootout

• December 2022
Alternate Universe

• November 2022
Close Quarters

• October 2022
Corner to Corner

• September 2022
Diamond in the Rough

• August 2022
Draw Bridge

• June 2022
I Detect A Pattern

• June 2022
Stay Close to Work

• May 2022
Amateur Approved

• April 2022
Two for One

• March 2022
The Straight Secret

• February 2022
The Correct Shot

• January 2022
End Game, Part II

• December 2021
Buying Off The Shelf

• November 2021
Look, Ma! No Rails!

• October 2021
The Oval Drill

• September 2021
Getting In Shape

• August 2021

• July 2021
V For Victory

• June 2021
More Pattern Drills

• May 2021
Patterns and speed

• April 2021
See a pattern?

• March 2021
Blind Man

• February 2021
Five Up, Five Down

• January 2021
Donít Lag Behind

• December 2020
Head games

• November 2020
Life on the Edge

• October 2020
The Family Tree

• September 2020
A Dip of the Tip

• August 2020
The Big Diamond

• July 2020
Nine-Ball One-Hole

• June 2020
Youíll 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

• June 2019
Two-Pocket Drill

• 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

• 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
ďVĒ 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
Bankerís 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

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.