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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
Don’t 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
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

• October 2019
Money Balls

• September 2019
Captain Zig-zag

• August 2019
15-Ball, No Rails

• July 2019
One Extra Ball

• 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
“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

Up and Down
November 2019

A rotation drill that works all facets of your game.

The drills that I set up are often exercises that focus on cue ball control and pattern play. The best way to work on those elements is to go up and down the table from shot to shot. This “Up and Down” 10-ball drill is in that vein, requiring that you stay on the right side of the ball and control your speed. Even played perfectly, this drill will force you to navigate a few tricky cut shots, shots that require a good stroke and a decent amount of trust.

Set up the 1-10 as shown in Diagram One. You must run the balls in rotation and the cue ball must stay on the same side of the table. Naturally, the cue ball is not allowed to make contact with another object ball. The cue ball must also hit the short rail first on each shot and must contact at least one more rail.

The opening shots are relatively easy, playing the cue ball just below center and with a trace of left English. I prefer to use three rails for better control of the cue ball’s speed. This approach allows me to let my stroke out. That way, slightly over hitting the shot won’t hurt too much. Attempting these shots using only two rails is tougher to judge.

For the 3 and 4 balls, I use high, running English. Take the same approach to the 5 and 6. The position of the 5 and 6 (further out from the end rail, meaning a shorter distance to travel) allows you to cue just above center cue ball. This will make the cue ball go a little wider, guaranteeing an angle on the next shot.

The same holds true on the 7, 8, 9 and 10 balls. Using a touch of running English. Of course, the amount of English will depend on the steepness of the angle on your shot. The tighter the angle, the more running English you’ll want to add. Don’t be afraid to add spin.

This is one of my favorite drills. It requires good strokes, trust in your execution and is great for getting a feel for the table and how the rails react. It’s not an easy drill, but it’s a good challenge. Push yourself to improve your results every time you attempt the drill.