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Darren Appleton

Instruction Articles:
• 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!

• 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

• 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

9-ball Crossover
January 2020

Channel your Mosconi Cup 9-ball fever with a fun drill.

No doubt the post-Mosconi Cup hangover has everyone itching to play 9-ball! As a treat, here is a great 9-ball drill that is a must for players of all levels.

This drill will teach you how to use one rail and the whole table. By only being able to use corner pockets, this drill will help you develop great cue ball speed control. As always, staying on the right side of the object ball is crucial.

The 9-Ball Crossover Drill is fun, but it can also be frustrating if you donít maintain your focus.

The rules are simple: Odd-numbered balls must be pocketed in the top right (1, 3) and bottom left (5, 7, 9) pockets. Even-numbered balls must be pocketed in the top left (2, 4) and bottom right (6, 8) pockets. The balls must be pocketed in rotation and you can only use one rail. Of course, you canít make contact with another ball.

Starting with ball in hand, the 1 ball and 2 ball are simple follow shots. Itís all about cue ball speed. The 3 is a soft, center ball punch shot, and the 4 is a simple follow shot.

Depending on the angle, you can play the 5 ball with an easy punch shot, running just above center cue ball. If you hit this too hard or too low, you risk scratching in the side pocket.

Slow roll the 6 with follow. When I tried this, I didnít leave enough angle on the 7, so I used a punch shot with a touch of follow.

The 8 ball is a simple follow shot and the 9 takes a trace of right English.

The nice thing with this drill is that you will really need to feel the cue ball. Using soft punch shots with easy follow through and almost no English will force you to find the center of the cue ball. Each shot looks easy, but if your speed is off, you wonít land in the proper position. Then, each shot becomes a lot more difficult. Finding a way to get back in line is a challenge, but thatís what the pros do. Contrary to what we tell you, weíre not always in line with every shot!