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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

• 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

• 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

Saddle up!
February 2020

Itís Derby time, and that means one-pocket.

Itís Derby City Classic time, and that means One-Pocket! One-pocket is such an American game and it fascinates players all over the world.

Hereís a drill for all levels. Itís not very difficult and it benefits all games. Running eight balls in one-pocket requires good cue ball control and speed control because getting on the wrong side of the next object ball usually results in making life more difficult for yourself.

The setup and rules are simple: Pocket the 1 through 9 all in the same pocket.

I like to let my shot out and use four rails on the 1 ball (Diagram One). Itís easy to get the right shape. If you shoot softer and go just two rails, you can come up way short or get too far down table and leave less angle. Strike the cue ball at approximately 4 oíclock. The 2 ball is a simple center ball shot with a touch of left. Let the cue ball float over.

There are two options for the 3 ball (Diagram Two). I would not go the four-rail route (like the shot on the 1 ball) because it isnít easy to get shape on the 4 ball this way. I feel I can get better position using two rails. The key is to not baby the ball and come up short, leaving too thin an angle. If you land properly on the 3, the angle is pretty natural.

The 4 ball is just a hair of left English and high cue ball to come across a little higher for a nice angle on the 5. I would play the 5 the same way I played the 3.

There are two options on the 6 ball (Diagram Three), one rail or two. Two rails is probably the safer option.

In the diagram, I didnít leave enough for the 7 ball, but that happens. In this instance, itís okay to use two rails.

Use the same approach for the 8 ball, maybe a touch higher on the cue ball because there is less angle and you will need more of a punch shot. No English is required and you should end up with perfect position on the 9.

If you want to improve your runs in one-pocket, this is a great drill. Stay close to your work. Your confidence in match situations will soar.