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Darren Appleton

Instruction Articles:
• 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

• 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

• 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

Tight Quarters
May 2020

Being able to maneuver in tight spaces is a valuable skill.

I’ve been been fortunate to have access to a table during these difficult times. It has allowed me to work on a lot of drills and tips for all levels that I have uploaded to my YouTube channel, youtube.com/greatwhite76.

One of the drills I’ve posted is the 9-ball drill shown here. It requires cue ball control and playing into short, small areas. This is especially true on the first five shots. After that you can put a bigger stroke on the ball, but you will still need good cue ball control.

The rules are simple. Place the balls as shown in Diagram One and start with cue ball in hand. Run the balls in numerical order, contacting at least one rail on each shot and avoiding contact with any other ball. Follow the paths as shown in the diagrams and you’ll learn a lot about controlling your cue ball.

Start on the 1 ball with a touch of right English and a nice, easy hit. Come straight off the bottom rail for the 2 ball, on which you will use straight follow to send the cue ball to the long rail between the 3 and 5 balls. Again, right English and an easy hit on the 3 ball will bring the cue ball straight across to the middle diamond for the 4 ball.

Use a touch of high, left English for the 4 ball (Diagram Two) with enough speed to bring the cue ball up table for a good angle on the 5 ball. A nice smooth stroke at around 4 o’clock will bring the cue ball back across table to the long rail just below the side pocket and out for the 6 ball. You can let your stroke out a bit for the 6 ball, using just a touch of low left English to bring the cue ball across to the other side of the table just above the side pocket for position on the 7 ball.

Again, you’re going to let your stroke out and draw the cue ball across table above the side pocket to get from the 7 to the 8 (Diagram Three). Strike the cue ball around 4 o’clock. From the 8 to the 9, you’ll use low left English, striking the cue ball around 8 o’clock for straight-in position on the 9 ball.