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Darren Appleton

Instruction Articles:
• 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

• 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

• 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

Nine-Ball One-Hole
July 2020

Hereís a great little drill for all levels.

One thing Iíve noticed during the worldwide quarantine is that players with access to a table, amateurs and pros, have been enjoying the challenge of drills. With just you and a table, itís difficult to stay focused and motivated simply throwing balls on the table. Doing drills offers a challenge and forces you to really stay mentally sharp even when playing alone.

Here is a nice 9-ball one-pocket drill for all levels. The rules are simple: Start with ball in hand, pocket the balls in numerical order into one pocket and the cue ball canít contact another ball.

This is an excellent drill for learning to play in tight spaces. It requires really good touch, and staying on the right side of the ball is essential. Itís also a very good drill to assess table speed and knowledge of the rails.

Set up the balls as shown and start with the 1 ball using draw and a touch of left English. With the 2 ball you have a little more room to let your stroke out. The deeper you go into the drill, the more you can start using normal strokes to get above each ball. Thatís the way to keep the drill easy. Donít worry if you get straight on a ball. That just means youíve got to test yourself and be a little more creative. Remember, nobody has a perfect cue ball, so donít punish yourself too much. Figuring out the puzzle in front of you forces you to use some imagination, gaining important knowledge in the process.

The tricky shot in this drill is the 8 ball or going from the 7 to the 8. I got on the wrong side of the 8 in my attempt, but worked through it. It can be a little frustrating, but making progress is the key. Create personal goals and the drill will keep you wanting to try again and again. If you only make it to the 4, 5 or 6, keep trying to reach the next ball.

This drill will really improve your cue ball control and will help you immensely when you return to real-time games.

Visit my YouTube page to see how I completed the drill.