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Darren Appleton

Instruction Articles:
• June 2024
Circle the wagons

• May 2024
Rehearse Your Lines

• April 2024
Lucky Seven

• March 2024
More for the Road

• February 2024
Four for the Road

• January 2024
Corner the Market

• December 2023
Look Ma, No Cushions

• November 2023
Weíre in the Money

• October 2023
Four-level Drill

• 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

• 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!

• 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

Five Up, Five Down
February 2021

10-ball pattern drill focuses on cue ball speed control.

Like most of the drills I do, this 10-ball pattern drill requires you to use multiple facets of your game ó speed control, cue ball control, follow, draw, English. Rotation games always require you to think and use those different shots because the balls almost always force you to go up and down and around the table. This is a great drill for amateur players and player that need to improve cue ball speed.

This drill is about simplicity. The key is to keep the cue ball away from the rails. You want to stay pretty close to the center of the table, which will afford you many more options for each shot. I see so many players leaving the cue ball too close to the rail in rotation games, which really makes getting around the table much more difficult. Staying in the center of the table will make run outs so much easier.

The rules are simple. The balls must be pocketed in rotation and you are not allowed to make contact with another ball.

If your FargoRate is under 500, you are allowed to shoot the balls into any pocket, including the side pockets.

If your FargoRate is above 500, try limiting yourself to set pockets ó odd numbers into bottom right-hand corner and even numbers in top left corner.

Starting with cue ball in hand, use follow on the first four shots (Diagram One). Use a trace of left English for the 1 ball and 2 ball, a trace of right on the 3 ball (put some stroke on this shot) and a trace of left on the 4 ball.

If you can, land straight on the 5 ball (Diagram Two) and use a soft draw. Again, straight in on the 6 is not a bad option. This will allow you to punch the cue ball with a little right to get a nice angle on the 7.

From there, you will utilize the side rails for the final shots. Getting the cue ball in the right spot for the 8 is critical if you are attempting this with the 500-plus FargoRate rules. The 8 ball is the key shot, because the 9 ball and 10 ball will be tricky if you donít land right on the 9. Use follow, with a touch of right on the 8. Another option is using the second rail to make sure you get the proper angle on the 9. Soft stun follow will allow you to get on the 10 ball. It is important to feel this shot and not get tensed up. If you hit it too hard or draw, you could kiss the 10 or even scratch into the side pocket. Also, you donít want the pressure of leaving yourself long on the 10 ball.

Donít be afraid to attack the cue ball. Be in control of the cue ball instead of letting the cue ball control you.