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Darren Appleton

Instruction Articles:
• 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

• 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

See a pattern?
April 2021

This 10-ball drill puts a premium on cue ball speed and patterns.

Here is a nice pattern drill that makes you focus on cue ball speed and staying on the right side of the object ball. It is an easy drill to set up, and pocketing the balls is the simple part. This will help you concentrate on patterns and using the rails to get your cue ball into place. Like I always say, if you have a good cue ball, the game is easy.

The rules are pretty simple: Starting with cue ball in hand, run the balls in rotation. You are not allowed to bump another ball. You can pocket the 10 ball in any pocket. I would advise that you try to use at least one rail to work on your pattern play.

For players with a FargoRate above 500, the drill gets tougher. Start with the cue ball on the dot, as shown in Diagram One. The cue ball must contact at least two rails. Also, odd-numbered balls must be made in the bottom left and even-numbered balls in the bottom right, including the 10 ball.

This is how I would play this drill:

Use bottom right on the 1 ball and come across two rails, leaving a nice angle on the 2 ball. I use both long rails on this shot (Diagraam One).

The same with the 2 ball (Diagram Two), only a tip of left English and just below center. I would also use both long rails on the 3 ball and 4 ball, using follow and alternating a tip of left and right English, respectively.

For the 5-9 (Diagram Three), play off the short and long rail. Again, alternating a tip of right for the odd-numbered balls and a tip of left English on the even-numbered balls.

On the 9, you will need to hit the ball firm to gain position on the 10 ball. Strike the cue ball just below center with a tip of left and punch the ball in.

This drill looks easy but it will definitely keep you busy. Donít get discouraged if you canít complete the drill right away. Always try to beat your best score. As you get more consistent, it will definitely help you in competition because your brain will be programmed.