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Darren Appleton


Instruction Articles:
• November 2023
Weíre in the Money


• 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
Corner-To-Corner


• 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


• 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
Monster!


• 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


 
Four-level Drill
October 2023

This 15 ball drill will help with every part of your position game.

Here is a great drill for all levels that focuses on cue ball control, pattern play, playing in tight spaces, speed control and touch. There are four levels to this drill. Start where you feel comfortable and try to move up.

This is a great drill to keep your mind active and sharp. You canít switch off for a second. Youíll have to understand the cue ball and keep tight control of it. Focus is critical.

Set up the table as show in Diagram One. All levels start with ball in hand, and youíre not allowed to bump balls. For Level 4, youíre allowed to use the rails and shoot the balls in any order. For Level 2, youíre not allowed to use the rails. Level 4 may use the rails, but the balls must be shot in rotation. And for Level 1, you may not use the rails and the balls must be shot in rotation.

The diagrams show my progression through the pro version, Level 1, but if you are starting at Level 4, I still suggest taking one of the outside balls first and keep the cue ball away from the rails. This will create more options for yourself. Itís also easier to control the cue ball.



As you follow the shots through the diagrams, you can see how important it is to stay on the right side of the object balls (or straight, in some cases). Once you get to the 5 and 6, the side pockets will help make life much easier.

One of the tricky sections is the 7 and 8, so you want to be on the right side of the 6 ball. Stay as close as you can to the 7. Once you get to the 8 ball youíll have a little more room to breath.

The key shot, to me, is the 9 ball. Especially at Level 1, where you canít contact a rail, you donít want to land short on the 10.

Make sure you get the right angle on the 11 to play shape for the 12 in the corner. This will give you room.

The final key shot is position on the 13 ball. At that point, youíre pretty much home free. A nice easy draw back for the 13 and punch draw for the 14. Slide over for the 15 and youíre home!

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