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Darren Appleton


Instruction Articles:
• 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


• 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
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
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


• 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
“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


 
We’re in the Money
November 2023

Another money ball drill to harden your nerve in clutch moments.

As I’ve said numerous times, the hardest part of the game is getting over the line. That holds true for all players, from beginner to pro. That’s why many of my recent drills have been “money ball” drills. The idea is to continually be faced with the money ball so that it becomes second nature to treat it like nothing more than the next shot.

Drills like this will help you stay composed in those crunch situations by getting over the end game nerves. This is also a great pattern drill and will improve cue ball control and cue ball speed. Also, by thinking three balls ahead, you’ll always know which side of the next object ball you want to be on.

You can play different levels of this drill, intermediate and pro level. In both versions, you start with cue ball in hand and run the balls in rotation, shooting the 9 ball after each shot. So, 1-9, 2-9, 3-9, and so on. You can shoot the 9 into any pocket and don’t have to hit a rail after contact.

For the pro level, you must contact at least one rail, and the cue ball must hit the short rail after making each 9 ball. Also, all 9s must be made into a side pocket.



Again, this is a great drill because repeating it over and over will pay huge dividends, not only in your position play, but your ability to stay composed when the money shot does come up.

Using the pro version, I started by using top left on the 1 ball. For the 9, I hit the cue ball with a soft punch/draw and a half tip of right English to go between the 4 ball and the 8 ball.

For the next few shots, I used high ball, alternating between a touch of right and a touch of left. Remember, in the pro version the cue ball must hit the short rail from the 9 ball, so early on you’re playing between two balls on the short rail.

Also, don’t forget on the final 9 ball the cue ball still must strike a short rail, so play for an angle even on the last money ball.

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