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Darren Appleton


Instruction Articles:
• June 2024
Circle the wagons


• May 2024
Rehearse Your Lines


• April 2024
Lucky Seven


• 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
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


 
More for the Road
March 2024

More basic position shots for beginners.

In part one of basic position shots introduced last month, I discussed finding the gaps and how important your understanding of cue ball control is in playing patterns. In Part Two, weíll shift to bumping target balls.
Now, I know what youíre thinking: Why practice bumping into balls when the object in pattern play is avoid bumping balls? Well, there are times you want to break balls out, and this drill will give you more confidence with how much spin to use. Youíll know how much spin to use on virtually any shot.
The rules are simple: Place the cue ball and 9 ball as shown for each shot ó 9 ball at the middle diamond on the end rail; cue ball a half diamond from the short rail and one diamond from the long rail. Pocket the 9 ball and bump the target ball.
Start by pocketing the 9 and bumping the 5 ball (Diagram One). This requires more spin than the first shot in Part One, where you were sliding the cue ball between the 5 and 4. A good tip or more will be required.
The second shot is tricky (Diagram Two, Shot 2). Itís important not to overspin the ball and itís easy to hit it too hard. A trace of left and a smooth stroke. Donít jab at the ball.




The shot to get to the 3 ball (Shot 3) looks easy, but itís likely to be the shot you struggle with most. Itís easy to quit on this ball and have the cue ball go between the 3 and 4. And itís easy to hit too low or too hard and miss the 3 on the left. Just above center and not too hard, but donít let up on the stroke.
On the fourth shot (Diagram Three, Shot 4), use a tip below center and a half tip of right to get to the 2 ball. Condition of the cloth and balls will impact these shots, so experiment with them.
I hit this last shot (Shot 5) so low that you might think Iím crazy, but every pro will play this the same way. Make sure you stroke the ball but not too hard. The cue ball will bite quicker.

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