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Darren Appleton


Instruction Articles:
• June 2024
Circle the wagons


• May 2024
Rehearse Your Lines


• 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
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


 
Lucky Seven
April 2024

This seven-ball drill is perfect for beginners and intermediate players.

This seven-ball pattern drill is a must for beginners and intermediate players looking to improve pattern play.
The number one mistake of most amateurs is landing on the wrong side of the ball. Thatís why thinking three balls ahead is so critical. It paints a picture of the pattern in your head before you start shooting. Perfect this drill and you will understand the importance of making life easier for yourself by staying on the right side of the ball. And always keep it simple. Thatís what the pros do. You wonít last long needing to constantly spin the cue ball around to get back in shape.
The rules here are simple:
Set the balls as shown and start with cue ball in hand. The cue ball must contact at least one rail but is not allowed to touch another ball. Odd numbered balls must be pocketed in top right pocket, even numbered balls in the bottom right. The 7 ball must be pocketed in a middle pocket.
Higher level players can add the 8 and 9 (8 on left bottom rail center diamond, 9 ball on the opposite center diamond), which may be pocketed in either corner.




Try to follow the patterns shown in the diagrams. This is my ideal approach to the pattern. The first three shots are relatively simple: Bottom right and let the spin do the work. Adjust the amount of right as needed.
The 4 ball is critical because you donít want to land on the wrong side of the 5 (or land straight in). Take the angle the table gives you.
You need to trust your stroke on the 5 and 6, hitting high and right on the cue ball. Drive through the ball and let the cue ball do the work. You donít need to power it. Also, remember to stay down on these shots. Amateurs tend to get over-anxious on these and jump up.
And if you hit these correctly, the 7 ball should be nice and easy.
(If you add the 8 and 9, leave an angle on the 8 to spin the cue ball two or three rails, or come straight up and down.)

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