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Darren Appleton


Instruction Articles:
• 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


• 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


 
Rehearse Your Lines
May 2024

A simple drill to prevent you from missing your lines.

I see so many league and amateur players miss their lines. And by ďmissing their lines,Ē I mean they arenít sure where the cue ball is going after contact. Knowing the physics of the cue ball path after contact is absolutely critical to taking your game to the next level.

In particular, players become fixated on the 90-degree tangent line and donít take into consideration shots using natural roll. The truth is, you play more shots rolling the cue ball with follow than any other cue ball action, and that path does not follow the tangent line.

Here is a drill that, if practiced consistently, will help your game jump to the next level. This drill has several versions, and in this issue, weíll look at Version One. Itís easy to set up and it will test your skills and more importantly improve your game by helping you understand the importance of using the rails to help you with speed control and coming into the proper angles.



This is a rotation drill, so all the numbered balls are at the diamonds. You get ball in hand on every shot and the object is to pocket the object ball and bump each ball in rotation. The caveat is that every shot must have high natural rolling cue ball only. No punch shots or draw. No spin.

This looks simple and easy but, trust me, itís not. I usually put the cue ball one or two feet from the object. Donít get further away than that. Just a nice angle to contact the 1 ball. Same thing on Shot 2 with the 2 ball, using that natural line.

Shot 3 is a little tricky, using high cue ball with no English. Line this up just off straight.

Go to the other side of the table to find the natural path to hit the 4 ball. Same with the 5.

For the 6, go back to the opposite side again for the same angle as the one used for Shot 4.

For the last three balls, use the same paths as Shots 3, 2 and 1, respectively.

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