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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

• 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

• 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

• 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

Circle the wagons
June 2024

The ultimate Wagon Wheel drill will really test you ó and reward you.

If youíve been working on the first version of the wagon wheel drill from last month, you should be ready for version two. This is the ultimate test. In fact, youíll need a few extra balls to set this up. And if you can complete this, youíre really improving your cue ball control and position play and understanding the physics of the cue ball. The cue ball is your most powerful weapon.

Once again, here are the rules:

All the numbered balls are at the diamonds, with the key ball (can be a cue ball to start) at the center of the table. Starting with ball in hand, pocket the key ball and bump the object balls on the rails in rotation. You can shoot the key ball into any pocket. After each shot, replace the pocketed ball at the center of the table with the ball you bumped and take cue ball in hand again.

Every shot must have high natural rolling cue ball only. No punch shots or draw. No spin. Restart after every mistake.

There are 18 shots to complete here. If you can complete this within 36 shots, that a good effort. In fact, it doesnít matter if it takes 50 shots or more. Just keep trying to improve your score. Itís not easy for high level pros to complete this in the minimum number of shots, so set realistic goals.

What I love about this drill is that you will play at least one of these shots in every rack you ever play. Youíre going to love this drill and hate this drill. But you will develop a great understanding of natural lines.

I wonít go through all 18 shots, but here are some thoughts and things to remember while going through the drill. Remember, these shots are all follow with no English, so you keep repeating the same process for each shot. Itís the angle that changes, and understanding those angles is what this drill is all about.

The most challenging shots will likely be on the 4 ball and the 14 ball. You need to leave a big angle and take the object ball into a side pocket. You could also take it to the corner and go around the table, but you canít touch another ball.

Work on this drill and it will benefit all your games, including 8-ball, straight pool and one-pocket.