Finding the quarter

Many pool playing systems, namely aiming systems, use different segments of a ball for alignments such as edges, centers and quarters. The edges are pretty easy to obtain, as is the center. The quarters however, are not quite as obvious. Most systems assume that “eye-balling” the quarter is going to be precise enough, and with practice you can learn to “just see it”. But, is there a mathematical way to know the true quarter? Yes there is.

Lets look at the right quarter. When you look at the face of a ball, the 12:00 and 3:00 lines are very easy to visualize: straight up and straight right. The line that is exactly between those is 1:30. Again, very easy to visualize. Now if you imagine a line connecting 12:00 and 3:00 (forming a triangle), it bisects the quarter ball segment. Likewise, this line bisects the 1/8th ball segment, as you can see below.

Although you can use the exact bisecting lines to find the quarters, I like to just look at the perimeter of the ball. If you look at the red dot at the 1:30 mark, you can see how far up the quarter mark red dot is, and also how far down the 1/8th mark red dot is. I memorize these distances, which only takes a handful of shots to get the hang of. Either method works, it is personal preference which one you like.

It is also useful to know that on a modern stripe ball, the stripe edge is 1/16th of an inch outside the true quarter. Old centennial stripe balls are exactly on the quarter.

CTE: dissecting the pivot

It has been a while since I made a post. Two young kids, busy work, life happens. I’ll try to do better ðŸ™‚ Meanwhile, Stan Shuffett continues to refine and discover new things about CTE, and I’m pretty excited to see what he has in store for his book coming out! Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about the pivot in CTE.

Over the years there has been a lot of controversy about the pivot. Especially from those that have not taken the time to understand CTE from an experienced point-of-view. Those that do know and understand CTE, they don’t worry about the pivot. They know that if they follow the prescribed steps, they get the result they are after. This is not good enough for those on the other side of the fence, and I don’t blame them! I was there once myself.

A post, I believe from Colin Colenso, once described and explained how a fixed pivot on the bridge hand could not possibly work. He diagrammed how a slightly bad placement of the pivot (say a millimeter or two) would throw the trajectory off at the object ball by a considerable margin. The idea that the bridge hand is always placed with such precision sounded preposterous. I think I agree with that sentiment. I know the how, but not exactly the why. So, I took upon the task of paying attention to the pivot while shooting various shots. The result was quite simple, really. The answer to the pivot is the following.

The pivot does not drive the result of the center ball alignment. Instead, the pivot takes you to the alignment that your perception has already given you. Think about that for a moment. Lets say I’m using a CTE perception, I’ve aligned the aim points and I’m down on the shot in the 1/2 tip offset position. I am ready to pivot at this point. Now, my eyes move their attention to the cue ball. I’m focusing on center ball. Looking from this offset, there is only ONE place the cue can go such that it is pointed directly through the core of the cue ball. I simply turn my cue so it is exactly on that line.

My bridge hand is a soft squishy thing (as Dave Segal stated), it is not a precision instrument. But, it is not crucial to be precise. I only need it in a proximity so that I can turn my cue onto the CCB perception I’m looking at. Through experience I have trained myself to always place my bridge hand very close to that proximity, which to be honest is nearly identical for shots longer than a diamond. We know that for the shorter shots the bridge needs to be closer. Well, a close inspection when on the 1/2 tip offset will indeed show you the line through the cue ball core is a steeper one. I recall during a lesson with Stan watching him pivot the cue on a shorter shot. The butt of the cue was moving considerably more than the longer shots, and that makes complete sense.

So to summarize, the pivot is not a mechanical rotation on the bridge hand. Instead, the pivot takes us to the center cue ball perception such that the cue points directly through the core of the object ball. If the cue needs to shift on the bridge hand slightly, that is not a problem. Even if I purposely placed my bridge hand at an unusual distance, I found myself sliding my bridge hand back during the pivot so the alignment worked.

Stan has always said that CTE is a visual system. When you find your perception alignment standing up (at ball address as Stan puts it), you then look at center cue ball, see where the cue needs to go, then move your body however necessary to put the cue there. The eyes lead, the body follows. The pivot is not all that different. You look through the core of the cue ball from the 1/2 tip offset when you are pre-pivot (full stance), and you simply put your cue on that line. If the bridge hand is placed accordingly, all it takes is a slight pivot to get there. The eyes lead. Your eyes are the most deadly accurate tool in pool, and CTE uses them to the fullest extent.

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CTE and FEEL

A common question that comes up regarding CTE aiming: is feel (conscious adjustment) involved? This can be problematic, as there are multiple contexts to this question. So first lets back up and talk about aiming in general. Continue reading

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CTE PRO ONE blind pockets

Here is a short video of me shooting (manual) CTE PRO ONE with blind pockets. By far the biggest trouble I had was determining the aim lines and pivot to use. This got easier pretty quickly. The execution itself is all the same.

You can see here I made an incorrect pivot on the first bank and caught that, then stood up and tried again. Using manual pivots it should be clear that I slide in, pivot, make zero adjustments and just stroke the shot in.

Safe shot with jump cue

When shooting a very short safety shot, it can be helpful to use your jump cue for the shot.

Playing off-handed

Shooting with your opposite hand may feel extremely clumsy, and you might think it would take too much effort to become proficient with it. Actually, our brain is pretty capable of switching things over. All your opposite hand needs is a little muscle memory.

Try practicing by running one full rack once a day with the opposite hand. Within just a few days it will feel far more comfortable than when you started. This is a must-have in your arsenal when you come across a shot requiring a bridge, but would be a cinch with the opposite hand.

CTE PRO ONE: Footwork

Stan recently posted a video regarding sweep support. One part of the video covers footwork for CTE PRO ONE, and I think this is hugely beneficial information. Here is what I learned from it. Continue reading

CTE PRO ONE: Center Cue Ball

For the purpose of this article, we are going to address the manual pivoting method of CTE PRO ONE.

Think about this for a moment. When you address a shot in pool, there are a lot of things in play. You look at the pocket, the object ball and the cue ball. Everything has to be calculated perfectly. You must address the cue ball to make perfect contact with the object ball to send it to the pocket. Often times, a challenging task. This is especially true with longer shots, thinner cuts, or when the pocket is not in peripheral view. Now, what if we could reduce the task of finding the shot line to just focusing on center cue ball? Continue reading

CTE PRO ONE Sweeps

Stan has posted a support video for Pro One Sweeps. The video was immensely helpful. On DVD #1 when Stan would show how the “V” in the bridge would align left or right of the center-to-edge line, this is actually the line through the center of the fixed cueball. The video clears this right up. Thanks Stan!

CTE PRO ONE Sweep Support Video