There has been a lot of interest in an aiming system known as “Center To Edge” or CTE. CTE is a pre-shot routine that involves the use of the line from the center of the cue ball through the outside edge of the object ball (from the intended pocket.)
CTE originated from Hal Houle. Stan Shuffett, a pool player and instructor from Kentucky, took deep interest in CTE and refined it to his own system known as CTE Pro/One. I took on the challenge of learning CTE to see if it made a difference. I am now about 9 months into learning it, and all I can say is my game is changing drastically, and in a very good way.
Exactly how CTE works can be left to another discussion. I think the reason why it works so well is due to it’s objectivity. With typical aiming systems such as “ghost ball” aiming, you are judging each and every shot with a rather large degree of guessing. That is, you imagine an invisible ball (or invisible point on the object ball), and aim the cue ball so that it contacts perfectly to make the shot. Some days this works pretty good, some days not. This system requires a lot of practice (years) to get things dialed in with a high degree of accuracy, and requires continuous practice to keep it there.
I’m sure you are all familiar with the half-ball shot. That is, you line up your aim directly to the left or right edge of the object ball. This will work on shots that are about 30 degrees to the pocket. If you setup a 30 degree shot and shoot it with a half ball hit, you should be able to make this with a very high degree of success. That makes sense, the half-ball hit is an objective target to aim at. There is no guessing where to aim, you just have to have good stance/stroke fundamentals.
CTE is very much like shooting a half-ball shot for every shot. It really feels that accurate once you get comfortable with it. The only hard part is, getting used to CTE. It requires a pivot. That is, a slight shift in aim once the reference lines are used to dial in the shot. It takes practice, repetition, maybe unlearning, some rethinking. But once you get there, it works great. I now shoot shots with utmost confidence. My shot alignment happens with an exactness that I cannot describe. Long straight-ins just go in, I don’t have those off-days any more.
The great thing about CTE: it doesn’t take years and millions of shots to get there. I would say a thousand shots or so to get comfortable. It took me 8 months for things to start clicking, but I also shoot only 1-2 times a week. If someone had a few hours a day, getting the hang of CTE could happen in a matter of weeks, not months. It is very different from what you know. There will be some head scratching at first, but through repetition it will come, and become as natural as your current pre-shot routine.
Anyways, that is my non-technical review and analysis of CTE. From someone who gave it the time it takes to really understand its potential. It is an objective aiming system, and it works extremely well.