Tips on Pro/One CTE

I’ve been using Stan Shuffett’s Pro/One CTE aiming system for about eight months now. At first it was a bit rough going, as this is quite a change in the way I am used to aiming. I can now say with conviction, this system pockets balls clean when executed exactly as prescribed.

That is the hard part, exactly as prescribed. At first the system may come across a bit perplexing. Most players want something specific to aim at, such as a ghost ball or a point on the object ball. CTE does offer objective targets, but not in the traditional sense. It uses a combination of two lines of sight, and you use these two lines to obtain the “visual” you need for the shot. The DVD leaves some work to the student to figure out this process. The best analogy I can think of is learning to ride a bike. You can explain to me all the mechanics of balancing on two wheels, but the only way I’ll be able to do it is by getting on that bike, start pedaling, fall off, get back on, repeat, and soon enough balancing becomes second nature.

CTE takes practice. It is very different, and if you are serious about making it work, you have to put forth the effort to make the change. Many players are not willing to make this change simply because they don’t immediately understand the mechanics. They think the system must be broken because two different shots with the same pre-shot routine have a different angle to the pocket… so what changes to make the shot? I cannot answer that mathematically, but I can say with certainty that the visuals are different. There is only one visual for each and every shot, and it is precise. You have to realize we are not just looking down the CTEL, but using two lines for a parallax view to get the visual. The distance to the object ball, the trajectory to the pocket, all these subtle differences affect how the minds eye lines up the visual for each and every shot. After enough practice, the mechanics work themselves out and like riding a bike, shot making becomes second nature. You can argue the difference between “feel” and “exactness” all you want, but I’ll just say that after getting the hang of it, this system has made the biggest leap forward my game has ever seen.

That said, hopefully I can help with some of the perplexities of the system as seen by a newcomer. Here is how I would try to explain it to someone who wants help. This would be after they have watched the DVD, as there are many details there that must be understood before hand.

First lets line up the visuals. Look at the shot, determine the correct CTEL, ABC, and pivot direction. (In another post I have covered some ways to quickly identify cut angles. Or, just follow the shots from the DVD.) We’ll start by looking straight down the CTEL line. Get your head/eyes/body comfortably set on that line. You will always be very close to the necessary “visual” from here. Now look down the edge of the CB to the ABC line. If necessary, move your head/eyes/body very slightly until that lines up. You are now locked in on the visuals for the shot.

Now it’s time to move in on the cue ball. It is important to move straight into the shot. This is probably the hardest part for the newcomer, as there is no “line of aim” for this movement. This may help you: With the visuals locked in, now focus your attention on the cue ball.  Try to visualize the left-most and right-most edges on the cue ball that are visible. Without letting those edges out of your site, move straight into the cue ball. Another way to think of it: think of the cue ball as a flat disc (instead of a sphere) standing on edge. You are looking straight into the face of the disc, perpendicular (90 degrees) to it. Move in without changing that perspective. Be sure to move in on the correct 1/2 tip offset (right or left.)

Next is the pivot. Since this is always a 1/2 tip pivot, the movement is very slight. When I first started, I’d put a death grip on the cue with my bridge hand and tried to be extremely rigid getting a pivot on that bridge to center cue ball. Don’t do this. Instead, keep the hand relaxed, and just let the pivot happen. Don’t think about where the pivot is, just focus on getting the cue tip to center cue ball. Like riding a bike, the pivot will become a seamless part of the execution.

From here you may want to blend in some english you need to cancel Contact-Induced-Throw (CIT), or maybe you need something for cue ball position play. This is no different than any other aiming system, so use what you are comfortable with. Back-Hand-English works very well with CTE. Things that affect throw the most: cut angle (anything up to very thick and very thin creates CIT), speed (slower = more CIT), distance between cue ball and object ball (close within 1 diamond = more CIT.)

Once you are comfortable with the manual CTE, you can move onto the Pro One, which basically moves the pivot into an “air pivot”, omitting the need to manually pivot to center cue ball. For myself, I’m still using manual CTE. My pre-shot routine is pretty good, but I’m still working on recognizing all the shots.

Hopefully this information will aid you combined with what is given on the DVD. Good luck, and don’t give up! CTE is a wonderful aiming system, and takes dedication to become proficient at it.

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  • John Barton

    “They think the system must be broken because two different shots with the same pre-shot routine have a different angle to the pocket… so what changes to make the shot? I cannot answer that mathematically, but I can say with certainty that the visuals are different.”

    The Center to Edge line is ALWAYS the same as seen from the cue ball. What changes is the secondary line. The secondary line serves to fine tune the body position and get you precisely in line. Yes using the word precisely is blasphemous. But the CTE line is the ball park facing center field and the secondary line is the TINY adjustment at home plate that is the difference between hitting the baseball left, right, or right down the middle.

    Think about it for a moment. The batter is standing at home plate. The pitcher is standing in a direct line with the catcher. The pitcher MUST throw the ball inside a very narrow line so that the batter has a physical chance to hit it. Thus where the batter can stand is fairly fixed in place. He can only make small adjustments but those adjustments can send the baseball to any part of the field in about a 60 degree range.

    However if I showed you three pictures of the batter in position at home plate with each one having him set to send the ball to a different place you would not be able to tell the difference.

    The same thing applies here. Seen from the cue ball the difference between being lined up on the Center to Edge line and the correct shot line are tiny AT THE CUE BALL.

    This is why the center to edge line is important. It sets the general direction – facing the pitcher. The secondary line is the tiny adjustment that sets the actual shot line. How does it do this?

    Real simple, by focusing on the CTE line to get the body in line you are ignoring optical illusions. Then you can focus on the secondary line and get your visual alignment down without being fooled into thinking in terms of thick/thin. You come down into the shot dead on where the ghost ball would be without have had to estimate where it is.

    Steve Davis once said that all shots are either a half-ball, quarter-ball, or 3/4 ball covers with only slight adjustments in between. Hal Houle said that there are only 3 angles that are important. Both of these men are right. If you look at most shots they can be grouped into one of these three angles in a general sense. So if you simply looked at a shot as a 3/4 cover which I think is about 15 degrees then you could adjust a little to the right or left and see if you are on or off pretty easily.

    For me I can’t look at balls that way. I get genuinely crosseyed when I try to see balls covering other balls.

    So I use CTE which allows me to start with something I can see easily. The edge of the object ball. From there I can see the center of the cueball and use the edge line to divide it in two just to be sure if I need to. This gives me a definite place to stand before getting down on the ball.

    And THIS is the reason that the system is repeatable shot for shot for shot for shot. It’s the reason the system works for almost every shot on the table. It’s where the terms exact and precise come from. Because when you are using the edge of the object ball then you are working with a line that is exact and precise IN COMPARISON to the estimated invisible spot that is the center of the invisible ghost ball.

    Once you have an exact line to use as your starting point then you could use only that and develop better shot making with feel alone just by using the edge.

    But ProOne aiming uses the secondary line to help you truly zero in. By understanding which secondary line to use for each general cut angle you have a truly precise way to get to the shot line for any shot.

    Ghost Ball is an estimation system. You must estimate where the invisible ball is and then estimate how much off that place you must adjust for throw. Obviously if the initial estimation is wrong then the following estimation is likely to be wrong. And even if the initial estimation is fairly right the secondary one is likely to be wrong. So you really have no choice but to shoot shots hundreds of times to drill them into your head.

    CTE/ProOne is a precison targeting system that brings you to the correct center pocket shot line. From there you can decide to adjust if you want to and if you do then you are certainly doing it from a position of total confidence and trust in the established shot line.

    Thank you for posting your comprehensive description of your journey. It’s sad that there are people out there who have made it their mission to attempt to keep people from learning this way to aim. I am happy to see CTE examined in places like this where the dissenting “won’t try it” voices aren’t able to ruin the conversation.

    • Eleal1

       John Barton, if CTE works for MOST shots, which shots does it not work for and what method do you substitute for CTE ?

  • Eleal1

    HI, I’m trying to figure out after buying and watching the DVD Pro One, Where the hell do you know where to place your bridge hand? How do you line up your bridge hand? If you put your bridge hand in the middle of the cue ball, then there is no pivot, so I’m lost there.

    • mohrt

      Give Stan Shuffett a call or e-mail, he’ll be glad to help you with Pro1 specific questions.

  • Gazman100

    CTE kicks ass.
    Thankyou Stan.

  • Gazman100

    I have been working on Stans CTE video instruction for just over a month now.
    The hardest part for me was exactly where do you place your bridge hand, I knew that you slide in between the Aming ling, and the CTE line but there is still around 20mm in between the two lines in which to place your v on your bridge hand.
    Then I discovered that if I slide into the visuals and if I slide my knuckle on my index finger onto the CTE line while maintaining the aming line the object ball drops 99% of the time.
    I discovered this by pulling this system apart over the last month or so.
    Interesting to note that jbcases on you tube found that the knuckle on the CTE line works for him self as well.

    • Eleal1

       I saw that video where John Barton demonstrates (to him) where he visualizes using his bridge hand  knuckle, but his knuckle is useful (I’ve tried it, it works well) for when he pivots to the left, but how about when you have to pivot to the right? Where do you visualize the CTE line come through your hand since your knuckle is on left side of the CTE line and you have to pivot to the right instead of left?

  • Eleal1

    I have watch the video about 10 times now. I know the center of the cue ball when getting the CTE is the core of the cueball, but where are the ABC? Are all ABC on the core or on the outside surface of the object ball? I think that B is the core and A,C are on the surface but still can’t figure it out. 

  • Gazman100

    A and B are on the left hand side of the cue ball and B and C are on the right hand side of the cue ball.
    A is the left quarter of the object ball
    B is the middle of the object ball
    C is the right quarter of the object ball

  • Frosty

    To get your “V” in the right place, see my post on {CTE: The Pivots}.