Monday, April 12, 2010

Pivoting with Center-to-edge (CTE)


The shot circle is the exact arc for your pivot. If you think of each shot in pool as being a circle – with your bridge being the center of the circle and the OB being the edge of the circle – you must pivot along the arc of that circle in order for your shot to go.

While pivoting along the shot arc, stop the pivot when your tip reaches the center of the CB. This is the solution to pocket your shot.

You’ll see that if you pivot/rotate the cue from where the shaft touches your bridge (as if there was a nail through the shaft at that point), you will rotate the cue with too strong of an arc (bridge circle = bad).

Another reason why the hip pivot is so strong is that it prevents you from rotating the cue around your bridge. Always pivot along the shot arc with your stopping point (pinnacle of the pivot) being the center of the CB.

A bridge length of 10-12" gives the player the best length in order to arc to the proper shot distance for 90% of all shots. If the CB/OB distance is shorter than 10-12", you must shorten your bridge to a distance closer than the CB/OB separation. For very close shots, it's easier to "air pivot" and then slide into the CB at a "post-pivot" position.

BASIC CTE PIVOTS (as taught by Hal Houle):

For thick cuts: Your cue is parallel to the CTEL with your tip pointing at the outside edge of the CB (the edge of the CB that’s farthest from the pocket). You then pivot your tip towards the pocket until it reaches CB center.

For thin cuts: Your cue is parallel to the CTEL with your tip pointing at the inside edge of the CB (the side of the CB that’s closest to the pocket). You then pivot your tip away from the pocket until it reaches CB center.

If you’re not sure which side to pivot from, only one will work. One will look right – the other will not.

For straight-ins: It doesn’t matter which side of the CB you address, just make sure you perform a thick-cut pivot. Many people wonder why use a system for straight-in shots? Hal once told me, “How do you KNOW it’s straight and not a 3 degree cut?

If you were successful in identifying the outermost-edge correctly, this will result in a perfect 1 1/8" offset in-line with the center of the pocket.

Pivoting with English:

Let me begin by saying whenever you stray off the center axis with CTE, all bets are off as far as the system goes. Meaning, CTE does not have an automatic mechanism to auto-compensate for deflection/squirt/etc. Although there are different methods of applying English with CTE, I’m only going to cover one: using backhand English from the pivot point of your cue once you initially pivot to center ball.

Therefore, you make two pivots. I know many might think that’s overkill; however, it only takes 2 seconds. Once you pivot along the shot arc to the center of the CB, a slight turn on your back-hand will give you the best results. An aiming pivot and backhand-english (BHE) pivot are two different types of pivots. An aiming pivot is always done along the shot circle and a backhand-english pivot is done along the bridge circle.

If you don’t know where the pivot point of your cue is, I highly recommend searching for Colin Colenso’s video on backhand English on Youtube. Colin covers the topic perfectly.

I’ve heard of some people pivoting directly to their English position; however, I haven’t been as successful with this method (and I don’t think it’s possible).


  1. Dave, It's Mojoe from AZ.. Joey K from FB.

    Just wanted to let you know that this information is very valuable to me.. Even after spending a fantastic day with Stan, I still had some problems CTE but your blog is clearing things up immensely. I hope to go over what I am learning and get back to Stan's place once I have the concept down better.

    Great job on the explanation and diagrams. Keep it up, it's very helpful and appreciated.

    Stan is the man by the way as you know! Peace

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I am so glad I am not the only one on this planet to have problems with my game, I have been constantly trying to find ways to improve my game for over 30 years, I can truthfully say I have been impressed with the blogs I've read at this site.

  4. Hey Dave, how are you?

    I'm Mirza, from Bosnia.

    I love CTE, but sometimes I miss, and I would really like to do it correctly, I feel like I'm missing something.

    I have some questions and would like to talk to you about it, if you could give me your e-mail (or contact me on mine:

    Thank you in advance!

    Best regards,

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