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Tennis Ball Machine: Learn To Play Tennis Like a Pro With a Tennis Ball Machine

Updated on October 24, 2012

Tennis Ball Machine: A worthy investment in your game

If you love to play tennis - like I do - you know that you need to practice, practice and practice. It literally takes thousands of balls to perfect those strokes, and short of hiring a private tennis tutor (which can get very expensive!), investing in a quality tennis ball machine can do real wonders to your game.

A tennis ball machine is a machine which throws balls at you so you can practice your strokes again and again. These machines can shoot balls at you at different speeds, angles and flights. The machines are ideal for people who do not have a regular tennis partner to practice.

Tennis Ball Machine is Your Perfect, Patient, and Skillful Partner

The problem with tennis compared to say, running, skiing or yoga, is that you need a partner to practice your shots. In order to improve your swing, accuracy, and timing, you will need someone to hit the ball to you. Even if you are very dedicated and wish to work on perfecting game and are willing to wake up at wee hours to practice every day before going to work - it'll likely be very difficult to find a partner that is as determined as you are. If that's the case, a tennis ball machine is the perfect solution.

The importance of repetition

In tennis, just like any sports - or other skill - if you want to advance to a higher level, you need to practice, practice and practice. The point of practicing isn't necessarily to learn new moves or skills, although, this is part of it.

The essential part of practicing any skill is repetition.

When you are first starting to learn, you go through the moves step by step. By repeating the same forehand and backhand strokes again and again, you are ingraining the motion of the swings into your brain, so they become automatic. The point is to be able to hit your shot from any position and angle without thinking much about it - how to position your feet or grip, or shoulders.

Practicing tennis drills for beginners, intermediates or advanced players is a great way to elevate your game to the next level!

Choosing a Tennis Ball Machine: Features

Here are some features to consider and look for when choosing a tennis ball machine:

Quick Set-up
You want to just load the balls and be ready for action.

Ball Capacity
This tells you how many balls will fit into your machine. Typically smaller machines fit from 50 balls to over 200 ball capacity for larger (tower) models.

Versatile Speed
The best machines allow for adjustable ball speed from a gentle toss that’s ideal for younger players or kids just beginning tennis, to hard-hitting groundstrokes that will challenge even top players.

Interval Control for Variable Ball Feed
This allows you to set the time between ball throws. Ball feed rate can be set from one ball every 1-1/2 seconds - to practice quick-reaction volley strokes, to one ball coming every 10 seconds.

Range of Trajectories
Ball trajectory can be manually adjustable from groundstroke to lob.

Set up Time Delay
The delay allows you to get to the other side of the net before balls begin shooting.

Spin Control
Some machines will allow you to control the spin of the ball - for flat shots, or for varying degrees of topspin or backspin.

Full-Court Oscillator
When you’re ready to hit on the run, your machine will deliver shots randomly across the court.

Rechargeable battery powered machines
The built-in rechargeable battery can typically deliver 2-3 hours of playing time, and can be recharged up to 1,000 times before replacement.

All-In-One Control Panel
All functions are controlled by a single electronic control panel. In addition to the control functions it includes a battery charge indicator, and an automatic time delay so you can walk to your playing position after start-up.

Remote Control
Reomte control allows the player to start and stop ball delivery.

You can find tennis ball machines for a range of prices from $500 for small units with fewer features to over $2,000 for more sophisticated models. If you are on a budget, used tennis machines can be a good option to consider.

Learn To Play Tennis Like A Pro: Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Tennis Ball Machine To Perfect Your Game

Whether you are just beginning to learn how to play tennis, or are an intermediate or advanced player, the bottom line is if you want to improve your game, you need to practice, practice and practice some more.

When you practice, the idea isn't just to learn new moves or skills. The important part of practicing any skill is repetition. Just think about it: When you are first beginning to learn a new sport, you need to go through the motions slowly, step by step. In tennis, by repeating the same forehand and backhand strokes over and over again, you are ingraining the motion of the swings into your brain, so they become automatic. You want to be able to hit a forehand from any position and angle without thinking much about it.

Here are my top 3 reasons why you should buy a tennis ball machine to perfect your game:

1. You don't need a partner or coach to practice.

The main benefit of using a tennis machine is the simple fact that you can use it by yourself. You don't need a partner or teacher. You can practice whenever is most convenient for you, and you do not have to wait for times when you and your tennis partner are both free, or spend more money than necessary on tennis lessons.

2. Allows you to practice specific shots over and over again.

The second benefit is that you'll be able to practice the exact same type of stroke, over and over again. The more advanced machines can be programmed to use the exact force and spin for your level of play, which is especially helpful if you are having trouble with a particular return shot and need to practice that shot, again and again. This is something that is hard to do when practicing with a human opponent.

3. Over time it will save you money on private coaching lessons.

Even though a ball machine can be a big investment - the prices range from $500 for smaller, less advanced units, to over 2,000 dollars for bigger units, with lots of advanced features, in the long run they are still less costly than paying for coaching sessions every time you wish to practice specific shots.

Tennis is a truly wonderful game and a great form of exercise. Tennis machine can help you advance to the next level quickly and enjoy it even more!


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    • hctennis profile image

      hctennis 6 years ago from Las Cruces

      Thanks for the great information about tennis ball machines! The one we use at my work is quite old and gets jammed all the time. Maybe they should read your material and learn a thing or two before they purchase another nightmare.

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Some really good advice in here!