When deciding on a tennis ball machine, consider the different accessories available for each particular model. All too often, this is overlooked as buyers focus on the design features of the machine itself. Equally important are the accessories that make the machine easier to use.
Quite a few manufacturers are offering remote controls with their machines. These range from simple devices that basically turn the machine on and off to fully programmable hand held computers which add many levels of functionality to using the machine. Important to note is the fact that some manufacturers offer the ability to upgrade after the fact to making their machines compatible with remote controls.
Another important accessory for your tennis ball machine is an external battery pack. If your machine is battery powered, the duration of your practice session will be limited by the battery. Having an external battery pack can extend your practice session by several hours, making this a valuable accessory.
Battery chargers also come in a variety of configurations. Some machine owners might benefit from having a fast charger that allows a full recharge of the battery in as little as three hours and prevents overcharging of the battery cells as well. Many units offer dual function as both fast chargers and trickle chargers. A battery charger may also come with a strap to make carrying easier as well as a canvas or vinyl bag.
Finally, you should protect your tennis ball machine when not in use by using a good heavy cover. These are like barbeque covers and are form fitting as well as weather proof. Sure a tarp or plastic sheet might work to an extent, but why skimp on this important accessory when it’s so important to the health of your machine?
Every manufacturer offers different accessories. Pick the ones that make sense as add-ons for your particular machine and get the most possible out of your practice sessions with a properly functioning tennis ball machine, totally customized to your preference and requirements.
Buying a tennis ball machine can be a simple exercise if you are prepared and know what you want. There are many different factors to consider so it’s important to narrow your choices to only the ones that make sense for you.
In my opinion, the most important criteria to consider is whether you need a portable machine or not. This choice is simply dictated by where you will be using your tennis ball machine. If you have a tennis court in your back yard, you can get a large. AC powered (plugs into a wall socket) machine. Size is not not an issue. Obviously this choice applies to clubs as well who have the luxury of a dedicated court where equipment can be stored.
But if you’re like most people who don’t have their private tennis court in the back 40, you’ll benefit from the amazing variety of portable tennis ball machines that are available. Many of these can be fit into a hatchback car or SUV, are powered by batteries, are lightweight and easy to move around on wheels and tend to be on the less expensive end of the price spectrum. The drawback is that they typically lack some of the more powerful features that the big machines offer.
The portable machines do offer many awesome features that are perfectly adequate for the majority of applications. You can spend a few hundred dollars on a machine or invest as much as $30,000 on a monster of a machine that can mimic Pete Sampras as your practice partner!
In the final analysis, you will see that tennis ball machines offer a wide variety of features at a wide variety of prices. Things like ball speed and adjustability, spin rates, spin direction, weight, size, power source, battery life, type of controller, interval programming, oscillation, trajectory, ability to hit lobs, ability to hit serves, ball capacity, control pane functions, remote control etc.
As you can see, this represents a great many variables to choose from which can seem like a bewildering minefield of information to the consumer. the good news is that, in upcoming posts, we will discuss each of these variables and thoroughly evaluate their relative merits. The hope is that this will make your buying experience as easy and as effective as possible.
There is no substitute for practice when trying to develop your tennis game. We believe that the best way to maximize your practice sessions is by using a quality tennis ball machine. The purpose of this site is to help you navigate the myriad different options and choices available. Good luck!
By far, the main advantage you will realize when you are practicing with your new tennis ball machine is the ability to repeatedly hit the same shots over and over again until you master the technique. This is not possible with a human partner and it is the fastest way to become proficient at the game, and something that anyone can do.
There are many different approaches to practicing tennis, or anything for that matter. There are a few constant principles that apply, but repetition stands out as the most effective. Tennis ball machines offer an unparalleled opportunity to practice the same shot over and over again.
Many machines also allow multiple shots to be programmed alternately which can greatly help with footwork. You can set the machine to deliver blistering serves, fast moving ground strokes, drop shots or lobs. In any case, the ability to repeat this action over and over is what sets tennis ball machines apart as truly effective practice partners.
The reason is that any athletic motion relies in part on muscle memory in order to properly execute the same action time after time. Kinesiologists have long identified the relationship between an unconscious command to perform an action with the body’s ability to obey. It’s like learning to walk or ride a bike: we need to repeat the correct action multiple times in order to fine tune the movement to the extent that it becomes practically automatic. This is the foundation of learning any activity and isn’t news to anybody.
But, the old adage “practice makes perfect” has often been revised as “perfect practice makes perfect”. This principle lies at the heart of the benefits of using a tennis ball machine as a practice partner. The reason is that the mechanical ability of the machine to repeatedly deliver the same shot multiple times is how perfect practice is achieved. A human partner is simply not capable of that type of consistency. Maybe if you are lucky enough to have a very patient and proficient tennis player as a teacher/partner, would it be possible to experience similar results, but there is absolutely no substitute for a mechanical device that will never tire, never waver, never deviate from giving you exactly the shot you want to practice, every time.
Perfect practice. Owning a tennis ball machine can get you there faster than any other method. Good luck!