One of the most powerful tools to improve your tennis game, tennis ball machines makes life so easy when you want to practice on the court but don’t have a partner. They are aimed at helping beginners, intermediates, as well as experienced players, have fun while making the most out of their game.
Tennis ball machines are great because they let you practice repetitive shots to improve consistency. Not only do they allow practicing at any time but also let you choose what type of shots you want to practice. This means you can pay attention to your form as you work on repetition.
Cost is one of the most concerning aspects of tennis ball machines. Most people are not sure whether they should spend so much on this equipment and if they are worth it. Let us talk about the costs of tennis ball machines, the reasons they are expensive and whether they are worth spending on.
How Much Do Tennis Ball Machines Cost?
Tennis ball machines can range anywhere from $500 for the most basic models to up to $5000 and more for the advanced ones. You should pick a machine that comes with the right features to suit your level. Those under $1000 don’t provide the features that make the purchase worth. You should consider models around $1500 to find the required features.
How much you spend depends greatly on your level. If you are a beginner, you can find a decent one for about $1500. If you are an intermediate, you can expect to spend anywhere between $2500-$3500 to meet your requirements. You should consider factors like oscillation, mobility, wheels, ball carrying capacity, and weight among others.
The cost of using tennis ball machines also includes the price of the balls you buy. You might need to get new balls more frequently if you want to practice more with the machine. A pressureless tennis ball should last longer but gives a little heavier bounce as compared to regular balls.
Why Are Tennis Ball Machines So Expensive?
Most practitioners refrain from buying tennis ball machines because of their heavy price tags. They can, no doubt, give you the best training partner who helps you practice whenever you like. However, they take a big investment initially due to their high prices.
Tennis ball machines are pricey because they are designed to be specialty machines made up of complex electronics and moving parts. They come with a number of settings to let you practice at varying speeds and adjust parameters like height and more. It is this complex construction and engineering that makes them so expensive.
While the most basic models just help you practice different types of shots, the more advanced ones are designed to let you adjust various settings to give you a feel of a true practice environment. For example, if you want to practice on backspin and topspin shots, you can easily adjust the settings to get the shots.
Some other machines even allow adjusting the speed to give you more opportunities to practice. With these settings, you can easily practice playing against powerful opponents and even lower the speed to practice how to approach the net. The machine can also be set to oscillate from side to side or between low and high shots. It can also be set to alternate between forehand and backhand shots.
Are Tennis Ball Machines Worth It?
Considering the price of tennis ball machines, you might think it is not a worthy investment. However, most machines costing higher than $1000 have a sturdy construction and last for more than five years. This means they are definitely worth buying for those who are serious about tennis and want to improve their performance.
The answer to whether tennis ball machines are worth the price or not depends on the individual players. So, it is important to consider the benefits of these machines to be able to find the answer.
A Constantly Available Training Partner
One of the biggest reasons one would want to get a tennis ball machine is to have a hitting partner available to practice as often as you would want. It lets you practice throughout the week to improve your performance.
You Control the Practice
An impressive benefit of a tennis ball machine is the ability to focus on strokes that you want to improve. You choose the stroke type and the duration you want to practice it for. You might want to focus more on the forehand or backhand shots at any given time. With a machine, you can easily practice specific types of shots.
You are in complete control of your practice. In any instance, you can switch from a stroke or drill to another without having to convince anybody. You don’t depend on the partner’s consistency and accuracy of your practice.
Tennis ball machines can deliver consistent shots depending on where you choose to deliver. This is hard to achieve with a partner. An experienced player can also miss consistency and can get bored by feeding you the same shot again and again. With a machine, this is not a problem because it is always going to be consistent and will never get bored.
Focus on the Form
Repetitive practice with the help of a tennis ball machine enables you to focus on your form. Such a practice helps create the muscle memory that is quite beneficial for performance. While you could always practice repetitive strokes with a partner, there is a limit to how much they can feed you.
You Set the Terms
A big problem when you practice with a partner is that you don’t have control over the situation. If you want to practice some drills, you need the other person’s consent. If they don’t want to practice the same, you may have to settle for what they can offer.
A ball machine lets you set your preferred speed, timing, and other aspects and gives you complete control of your practice session.
Looking at these benefits, it is easy to consider tennis ball machines as a long-term investment. If you are one of those who want to practice consistently to start hitting good shots, the price tag should not scare you. Remember to consider your requirements before choosing the right machine for your practice. A good machine can pay for itself after certain uses. So they are worth it if you plan to use them a few times every month.
How To Practice With Tennis Ball Machine? A Complete Guide
Tennis ball machines help you learn a skill and practice to retain and recall them. You can use the machine to learn a new skill as it allows repeating the stroke again and again. To do this, set the machine on the opposite baseline so that you get the balls like in a match. Set the time to mimic a match to be able to follow through and recover before the next shot.
Once you learn the new skill, hit another set of half the balls you took to get comfortable with the skill. Hitting more than this will not help you with recall. You should keep practicing on other days and work on retaining other skills you have learned.
If you want to retain a new technique you have just practiced, you should shift the practice to variable feed. This means you work on the same stroke but receive balls in different ways by adjusting the placement of the balls the machine feeds. The variable practice is the key to retaining any new skill.
When you have learned a skill and retained it, you can work on practicing the recall. To do this, you should aim at finishing the ball machine practice with random hitting. You practice like in a match with all the strokes and techniques mixed together. Set the machine to give you random feeds to finish your practice.
Best Tennis Ball Machines – UPDATED 2020
Here are some of the best tennis ball machines aimed at players of different levels interested in improving their game.
One of the top portable tennis ball machines in the market, Spinshot Player checks all the boxes when you look for a good option. It caters to beginners as well as advanced players by providing a customizable experience. It has a capacity of more than 120 balls and can feed balls at 30-110kmph. It can be customized using a mobile phone app to suit your practice and game.
Match Mate Rookie
Ideal for beginners, this tennis ball machine helps you fine-tune your skills with all the required settings and features available. It feeds the balls at beginners’ pace and can be set to the desired frequency and height.
Lobster Sports Elite
This ball machine is a great pick if you want to hit a lot of balls. It can feed balls with a variety of spins, elevation, and paces and get you moving across the court. Not only does it feature a large capacity but hits as fast as 80 miles per hour.
Tennis ball machines are an effective way to improve your game. They are consistent and reliable and can assist you whenever you want to practice. They can play a vital role in your development when used with the right practice methods. The only concern with these machines is the cost. However, they are worth the price if you can use them often and benefit from their features.
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