Have you ever thought about advantages of using the tennis ball machine? Any tennis player, be it small kid, junior or adult, trying to make his tennis strokes better, will come to the moment wondering to practice the same stroke again and again. The problem is no one can feed you in the same direction, speed and quality return you need when you want to bring your forehand or backhand to an ideal state. Even if you will practice with Novak Djokovic, even he will hardly repeat the same stroke ten times in a row. And there comes the time you start considering investment in the Tennis Ball Machine.
Maybe you remember Andre Agassi autobiography (if not, then you should read it definitely). His fierce enemy at Las Vegas home court was his black tennis ball machine. However, look at what he has proven during his career. We could agree that the machine was one of the important factors in his road to success.
It does not matter what type of player you are. The tennis ball machines can be useful for the beginner, immediate or „almost pro“ player. Choosing the right machine is not easy. Every player has different needs and every machine has different features. Prices start near to thousand dollars, so you have to be very picky in choosing the right one. Our definitive guide gives you an overview of parameters you have to follow while considering a purchase of the best tennis ball machine.
Let us make it clear from the beginning. We are talking about real tennis, so the ball machine has to be solid and stable standing on the court. So let us skip tennis ball launchers you have to hold in your hands. It is good for dog`s fun, not for serious tennis practice.
Bazook Tennis Ball Launcher is really light, with just 2 pounds weight, but you will have the problem to shoot the ball in the same direction two times in a row. So leave this toy really just to dog fans or for fun.
Ideal weight is between 30 and 50 pounds (or around 20 kilograms). Almost all types have wheels which ease manipulation. Be aware, that ball machine will be moved a few times on the court. Before practice and after it and even during it when you would like to change the angles of strokes you train. So it is necessary for you to choose not very heavy ball machine. With appropriate weight, even girls or bigger child will be able to push it around without extra help or substantial effort.
The second important parameter you need to consider is the power supply of your machine. Depending on the place where you will use tennis ball machine you will choose either Battery Only or Power Cord Only. It is natural that if you play mainly on open courts you will choose Battery powered machine. The durability of a battery is usually between 2 to 4 hours. Power Cord machine makes sense if you practice indoors with electric socket next to the court.
Ball Capacity is in general very overestimated parameter. Many people would like having as many balls in the dispenser as possible. But keep in mind, that during practice you need time to stop and relax for a minute. Even in a tennis match, you have a break after every second game. Nobody can play 500 balls in a row, perhaps except those training for the fitness marathon. If your aim is to improve the quality of your tennis strokes, the ball machine with capacity from fifty to three hundred is sufficient. Market standard is one hundred and fifty balls dispenser.
Propulsion and Oscillation
A way of feeding the ball
Tennis ball machines use either two spinning wheels to feed the ball or air pressure. There is no difference between this two modes. They are reaching the same level of speed. So it does not matter which one your machine will use.
Depending on your tennis level you will need the machine with different speed. For beginners, 60 mph speed will be enough. Intermediate and pro player will probably look for machines with higher maximum speed (80 mph).
It is better to have more flexibility. Ability to adjust the feeding interval with your playing progress is important. You will find machines with strictly set intervals (e.g. 3, 6, 12 seconds) and those with the wider range of feeding interval in seconds (1 to 60 seconds).
Ability to feed the ball with spin
When buying tennis ball machine you should have clear idea how it should help your play. In case you want just to hit hard flat strokes you can choose cheaper machine without a spin feature. However, if you would like to improve the wide range of different strokes, you should definitely choose tennis ball machine with the ability to feed the ball with spin (topspin and backspin).
Ability to feed the ball in a different direction (oscillation)
Probably you wish not to stop practice at the moment of change from forehand to backhand strokes. In this case, you have to have tennis ball machine which is able to feed balls in a different direction. Some machines have a feature enabling program oscillation pattern before the practice. More variables you can set before, the better practice you will have. Your practice session can really be refreshed by following tweaks, a number of shots in series, different directions in series, adjustable height, and depth. Almost every modern tennis ball machine has random oscillation mode.
There are two possibilities, electric or manual elevation. Of course, electric elevation is more user-friendly. Although this parameter is apparently not crucial.
This feature is part of more expensive ball machines. It is really helpful unless you are Roger Federer. The remote control can be easily substituted with the staff of five people around you every practice session.
Best Tennis Ball Machine
Lobster Sports Elite Liberty Tennis Ball Machine
Lobster Sports Elite Freedom Portable Tennis Ball Machine
Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine
Spinshot-Pro Tennis Ball Machine
Weight: 35 lbs
Weight: 35 lbs
Weight: 46 Lbs
Weight: 20kg (44 lbs)
Most popular between tennis ball machines
Light model for flat strike practices
Set programme and control with your phone
Side to side ball shooting
Our Rating: 4/5
Our Rating: 3/5
Our Rating: 5/5
Our Rating: 3/5
Accessories for Tennis Ball Machine
After choosing the best tennis ball machine, you still have few tasks to do. Firstly, you will need a lot of balls to feed your new friend on the court. Check our best tennis balls review, where you definitely find good advice about choosing the most suitable balls.
Secondly, you will need something to pick up all the balls you stroke during your practice. Picking up 100+ balls after your practice really tires one’s hand and back. Do not forget to take some ball hopper with you, it really eases and speeds up your practice.
Wilson 75 Tennis Ball Pick Up Hopper
Tourna Pete Sampras Ballport, Holds 80 Balls
Gamma Ballhopper Balltube 18
Penn Pressureless Tennis Balls, 48-Ball Bucket
TENNIS BALL MACHINES – ABSOLUTE TOP END PREMIUM MODEL
Lobster Sports Phenom II Club Series Machine
Full programmability -You can customize your own drills and program
Our Rating: 5/5