Tennis Ball Machine – Can it replace a coach or not? How to make the most use of it?

Practice makes champions. And the Tennis Ball Machine can make the workout effective and easier for anyone. However, the Tennis Ball Machine cannot make a miracle. It will not make the champion from everybody. It is an excellent addition to some practice exercises, but it can not fully replace the man – coach. We put together bits of advice on what you can expect from the Tennis Ball Machine. How can it help and make your performance better? And vice versa, we also made the list of things, Tennis Ball Machine will not help you at all.

What Tennis Ball Machine CAN NOT do for you

In the beginning, it is essential to know that practice with the Tennis Ball Machine is not for everyone.

Tennis Ball Machine will not tell what you are doing wrong. It will not give you advice on how to improve your forehand or backhand. Tennis Ball Machine is about memorizing the same shot or sequence of shots or reacting to some pattern of shots. If you have the wrong shots technique, using a tennis ball machine will help you to memorize it. And that is not very useful. A good level of shots technique is a prerequisite for any drill with a tennis ball machine.

Therefore, practice with tennis ball machine is mostly for advanced players who already mastered shots technique. They are ready for a practice session with a ball machine.

Playing against a ball machine is about the drill. Repeating the shots, again and again, to get shot confidence, improve your fitness, footwork, the timing of shots, reaction to different patterns of play.

It will not prepare you for every match situation. It can not simulate the match pressure or an opponent’s behavior.

What CAN be improved with Tennis Ball Machine

We see two main areas where the Tennis Ball Machine can help a lot. Shot confidence and practicing the play sequence or pattern.

Shot confidence

No coach can put the ball at the same place, in the same height, and at the same speed 60 times in a row. The tennis ball machine will do it regularly without complaining. You can practice the same shot in a quick interval, e.g., 60 forehands in a row. It can give you a better feel of racket, balls. It can improve your timing and body position.

Practicing shot sequence or play pattern

The better models (e.g., Spinshot player) include a possibility to program some drills typical for any game. e.g., the combination of two cross forehands followed with two backhands and volley at the net, all with different spin and speed. Or you can program a random sequence of play. There are plenty of opportunities and combinations for drills with 5 different parameters you can adjust.

These types of exercises are useful for improving your shot confidence, practicing your footwork, timing of shots, and reaction times.

Is the tennis ball machine suitable for me?

Of course, the tennis ball machine makes sense for many players with different needs. Using a tennis ball machine is about the drill and repeating the same thing again and again. People usually do not like that too much, but it can be beneficial under the supervision of a coach, or as an addition to practice with a coach.

It can be useful for beginners to practice the same shot again and again, to build on the base they got from a coach. It is also suitable for advanced players who would like to regain shot confidence and timing of shots after the long break. Tennis Ball Machine cannot replace the coach but can be a valuable part of your tennis practice.

Check our review of the Spinshot Player tennis ball machine best tennis ball machine according to our readers.

Or use our tool for picking the right tennis ball machines for your needs according to your play level:

More about parameters and features you need to consider before the purchase of the tennis ball machine can be found in our Guide to everything related to Tennis Ball Machines.

Posted in BLOG, How to ..., Reviews, Reviews, Tennis Ball Machines, Tennis Column and tagged , , .

Tennis Pro Guru

Simon is the leading editor of from 2015. He is an avid tennis player from age of 5, however, he never reached the pro level. Still, he likes playing tennis on different courts, with different rackets, and against different opponents. In his free time, you can find him watching all possible tennis matches he can find on the web or tv. Challenger or Grand Slam? It does not matter, just tennis matters.

He currently plays with:
Racket: Wilson Shift 99 V1
Strings: Babolat RPM Blast
Grip: Head Xtreme Soft
Shoes: Asics Gel Dedicate 7 (for hard outdoor and indoor courts) & Asics Gel-Game 5 Clay (for clay courts),
Balls: Dunlop Fort All Courts and Head Championship
Bag: Axiom Backpack

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