Top 5 Tennis Ball Machines 2018
This article has affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through this link. There are no additional costs for you. It helps me continuing this blog. Thanks for your support! Visit my disclosure page for more information.
Tennis ball machines are becoming increasingly popular with intermediate tennis players, as well as the more experienced players. However, the challenge with a tennis ball machine has been the same for a while now and that is its inability to simulate real life play. Some machines are very good at doing this, while others do not have the functions available that are needed to re-create real life.
How not to use a tennis ball machine
The worst thing you can do when setting up a tennis ball machine is to set the machine to send you a ball to a single location, with the same speed and trajectory. By doing this, and then hitting the same forehand shot in repetition over and over again, you will learn a muscle memory in your forehand and that will make things difficult when you face a variety of shots in a real life game. You will very rarely face the same type of shot repetitively in a real life game, so don’t set your machine up to do that.
Of course, setting a machine up to practice one certain shot will improve your ability to play that shot, but it will not make you a better tennis player. If you are spending a lot of money, because even the best cheap tennis ball machine is expensive, then you want to become a better all-round player, not just better at individual shots. The quality and functions available on your tennis ball machine will determine just how much variation you can have, but even the simplest machine can offer varied strokes if you think about it.
How to use a tennis ball machine
To use a ball machine effectively, you need to create a variety of strokes that you can play. The more complex ball machines all have functions offers different spin, speed and direction. If you have one of these, then take advantage of it and use the programs that are built into it. This will help your all-round game and will prevent repetitiveness. If you would like to improve a particular stroke without repeating the same shot all the time, then you can also set your machine up to help you do this. For example, if you would like to improve your backhand strokes, you can set the machine up to send a variety of shots onto your backhand. You can then vary the type of shot you play from that, hitting down the line, across the court and aiming for various depths of the court. Here you will practice one stroke, but avoid repetitiveness and you should see a benefit in your game, while also feeling like you are playing a natural game.
One of the more technical tennis ball machines will also give you a great work out. You can program the machine to make you run from one end of the court to another, by hitting forehands and backhands from a variety of different locations. You can also use it to practice finding a certain area of the court, for example if you want to practice hitting winners to the far right end of the court, you can do that. The more complex and technical your tennis ball machine is, the better work out you can get from it. If you have a simple ball machine that only sends the ball into one area, then you will have to think of adding variety yourself. Set up the machine to send balls to one side of the court, then try and position yourself so you are taking the ball at different times. Begin by taking the ball at the back, then move forward to take the ball right on the sweet spot, lastly take the ball on the rise. After a while make the change from forehand to backhand, and repeat the same drill. After this has worked well, begin to alter the position of where you play your shot, aim across court or down the line giving even more variation. This is a great way to make a simple ball machine give you many different shots to practice.
Tennis ball machines come with a variety of different settings, some will have a lot of these, while others are simple and may only come with one setting. Whichever you choose to buy, you can offer yourself a good variety with it by adding in a little creativity of your own. Think about what you want to do, and what will help your game develop and try to put yourself in those situations as often as possible. Be careful not to repeat the same shot too many times, give yourself the best variety you can while working on the areas you need to.
We have put together a guide of the best tennis ball machines 2018 for you to enjoy. We hope it will help you find what you are looking for, whether you are looking for the best cheap tennis ball machine 2018, or whether you are looking to buy an expensive machine. Read on to see what we think is the best tennis ball machine.
TOP 5 TENNIS SHOES 2016
The Lobster Sports Elite 2 Portable Tennis Ball Machine is a mid to high range tennis ball machine with some very nice features. The machine is designed with durability in mind, it is made to last. The design, along with the oversized wheels makes for very easy transportation to and from the court. This is the case even when you are carrying a full hopper with 150 balls inside. The battery life on this model is good, lasting between four and eight hours giving you plenty of court time with the machine. This model offers a great play matching release, mixing up shots to include playing to the left, right, short and deep, this gives the feel of playing a real life opponent. You can set the oscillation to random, horizontal or vertical, allowing you to face random balls or work on a specific part of your game that you feel needs developing. The speed of the ball can be varied, between 20mph and 80mph, again giving you the option to practice a certain type of shot if you feel the need. This machine will hold up to 150 balls, offers a release rate of between 2 and 10 seconds and has a great battery life.
- Durable machine, made to last
- Oversized wheels make for easy transportation to the court
- Good battery life, between four and eight hours
- Ability to mix shots up randomly to re-create live play
- Ability to set the machine to play specific lines, allowing you to work on shots
- Variable ball speed between 20mph and 80mph
- Holds up to 150 balls
- Mid to high price range will not suit beginners, infrequent players or those on a budget
The Match Mate Rookie Tennis Ball Machine comes in at the budget end of the price range and offers players the chance to buy a tennis ball machine for a low price. The machine is compact and everything about it is designed to suit beginners or young players who want a machine. The ball speeds on this machine range from a soft 10 foot toss, up to a full 28mph shot, this is ideal for youngsters who want to give the machine a try on the lowest speed. Varying the speed will change where the shot lands and how it approaches you, with the fastest speed firing the ball to the base line. To recreate a ball hitting the service line, you simply lower the speed a touch. The battery will give a very good five hours of play, which is more than enough for beginners who this is aimed at. With an aluminium shell and urethane pitching wheel, this machine is built to last and is very durable. The ten second ball delay ensures you are ready for your next stroke and you do not waste any balls. For those who are looking for a cheap tennis ball machine 2018, this is the one you need to be considering.
- Budget price making it available to all and great for beginners
- Ball speeds range from soft to a full 28mph shot
- Change the speed to change where the ball bounces
- Good batter life of five hours
- Aluminium shell and urethane pitching wheel offer great durability
- Budget range that will not suit experienced players
- Does not have the flexibility that some other more expensive models have
The Lobster Sport Elite Freedom Portable Tennis Ball Machine is the cheapest of the Lobster tennis ball machines available and is their budget range product. It is cheaper than most of the other machines out there, but still offers plenty of features. It has the great durable design that all Lobster tennis ball machines have, and have oversized wheels to make transporting easy. The batter life is a good two to four hours, which is smaller than the more expensive machines but that is to be expected. The machine sweeps from corner to corner of the court and will challenge players of any ability when it does this. The machine holds 150 balls and the random speed rate fires balls out at anywhere between 10mph and 70mph. The elevation is manual on this model and can be anywhere from 0-50 degrees.
- Budget range product
- Our best cheap tennis ball machine 2018
- Same design as many other expensive versions of the same machine
- Durable design and oversized wheels making transportation easy
- Holds 150 balls like make other expensive models
- Variable speed between 10mph and 70mph
- Batter life two to four hours, smaller than most others on the market
- No random ball firing, predictable side to side sweep
- Manual elevation so you need to stop play to adjust it
The Lobster Sport Elite Grand Five Tennis Ball Machine is the top end of the Lobster tennis ball machine range and offers quality alongside a number of great features. This machine holds 150 balls like the other Lobster machines but has many advanced features and programs to re-create real life play. The different settings can be changed using the touch screen keypad and you also have the option to buy a wireless remote, allowing you to control the machine from a distance. The forehand plus drill throws balls with moderate top spin and more arc allowing you to set up your forehand as you would do in a game. The attack/defend drill will really test you, offering fast balls with minimum spin to make the player move in and out of the corners and across the base line quickly. These are just two of the many drills available on this machine to help you create the equivalent of real life play. Other drills include the ability to practice a certain stroke if you need to do that. This is a great machine, and will offer experienced players a great challenge when they use it.
- Top end quality product
- Holds 150 balls
- Many advanced programs offering great work out drills
- Programs which will also allow you to practice a particular stroke
- Top quality and built to last
- One of the most expensive machines on the market
The Spinshot-Plus Tennis Ball Machine is a fantastic, top quality machine with many features and programs that will assist players of any ability. This is the best tennis ball machine we have been able to find for our list. This machine is lighter and more compact than most other machines on the market, and has towing wheels included for easy movement. The different settings are easy to change via the LCD touch screen keypad on the machine. The machine has five different oscillation modes, giving you the versatility to practice different strokes, or to recreate random shots just like you would have to play in a game situation. If you want to create a manual program you can, setting your own spin, speed and where the ball is fired. Whether you choose one of the programs already on the machine, or create your own setup, you will find this machine is the perfect partner to help improve your game. On our list of the best tennis ball machines 2018, this machine has come out as number one, offering many great features and not being too expensive, we think this machine has it all.
- Top quality machine with many great features
- Our best tennis ball machine 2018
- Lighter and more compact than many others on the market
- Towing wheels for easy movement
- Settings easily changed via the LCD touch screen keypad
- Five different oscillation settings to provide you with a life-like test
- Ability to set your own settings, helping you concentrate on what you need to improve
- Competitively priced compared to others on the market
Whether you are looking for a cheap tennis ball machine 2018, or you are interested in paying more money to have a product with extra features, we believe you will find it on our list. We have put together a list of products that cover all angles when you are looking for your tennis ball machine. They are all very different, and vary a lot in price so make sure you choose the one that has enough features to test you and keep you interested, but also one that suits your budget.
Buying a tennis ball machine is a very expensive purchase so make sure you do as much research as you can, including taking a good, long look at our list of the five best tennis ball machines. The right purchase should give you a great test and work out while you are on the court, as well as improving your game considerably. Whether you choose to improve particular strokes, or you just want court time facing a random shot, you will be able to do it all with your new tennis ball machine.
Take your time, read our review of the best tennis ball machines and then when you are ready make your purchase. After it arrives, load it up, take it to the court and watch your game move up to the next level.