Tennis Ball Machine Buyer's Guide

How to choose a tennis ball machine?

Choosing a tennis ball machine can be daunting if you are new to the subject. There are seemingly lots of different machines
with lots of different options.

Which tennis ball machine should I get?

There are various approaches to making the choice. You can work from a budget or work from the level of skill of the user or users.You can decide to start from where it will be used, home court or local tennis club. This may dictate battery powered or mains, portable or mostly kept on site. 

Please read through this and if you still want extra guidance please get in touch.

How much should I spend?

If working from bugdet then decide how much you are willing to spend and then look for machines in that range. If the budget is limited then it may be worth looking at used or reconditioned machines. Tennis ball machines hold their value so you may not save a huge amount over new, but this is also an upside in that if you ever come to sell your machine you will get a reasonable amount back for it. Looked after machines can easily last 10 to 20 years and more if from a long established manufacturer who will supply spares for decades.

If working from the skill level of the user or users it is best to aim the machine at the best player as all machines can be slowed down to suit newer players.

Beginners should consider the less expensive models unless you already know you plan to use a machine lots over time and to increase your level rapidly. A tennis ball machine is the best way to do this as hitting thousands of balls helps develop the neural networks necessary to excel at tennis. The perfect recipe is coaching and a ball machine, to practice what you are taught. Any moving ball is useful for new players, especially for the young, so a simple machine such as the Tennis Twist may suffice.

For improving players faster shots more akin to another player are recommended so consider the Tennis Cube and upwards.

Intermediate players on a budget can consider the eCannon, it uses a single motor so all shots have strong topspin, similar to the bag based machine, but in a smaller, cheaper format. 

Otherwise consider flat shots with pace such as the Tennis Tutor ProLite, a workhorse machine than can improve anyone's game. 

For people playing recreational competetive matches a machine with adjustable spin is worth considering, such as the Lobster Elite Liberty or higher models, or the Tennis Tutor Plus machine. 

Or if you are happy with flat shots generally but would like the option of top spin shots to practice against the Tennis Tutor ProLite Plus offers this.

For advanced players adjustable spin is very helpful and then other features such as shots which vary side-to-side position and depth of shots between each ball. This helps with movement and positioning skills. Also consider machines with repeatable drills toplay against which can be found on the Lobster Elite Grand machines, as well as having random modes which vary more shot parameters.

For home court owners there are more choices as the larger mains powered machines such as the Tennis Tower IO machines, the Shotmaker machines and the Lobster Phenom can all be considered too. But the choice guidance is the same so a simple portable battery machine may suit you too.

Other features:

2-line features allow alternating shots to forehand and backhand sides of the court, useful for practicing running shots or having two people at once facing the machine. More expensive machines can also allow the programming of your own sequences of shots,this can be useful if you are very serious about developing skills against specific types of play. Preset Drills are found on the Lobster Grand 4, 5 and 5 LE machines as well as Lobster Phenoms. Programmed sequences of shots are possible on the Lobster Grand 5 and 5 LE, as well as Shotmaker, Shotmaker Mini and Tower IO machines. All these machines also have random modes which simulate playing another player including the Tennis Tutor Plus Player which provides this at a lower price.

Remote controls are very handy to have but not essential. All machines have time delay between switching on and starting to fireballs so there is time to get down the court to receive. A simple 2-button remote controls starting and stopping the balls being firedand starting and stopping the side-to-side oscillator. Multi-function remotes control nearly all the settings and some machines can also have a receiver installed that will communicate with your phone allowing that to operate as a remote.

Some players change their machines as they develop, some keep the same one for years and years. We can help later on by taking your machine in part-exchange for a different one if you ever change your mind.

Or if you no longer want a machine we can offer to buy it back.