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MUSCBoneDoc11
10-09-2006, 07:48 AM
Guys-My TT+ should be arriving today and I can't wait to get out and use it! I have about 60 tennis balls but they are pressurized (or, were at one time) and are of varying ages, brands, and flattnesses. I was thinking of investing in a bunch of balls for my TT+.

I have heard that pressureless balls will save you time, headache, and money because they will last longer and be more consistent with the machine. Does anyone have a suggestion as to a brand or model of pressureless ball I should invest in? If I'm going to buy 100 of them I want to make sure I'll be pleased with the practice results and durability. Thanks for the help!

MUSCBoneDoc11
10-09-2006, 09:39 AM
Are the Tretorn Micro X better than the generic pressureless balls? I noticed they are about $1.50 per ball while the generics are less than $1. Thanks again for all the help!

Court_Jester
10-09-2006, 10:07 AM
I use regular pressurized balls on my ProLite since I think pressureless balls tend to feel too hard when hitting. On mishits, they feel like you're hitting rocks. I use them until they all feel dead and then replace them with used ones, which I get from the big auction site.

I haven't tried Tretorn since they're a bit too expensive for me but some around here swear by it.

MUSCBoneDoc11
10-10-2006, 09:09 AM
Thank you, Court Jester. I appreciate your input and know what you mean. How long do the pressurized balls usually last you? I don't mind hitting balls that are a bit flat as long as the machine will throw them. As long as the balls are not SUPER flat, will the machine still throw them all right?

Does anyone else have an opinion? I know many of you have ball machines so I would really appreciate some input from those with experience before I waste $100 or more on the wrong thing. Thanks!

billyboybeacon
10-10-2006, 09:24 AM
I bought a 90 bucket of tretorn micro x ..a couple of months ago..I can't tell the dif between them and pressured balls, they are that good..and they bounce the same after being hit a couple of thousand times..one of those rare items that live up to the hype...mountainsports had them on sale for $90.00

pmata814
10-10-2006, 09:59 AM
When I first got my ball machine I bought about 100 Penn pressureless balls and wish I never had. They felt very heavy and they began to hurt my arm (not to mention my strings). I switched to pressurized balls and i've never had a problem with the machine not taking them even if they are flat. I've never tried tretron though. They might be different.

varuscelli
10-10-2006, 12:33 PM
When I first got my ball machine I bought about 100 Penn pressureless balls and wish I never had. They felt very heavy and they began to hurt my arm (not to mention my strings). I switched to pressurized balls and i've never had a problem with the machine not taking them even if they are flat. I've never tried tretron though. They might be different.

I have been using the Penn pressureless and haven't had any problems when using them. (Still using them, but haven't hit in a while because of a calf injury.)

Just to ask: are you sure your arm didn't start hurting in part because of hitting too many balls with the machine?

From things I've read and what I've seen, people can tend to overdo it with ball machines since over similar periods of time you can easily hit something four (or more) times as many balls as you would during standard singles play. Hundreds of hits over a couple of hours (especially if you're not yet accustomed to it) might have that effect. Just a thought.

Side note on comparative weight: My scale shows the Penn pressureless balls at 52 grams and Penn Championship balls at 56 grams. I think they do tend to hit differently, but I don't think it's a weight thing. Perhaps hardness of the pressureless balls?

For MUSCBoneDoc11, I get the Penn pressureless at Target for $7 per dozen, if you're looking for a likely readily available source. If you haven't been scared away from them as a suggestion, that is... ;)

garmarc
10-10-2006, 08:23 PM
From things I've read and what I've seen, people can tend to overdo it with ball machines since over similar periods of time you can easily hit something four (or more) times as many balls as you would during standard singles play. Hundreds of hits over a couple of hours (especially if you're not yet accustomed to it) might have that effect. Just a thought.



How long or how many balls do you recomend to hit with the Ball Machine for a new owner in order to avoid any type of injury? I use to play 2-3 times a week 1 1/2 hours matches with my son and I am in the process of acquiring a TT +. One of my concerns is about the optimun number and type of drills and hits in a session trying to balance the workout (I am overweighted person) and the technical tennis training. There are some variables that I understand I will have to manage: ball pacing, speed, oscillation, spin, elevation and so on. For that reason, I will appreciate any advice on Ball Machine use, drills and tips among others, specially for the reason that sooner or later (I expect sooner) I will become a new owner of a Ball Machine and I want to maximize the use and advantage of this training aid. (sorry if a mispelled any word) Thanks

MUSCBoneDoc11
10-10-2006, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the responses--I appreciate them! In response to the last comment about how many balls and drills. I can't address the drills, but as an orthopod I can address the how many is too many question. I don't mean to avoid giving you an answer, but the answer is you have to listen to your body. The number you can safely hit depends on how in shape you are, your athleticism, your age, and how used to playing tennis your body is. I can tell you that it would be easy to over do it, especially if you aren't in top shape and haven't been playing a lot. Your body gets sore from doing things it's not used to doing--if you get sore, you probably did a bit much. Likewise, pain is a good indicator. First sign of pain I'd back off, or if you don't want to be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon for advice. There is evidence that you can get ligament tears from repeated stress over a long period of time. For example, baseball players that tear their ulnar collateral ligament (Tommy John surgery) most of them do it towards the end of the season. The theory is that the ligament is stressed so much and often that it grows weaker. But, I must also say that most people who do something like that have some warning signs--it's pretty rare to be in shape doing what you normally do and completely shred a ligament. So, get in the best shape you can, gradually work your way up to your goal workout, and listen to your body.

onkystomper
10-12-2006, 01:29 AM
Tretorn are the only way to go. They are shot out about 25% faster and about 30% more consistently.

As far as drill go. I think it is better to do less really well, than more where you start to be tired and make lots of errors /become lazy.

Get your form spot on.

pmata814
10-12-2006, 05:28 AM
Just to ask: are you sure your arm didn't start hurting in part because of hitting too many balls with the machine?

It might be. The last time I hit with pressureless was about a year ago. I also had a different racquet back then (03 blue) and that might have contributed also.

With pressurized balls I replace balls as they start to loose pressure, as a result some balls are flatter than others and they become less predictable. I kind of like that because I have to adjust to the incoming ball and that allows me to work on my footwork. With pressureless, if I remember correctly, the ball lands pretty close to the same exact spot every time.

varuscelli
10-12-2006, 07:25 AM
One of the things I do is to mix in serve practice with my ball machine practice so that I don't go overboard with the groundstrokes (especially if I have the ball machine firing somewhat quickly and have a lot of balls loaded in the machine). I'll do ball machine drills for a while and when I go across the court to pick them up, I'll end up taking a break from groundstrokes and hit a bunch of serves back to the other side. Then break to pick up balls, then on with more ball machine practice.

varuscelli
10-12-2006, 07:39 AM
How long or how many balls do you recomend to hit with the Ball Machine for a new owner in order to avoid any type of injury? I use to play 2-3 times a week 1 1/2 hours matches with my son and I am in the process of acquiring a TT +. One of my concerns is about the optimun number and type of drills and hits in a session trying to balance the workout (I am overweighted person) and the technical tennis training. There are some variables that I understand I will have to manage: ball pacing, speed, oscillation, spin, elevation and so on. For that reason, I will appreciate any advice on Ball Machine use, drills and tips among others, specially for the reason that sooner or later (I expect sooner) I will become a new owner of a Ball Machine and I want to maximize the use and advantage of this training aid. (sorry if a mispelled any word) Thanks

I'm not exactly the most experienced of ball machine owners, but I've used mine enough to see that it's easy to go overboard with hitting. One of the problems as I see it is that there's a temptation to set the machine to fire balls rather rapidly. On some levels, that's good because it helps to simulate real game-time hitting. But the problem is, no one in reality (while playing real-time tennis) hits at full speed for 150 balls or so. In the game, we hit a few typically varied shots, take a break for a few seconds, start over, etc. But with the ball machine, it's all to easy to give your arm a constant pounding until the machine runs out of balls. (The remote helps, though, if you have one, since you can stop for a few seconds if desired.) That constant hitting is gonna put a lot of stress on the arm, when you think about it. Or on the court, you don't really have to think about it because you'll feel it soon enough. Or you'll feel it later.

So, I try to vary the drills. For instance, slow the ball feed rate down, but do more running. A "for instance" on that approach would be to set a slower feed rate directed at the middle of the court. Position yourself to the left or right side of the court and make yourself run to hit the ball and retreat back to your starting point between shots. That way, you'll get in a lot of running and movement (including footwork) between shots, but your arm doesn't take a constant pounding. That's just one way to vary the drills to help give you a better all around workout to go with the hitting.

garmarc
10-16-2006, 08:33 PM
So, I try to vary the drills. For instance, slow the ball feed rate down, but do more running. A "for instance" on that approach would be to set a slower feed rate directed at the middle of the court. Position yourself to the left or right side of the court and make yourself run to hit the ball and retreat back to your starting point between shots. That way, you'll get in a lot of running and movement (including footwork) between shots, but your arm doesn't take a constant pounding. That's just one way to vary the drills to help give you a better all around workout to go with the hitting.

Thanks Varuscelli, I hope you can share more drills with us. It could be very interesting that more people share their more succesfull drills for them.

Last friday I received my TT + (w/remote) and was until today that I could practice seriously for almost 1 hour... and let me tell you something, I just did only 3 drills of 140 balls (a:slow balls and pace from the baseline in order to finish my warm up, b: Same drill but just a little bit lower and faster balls; c: Ball machine in the left corner doing x court - x court - down the line) and I started to feel my arm tired. I recorded your posting and stopped practicing.

Of course on Saturday and Sunday I spent time trying to figure out how to set controls for diferent types of strokes, but I am still interested in maximize my training. I appreciatte if you or others share their drills experiences....