View Full Version : Post your favorite ball machine exercises here

05-15-2006, 06:26 AM
I've only had my new machine for a few weeks and there isn't enough time in the day to work on everything I want to work on! What are your favorite drills? Here are some of mine (I have a Wilson Portable machine)

Volley Drill (1 or 2 people)
Set machine to oscillate, and position it so that it feeds a roughly equal amount to both sides. Both players start on the baseline. First ball is an approach shot. Then move in to hit the second low volley, the third ball is a putaway since you've moved closer to the net. The oscillator will now move to the other person, so the first player can get back to the baseline and get ready to do it again.

Inside-Out forehand
Move the machine so that it hits a weak shot down the adcourt line, a few feer from the sideline itself. Hit this ball inside out to the forehand side, or down the line. This drill will really teach you that you need to let it rip for this shot, mine are usually too passive and get me burned by the person hitting into the open court.

Other tips:

Get a deeper ball by moving the ball machine halfway between baseline and service line, or maybe closer.

Chit n China
09-11-2006, 06:08 PM
I'm not sure the ethics of copying someone elses information into this thread. But I have found Ron Waite's "Turbo Tennis" to be packed full of information. Here's what he says about drills with his ball machine:

When practicing target training for groundstrokes, I use my Tennis Tutor II ball machine. I place the ball machine in the center of my opponent’s court…slightly behind the baseline. I start by not having the machine oscillate. Rather, I use the machine in static mode and start with every ball being shot to my forehand. I simply try to hit one ball crosscourt and the next down the line. I alternate between crosscourt and down the line until the machine has run out of balls (about 150 balls). Each time I strike my forehand, I try to freeze any motion in my head and to visualize which of the two cans I wish to hit. I don’t hit to the center can when using the machine in static mode. Why? I rarely find myself hitting balls to the center of my opponent’s court when I am not running or in motion. I sometimes will try to move back to the center of my court after hitting each forehand…a good habit to develop! After a complete cycle directed to my forehand, I repeat this process to the backhand side…again, I avoid hitting to the center positioned can (target).

Now, I put the Tennis Tutor in oscillating mode…it spits balls from forehand to center to backhand to center to forehand, etc. This oscillating forces me to hit balls on the run and to switch grips from forehand to backhand. My pattern for returning is as follows: hit crosscourt, hit down the line, hit center, hit crosscourt, hit down the line, hit center, etc. I try to do at least 3 cycles of 150 balls. Each cycle, I increase the feed rate of the balls. This forces me to run harder and setup more quickly. It also makes the head freezing more difficult to maintain…but, I strive to keep my head quiet.

Chit n China
09-11-2006, 06:45 PM
Here's more input from Ron Waite's Turbo Tennis online column. This sounds like a great workout.

Again, I have a ritual. I hit about 300 backhand groundstrokes, then, 300 forehand groundstrokes. I switch the machine to its oscillation mode and hit about 300 alternating forehand/backhand groundstrokes (on the run...of course). Next, I find myself hitting volleys...usually about 300 to 450 with the machine in its oscillating mode (thus, I am forced to hit both forehand and backhand volleys). Third, I shoot up about 100 lobs and practice overheads. As a final step, I always hit at least a hundred serves.

When practicing groundstrokes and volleys, I place targets (usually empty tennis ball containers) around the key areas of the court. These key areas are: deep in both backcourt corners, deep and in the center of the backcourt, and inside the service box on both sides near the sideline, These five locations are where you want to direct most of your shots. I find that by practicing with these targets I can actually imagine that they are on court during matches. This visualization greatly improves placement when competing.

All in all, I hit about 1200 to 1500 balls in a session. You will want to have a ball hopper because you will spend a good amount of time picking up balls. My machine can hold 150 balls. Usually, I require 2 hours to finish this workout.