Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by aimr75, Dec 5, 2009.
Has anyone seen or tried this?
wondering if it would be at all useful
Save your money... it doesn't even look like the ball returns to a consistant spot. You would be better off hitting a ball against a wall.
Its just like many of the things we're discussed here, its a training aid that has some value. Does it duplicate actual play, no not really; Is it worth the money, maybe - depends on the person; Have I tried it, yes.
^ thanks, doesnt seem like you got alot out of it. A forum member mentioned this product to me some time back, it seems like something that might be better then just air swinging at home during those times youre not on court, which is what i was thinking of using it for.. not sure whether it would be worth while
I've used it for some of my students, mostly for novices & low intermediates. It has proven to be beneficial for many of them.
One way to use it is in a manner that will help with footwork and judging movement to the ball. I'll position the PH somewhere on the court -- say, the middle of NML, for instance. The student will start from various places on the court and move (walk or run) to the stationary PH ball. The idea is to meter their (footwork) steps to get to a good position with respect to the ball, preferably with a neutral stance or a partially-open stance.
Many students will stop too short of the ball and will then use an extreme closed stance to compensate. In this case, I'll get them to use small adjustment steps with both feet so that they are in a better position. Others will jam themselves by getting too close. Many will overrun the ball so that their contact even with their mid-line instead of being even (or in front) of the forward foot.
Once a student can do this from one location successfully, the try it form other starting points. After each hit, the PH ball motion is stoppped for the next attempt.
It could be useful if you don't have a court or wall available. As long as you're not trying to blast the ball, its more of a technique/timing working thing i think.
Seen a few coaches use them.....whatever. You can always rationalize some value for contraptions like that. I don't like any of them.
I get great results from the teacher/student connection. Hand fed balls like the Spanish system utilizes, especially for the young and beginners. Racquet fed balls for the more advanced.
A good coach uses either method to 'control' the students movement. You can do so much to get them to use proper footwork and swing patterns by adjusting your tosses and feeds for each students style and body type.
I guess this device is okay for an individual with no access to a practice wall but I don't see a coach getting any benefit out of it. A good coach works his students like puppets on a string through his feeds and gentle corrections. A good coach adjusts his teachings to each students personality, style, ability, and body. Devices like this, used by a coach, makes me slightly ill.
Wouldn't it, as usual, DEPENDS ???????
If you have no partners, no court, confined in a small concrete cell, but with a racket, that device would keep your strokes to a certain degree, and maybe even expand your strokes to more efficientcy, as long as the ball is that high when you finally get released to play tennis.
OTOH, if you frequent a multiplex tennis facility, you pay for a handful of coaches and trainers, hitting partners and adversaries, but you insist on placing that device on your court for ALL your hitting practice ......:shock::shock:
My brother (a tennis instructor) uses these when working with very young kids. The are great for teaching hand eye coordination when kids are too young to consistently make contact with a tossed ball.
Don't be absurd. Rationalization not needed. A device like this does not preclude a lot of progressive hand-feeding. It should be used as an adjunct rather than a substitute for other methods. I could see your point if a coach relied heavily on something like this. However, judicious use can be very benficial for lower level players.
This is exactly what I'm talking about. Not all students are natural athletes. Not all students have a decent hand-eye coordination. I've seen some student that could not even hit a stationary target. Check out young baseball students trying to hit a ball off a batting tee -- you'd be surprised how many miss the ball by a significant margin.
Looks like it would be useful to develop feel and fine motor skills but as long as it's use with fed balls or live balls it's ok. A student should never think that the ball is always going to be approaching them at the same vector or level.
I'm kinding smiling when I writing this post because I'm imagining I'd probably use it for 30-40 mins max before I rip the ball off the stick or broke it in some fashion.
A product that really interests me is the Etch-a-swing from Pat Etcheberry's website. Just for muscle and strength development for higher balls this would be godly.
I found this site while doing a search for this product (great site btw ;-)
I had a chance to use one of these while visiting a friend on a rainy weekend recently. When we looked outside & called it a no tennis day he then showed me this product in his garage.
We spent the next 40 minutes in his garage doing foot work drills while timing forehand & backhand strokes to the movement/return of the ball. I was surprised at what a work out I got over a short period of time.
I think it would be a great addition to help me work on the strokes/technique that I learn in my weekly lessons along with a good workout on days when my local courts are wet.
The question I have is how can you tell the difference between the regular practicehit model & the PracticeHit Plus model? I called my friend and asked him but he wasn't sure which one he had.
The website is here www.practicehit.com/ but I cant see the difference in the actual product. I would like to get the same model as he has as it worked well for me. Is their a different label or other difference that is easy to tell which one it is?
Thanks for any input & I will let you know how it goes when I get mine in the mail.
I would feel very awkward practicing with such a thing.
being very paranoid people would actually see me hitting a bal on a stick that doesn't even go anywhere. Well if it does work miracles for your game I might be able to get over that...
Oh my god I just watched the whole vid. It is no stick, hell knows what it is but I LOL. At least had some good fun watching it. Just too weird.
Page takes too long too load, already untrustable on my list.
Ok, so I called the number on the site & talked with a guy about the product & asked some questions. It turns out he is the owner & inventor of the product. Each shaft assembly is made by hand by the owner himself.
He told me the difference between the PracticeHit & the PracticeHit Plus is that the PracticeHit Plus is eight inches longer & has a thicker/sturdier shaft. Based on my needs he recommended the regular PracticeHit as I can always raise the device by putting on a bench etc.
I found some videos that show how others are using it. I will let you know how things go when it arrives.
Tennis Lesson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31hGPXiHY84
Discover TV Ad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mrxgueCvD0
Practicing w baby in the background? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7pf7FS1J8o
Tennis Lesson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31hGPXiHY84
Discover TV Ad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mrxgueCvD0
Hmmm....this thing is making everyone in the vid moonball their shots. Or atleast from the cam angle.
Yeah, that is one of the free/included attachments... its basically a ball on an elastic band. It looks like you have to return it high so that it doesn't come back too low/knee high.
I am more interested in the PracticeHit training device itself. I don't make it out to the courts enough so I am hoping this will help me to train at home & practice what I learn at my lessons between actual court time.
As a number of experienced players and pros have suggested, the PracticeHit device is a supplement to learning for specific learning situations.
The most important thing about the PracticeHit from my experience is this:
When you want to help a player develop a stroke, the device does two very important things:
1. It makes the player focus on the stroke instead of where the ball is going or coming from. (Players will almost always manipulate their stroke to meet their "perception" of how to make a ball go some where specifically or will not make proper adjustments on an incoming ball thus, making an incorrect stroke because the ball isn't where it should be for the stroke being worked on.)
2. It allows the player to hold their finish, as well as establish a clear preparation. This sequence is very important in developing a "repeatable, reliable swing path."
After the swing path is developed then hitting a ball that is either drop-fed or tossed or hit to the student, the player can take their now-established swing path, (hopefully an optimal swing path developed!), and now begin establishing aim, speed, and depth.
I have used the PracticeHit in many clinics, as well as giving it to students to help them develop their stroke at home, (making learning occur in their living room or patio or where ever they can take a full swing.
Of course, it has limitations, but for the reasons I've listed, those who employ it properly will benefit.
Any pro who recognizes the value of such tools, (Including other devices that have specific purposes), and then knows when to implement them in the development stages of students is a FAR better professional than those who ignore such tools or who is so ignorant that they can't--or won't--seek such tools to help their students.
Thanks Dave... I appreciate your feedback. Good to know that this tennis trainer will be good for developing/refining my swing path as that is where my consistency is lacking.
Ok, I just got back from my extended trip to Mexico for a few months & brought this device with me as their were no tennis courts at the location that I stayed at (it was too hot to play outside most of the time anyway ;-).
I am really enjoying this unit so far, I was able to practice my tennis strokes & footwork indoors (in the air conditioning ;-) It has helped me with my timing of the stroke as well as my contact point. It has held up to my moderate hitting & is quite the workout if you do stepping drills in between hits.
Back here at home it will be good to work on my stroke between lessons & to keep active (especially since there has been so much rain recently ;-(
Anyway, there is the update I said I would give after getting one in the mail. Cheers, TG3
I have one and if you have a very topspin oriented stroke, it's not a good buy. You end up hitting the flexible arm thing and it puts huge gashes in your racket. It also damages the foam thing that holds on the "ball" and eventually the ball will fall off of the arm.
I think it would be good for beginners who are learning to hit a drive shot.
Hmmmmm I use quite a bit of topspin & haven't noticed anything in regards to my racket (or any contact with the shaft for that matter).
I make sure to hit the ball when it has passed the center point of the around 40 to 60 degrees. I could see how you could make contact if you hit it @ 90 degrees or something.
The first 15 seconds of this video explains what I am talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_WOU6Jupqo
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