Should I invest in a ball machine?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by syc23, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. syc23

    syc23 Professional

    May 20, 2011
    I've been playing the game now for 15 months now and have advanced my game along nicely. In the UK, I don't come across many people who talk about player ratings so I would class myself at an intermediate level as I normally can hang with guys at that standard in my local clubs.

    Right up to before Christmas last year, when I couldn't find a hitting partner I would hit against a wall to groove me strokes which I found beneficial. However it can't really replicate the different spins, flats and trajectory that a reliable hitting partner can produce so I stopped hitting against a wall to avoid forming bad habits.

    This past summer, I was playing against this guy who has 25 years playing experience and the improvements I've made has been immense not to mention the quality hits that we used to have regularly. He would beat me most of the time but I started taking games/sets off him as I was improving.

    Unfortunately he had to relocate to the States so have not had a reliable hitting partner since. It's starting to annoy as it's not always easy to get someone who is reliable.

    I have access to local courts 5 mins where I live anytime which is great but getting a hitting partner continues to be a problem. Not wanting my game to stagnate, I'm considering investing in a ball machine.

    I don't even know where to begin in terms of what type of machine to get. I don't really want to spend crazy money on it but then again, a tennis lesson with the club coach normally sets me back £30 per lesson (inc. court cost). I don't really want to spend anymore than £600 but would go over budget by a few £100s.

    What do people recommend if you were in my situation? hope that I can find a reliable hitter or get a machine?
  2. Torres

    Torres Banned

    Jan 1, 2011
    You won't get a good machine for £600. You're looking at around £1500 for a decent machine and even then it's no substitute for competitive play.

    My advice would be to join a couple of decent clubs.
  3. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Can you find organized tennis?

    The USTA runs leagues and uses the National Tennis Ranking Program, NTRP, system.

    I would estimate that most recreational players who play a lot of tennis are NTRP 3.5 and lower-half 4.0 level. If a player played on a college team and self-rates the minimum level allowed is NTRP 4.5.

    I play USTA and am in a small tennis club. My tennis club plays in a 'travel' league of other tennis clubs. Each week for this league 10 players visit other nearby clubs.

    During the winter I play indoors 2-3 times a week.

    Organized tennis is essential for most of my tennis. I live near Baltimore and there are several clubs and indoor facilities.

    In the last few years some internet leagues have started here and some people have said that they like them. You pay and get a list of players in your area. Something to check out.

    I am not familiar with the British Lawn Tennis Association. I assume that it is not limited to grass court tennis. ?

    Is there other organized tennis near you in the UK? ITF?

    Last year I got a ball machine, a Silent Partner Lite. It has all the spin and pace that I can handle. The Other Equipment Forum has the most discussions on ball machines.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012

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