Tennis twist good for volleys? (at least)

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by DonDiego, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    Hi guys,
    First take a look at this video of the Tennis Twist, the cheapest ball machine on the market.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6Vibw_hUfI

    I'm thinking: yeah, 15mph is ridiculous. But would this machine still help me improve my volleys? I'm a 3.5 borderline 4.0, and I'm really having a hard time with my BH volleys, they're not crisp, and I think it has something to do with my contact point (among other things). Anyways, I thought if I'd position myself closer to the machine and tilt it so that it would throw a decent ball to my backhand, it could help my volleys.

    Another benefit: I could use it in my basement (I live in Canada and renting an indoor court during winter is expensive).

    What do you think?
    Thanks!
     
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  2. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    It's better than nothing but it doesn't replicate anything close to real tennis. Yes, you can practise your technique, timing and spacing but its technique, timing and spacing for a 15mph ball coming at you with a short up/down trajectory...

    I think its slightly different for coach because its useful for him to have the option of watching you whilst standing near / alongside / behind you.

    See if you can find one on the Bay because otherwise I can see you getting frustrated with this and getting annoyed that you've $X on something that's really quite limited.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
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  3. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    If you actually are 3.5-4.0 this is absolutely useless.
     
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  4. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    If the backhand volley is my weak shot, I like to think that it is useful, at least a bit. In the same way that hitting my backhand volley 30 times in a row on the wall without losing control must be good for something.

    The question is: is it worth 230$? Probably not. But for the sake of the thread, let's pretend I'm either rich, or completely irresponsible money-wise.
     
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  5. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    ...And aren't 15-20mph balls the ones less-than-average volleyers tend to miss most often at the net? :)
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OK, I'll admit I couldn't make it thru the first 2 minutes....
    Waste of time any way.
    Use a wall.
    Have partner feed you volleys during your warmups and practice.
    KNOW to get the torso sideways, short backswing, short punch volley stroke.
    Watch ball, replicate.
    Give me $115.00.
     
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  7. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Disagree. I had bought one of those cheap twist ball machines machines some 20 years ago when I was at that level. I believe that it cost me less than $70 at the time. I did find it useful at that time for groundies and volleys. I was also able to elevate the machine (with a flat-top garbage can) to work on my overheads.

    Later, in the mid/late-90s I would sometimes use it with my students.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Anything that keeps you out on the courts hitting tennis balls is better than nothing, if you're going to stay home and watch the 49'ers try not to lose....and end up losing.
     
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  9. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    I just hope the machine can still function while being tilted to about a 50-60 degree angle, in order to slightly increase ball speed. I just want to use it to work on my volleys (contact point, footwork, spacing, etc.) in my basement during winter.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hit the ball against a solid wall in your basement, simulating a wall.
    You can practice adding and subtracting pace and spin, heights, and half volleys all with the same wall, and a couple of tennis balls.
     
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  11. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. But I already do that.
    You said you didn't make it through the whole video, but I hope you made it to 1:20 at least. That's when the guy practices volleys. Take another look. I believe if he'd get a bit closer to the machine, have the machine standing on a small table and slightly tilted, that would make a good volley practice. What I especially like about it is that it can help improve form (footwork, finish with left hand stretched, etc.) more than hitting on a wall, where you barely have time to react and have to shorten move you make.

    Anyway, as you can see, it's seems like I'm already sold. I'll sure keep you posted when I try it.
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    When you hit the wall, can you wait farther back and allow for TWO bounces?
    Can you volley softer to give yourself more time to hit on ONE bounce?
    Can you put up a sheet of 1/2" plywood, for all of 20 bucks, angled to bounce upwards slightly, to slow the speed of the bouncing ball?
    Can you switch to those nerf junior balls to slow things down?
     
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  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    50-60 degrees sounds like an awful lot of tilt. It could topple over if it is fully loaded with balls (unless it is sufficiently bottom-heavy or if it is restrained).
     
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  14. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    8" balls! Wow, that sound huge! But fear not -- the official site indicates that the balls are 8" in circumference, not an 8" diameter. That would be pretty close to the size of a tennis ball -- nominally, a tennis ball has a circumference of ~8.26"

    Did you get a sense of the speed ranges for this device? Will it work for a relatively small area (short distance feed)? I noticed that they also have a cheaper machine that uses smaller balls. It holds 26 balls that are 5.125 inches around. Smaller ball might be a more challenging target.

    http://www.sklz.com/baseball/baseball-pitching-machine/lightning-bolt-pro
     
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  16. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    The point is to use real tennis ball for a realistic feel. I checked, and tennis balls work with this machine. In fact the balls they use have almost the exact same size and weight as a tennis ball.

    As for speed range, it is ajustable. According to customer reviews, it goes from 25 mph to 60 mph, and can land the ball up to 30 feet away. Which is more than enough to practice my feel on volleys, and ok for a large enough basement.

    A much better deal than the Tennis Twist (at 229$ and 15 mph balls) in my opinion.
     
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  17. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    ...and also usable on a tennis court, I guess.
     
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  18. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I think I'm going to get one of these - although are you sure tennis balls will work?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
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  19. srimes

    srimes New User

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    Let us know how it works after you try it.
     
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  20. Shaun

    Shaun Rookie

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    Since you're a 3.5-4.0, the opponents you will play will have more pace on the ball. This ball machine seems to have some pace but that won't be enough and won't be consistent as you'll have more pace coming to you when coming to you in a tournament. It is nice if you are trying to get your basics on the BH volley though. I'd recommend it. Btw I also have to work on my BH volley haha
     
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  21. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    I'm curious. Did you ever buy a machine to work on your volley ? If so, how did it work out ?

    I'm thinking of doing something similar to use in my carport. I would use it just to work on my stroke mechanics, not to simulate play. Sort of like taking shadow swings to the next level by actually hitting a slow toss tennis ball.

    I'm thinking of the Tennis Twist or Tennis Cube. I'm leaning more toward the Tennis Twist mainly because of its lower price, but the fact that the Tennis Cube holds more balls and could be used on a tennis court is appealing.

    I know the wall and lessons are valid options, but I think this is something slightly different and possibly a good learning aid.

    As anyone done something like this ? Thoughts ?
     
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  22. DonDiego

    DonDiego Hall of Fame

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    Hi there, I ended up buying a ball machine, and I'm glad I did. It really helped my volleys.

    What I would suggest you do is to buy a baseball pitching machine (the small ones using plastic balls). I almost did it, and through my research at the time I had found some that worked with tennis balls. It's like 60$ and throws the ball faster than the Twist.
     
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