This may be kind of obvious, but unless using the random oscillator I make it a point to set up my SP in various positions, rather than just feeding from a straight-ahead position. This creates more realistic ball dynamics.
Playmate had some good demo videos on their site regarding ball machine drills that you can check out. I also popped for their DVD. While my SP does not have the multi-line and programmable features of some Playmates, the drills translate well for use with any make of ball machine.