Silent partner:what is your setting?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by njboy, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. njboy

    njboy Rookie

    Apr 4, 2006
    How do you guys set it?
  2. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Silent Partner Lite -- Pace ~4.2, Spin ~ 1.0 for now.

    SP Lite recently purchased. New user. I most want a reproducible slow ball. I use used balls that feel firm by hand, rejecting the softer ones.

    Machine on baseline trying to get slow ball, easy height, to hit on the other baseline. No oscillation yet.

    Pace: 4.1-4.3 (of 9.0)
    Spin:1 (of -5 to +5)

    Set the elevation to get the bounce close/ just past the service line as best I can.

    At first I used higher 4 values, maybe 4.8, etc., can't remember, plus a spin of 2.0. It produced too heavy a ball for my practice.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  3. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Aug 10, 2010
    I would try and set it just barely above your comfort range so you aren't just hitting easy shots.
  4. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    I do different things. Sometimes I set it to send me quick cross court shots which I answer with a cc then a DTL. Sometimes heavy topspin shots. Lately I've had it hitting me some mid court short balls. Love it.

  5. gully

    gully Professional

    Feb 22, 2004
    I use it for my daughter's training. (She is a D1 player and we live in a weak area for tennis.) Here's a few things we do:

    1. Volley technique. Machine near service line, soft pace, fast feed rate, slight backspin, set to sweep. Focus on footwork, placement, technique.

    2. Volley attack. Machine set at baseline, fast pace, fast feed, flat ball, sweep off, volley three consecutive balls approaching from no-man's land to closing on top of net. Alternate forehand/backhand for footwork.

    3. Baseline grinders. Machine at baseline hash mark, set to sweep, feed rate set to shoot just as player's return reaches baseline. Hit 20 balls in a row to targets. For variety, increase speed or set spin to heavy top or slice. Focus on consistency, precision.

    4. Attack shots. Machine behind baseline, pace medium, set slightly high/topspin ball to midcourt or slightly deeper. Practice attacking shots to targets for BH then FH. Or set to sweep and work in increments.

    5. Overhead practice. I find I don't need to use the height extension under the machine. Set machine 10-15 feet behind baseline, flat or backspin, slow pace, slow feed rate, have player begin from net position to retreat for lob behind service line. For agility, set to sweep.

    Like some others on the forum, I set the machine on two Husky X-carts for service return practice. Once in a while we will use the machine to practice drop shots and lobs as well. You're limited only by your imagination. We use the machine for probably one-third of her tennis workouts (but we don't have many workout partners).

    5. Overheads.
  6. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Feb 11, 2005
    So Cal
    Great write-up. I always laugh when I read people on these boards ripping ball machines as being worthless (must be nice to have friends who will hit balls to you all day - or have a trust fund so you can hire a pro to do it).

    I'm sitting at home right now waiting for UPS to deliver my SP Lite - after wearing out an i-Sam.
  7. tpotter

    tpotter New User

    Jul 27, 2009
    thank you, west coast ace, you said it all.
  8. droliver

    droliver Professional

    Aug 24, 2008
    Birmingham, AL U.S.A.
    Just got my Edge lite on Friday. Loved it on my first hit so far. I'm going to have to try the remote control hack though.
  9. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Feb 11, 2005
    So Cal
    Ok. Had the machine for about a week. Machine is set in Agassi mode - an inch behind the baseline :) ; a little past 4 on power; a little past 1 on topspin; 4.5 on frequency.

    Huge step-up from the i-Sam; although it did take longer to dial in to get the right shot - and as they mention in the manual, you do get differences in the shot depending on the quality/age of the ball. So I had to retire some balls (there are a lot of happy dogs in the neighborhood and with my co-workers!) and buy 36 new ones. Battery is much stronger; two hour sessions, no problem. And recharges much faster.

    A few favorite drills: a) running shots. BH first - put the machine right behind the service 'tick' and angle to hit to about 2 feet inside the sideline. You 'bite off as much as you can chew' to decide how far you will run to intercept the ball, then recover back toward the center. Great for practicing the big first cross step and the smaller calibration steps. Repeat until you're gassed, then stand just a few feet to the right of where the ball will come and practice hitting 'run around' FHs until your heart rate stabilizes. Repeat for the FH. b) short hops - bump up the power so the balls are hitting within a foot or so of the baseline - practice hitting the ball right off the bounce.
  10. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

    May 19, 2012
    I've had my SP Star for a few years now, and find it invaluable. Definitely a worthwhile purchase.

    You can also practice overheads pretty effectively. Once I have the machine dialed in, I start at the net with my racquet resting on top of it. After each overhead, return to the same starting position with the racquet on the net. Great way to finish up a session.

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