Again and again we are asked in our training, whether the purchase and use of a ball machine is useful or why we are not using ball machines. About practice with a ball machine, there are several scientific studies. They mainly come to the result that their use obviously causes significant changes in the timing and the control, which leads to a reduction in the quality of the transfer of playing ability compared to practice with a real partner. Specifically, it resulted in cricket at less favorable ball contact, reduced racket speed and significantly shorter step length.
Nevertheless, the use of the ball machine in certain situations may make sense. For example, if no partner is available, or in some cases in rehabilitation after long injury breaks.
We don’t recommend the purchase of an expensive machine and the use in normal tennis practice. With our playful our playful learning approach we go other ways.
Ball Machine Usage in Tennis: Movement Initiation and Swing Timing While Returning Balls from a Ball Machine and from a Real Server, by Jan Carboch,✉* Vladimir Süss,* and Tomas Kocib*