Having played tennis since I was a small kid, I now know how much of the sport is about repetition. It looks so simple on TV, but once you hit the court, you end up struggling with your rhythm.
But there is a solution that will massively help you with muscle memory through constant repetition. And you don’t have to rely on a playing partner or coach. Tennis ball machines are designed for this very purpose, and I have tested out some good and pretty crappy ones over the years. Whether you want a portable tennis ball machine to take out with you or one to use at your home’s tennis court, there are options.
Some may be a bit pricey, but you can also find cheap tennis ball machines. It’s just a matter of doing your research and making sure that you find one that is both affordable yet durable. To make your online search easier, the following tennis ball machine reviews will help you get started shopping.
Our Top 10 Best Tennis Ball Machine Recommendations
#1 - Spinshot-Player
|| The Most Versatile Programs||5.0 stars out of 5|
#2 - Lobster Sports Elite 1
|| Compact And Portable||4.5 stars out of 5|
#3 - Match Mate Rookie: Great For Beginners
|| Great For Beginners||4.5 stars out of 5|
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top 10 Best Tennis Ball Machine Recommendations
- 1.1 1. Spinshot-Player: The Most Versatile Programs
- 1.2 2. Lobster Sports Elite 1: Compact And Portable Tennis Ball Machine
- 1.3 3. Match Mate Rookie: Great For Beginners
- 1.4 4. Isam Value Tennis Ball Machine: Unique Antique Design
- 1.5 5. Lobster Sports Phenom II: Highly Effective For All Skill Levels
- 1.6 6. Match Mate Tennis Quickstart: Ideal For Children
- 1.7 7. Calflex Tennis Trainer: Cheap And Compact
- 1.8 8. Lobster Sports Elite II: Durable But Not That Effective
- 1.9 9. Tennis Tutor Pro Lite: Highly Portable
- 1.10 10. Tennis Tutor Tennis Cube: Compact And Modern Design
- 2 What Features You Need To Focus On
- 3 Why Are Tennis Ball Machines So Expensive?
- 4 Tennis Ball Machine Training Tips
- 5 Why Is A Machine Better Than A Person?
- 6 Conclusion
The Spinshot Player is a great option if you really want to be on top of your game. Because the oscillation can be adjusted, you can train the most difficult movements with your racket. It includes a charger and while it also uses a battery, you’ll have to buy it elsewhere.
Because the Spinshot is programmable, you can plan different drills to ensure that you can practice everything that you need to for becoming a great tennis player. You can also use your phone to program everything from speed to angle and feed rate (essentially the Spinshot Player acts as a remote control). This is highly beneficial for those who want to become more advanced in the game.
It can be used by children or adults alike and is lighter than many other options, making it easy to move around. It also has a compact size, so that you can easily store it when need be.
Because the Spinshot Player does a lot on its own, it works well for coaching sessions. It frees the coach to teach technique while allowing the machine to do the work.
- It offers highly versatile use, so that you can use it in coaching or practicing a variety of moves
- You can easily set the machine to specific programs for better routines
- It’s very easy to pack in your car and take with you
- The Spinshot Player can be used by adults and children alike
- It fits in almost any space due to its compact size
- Huge ball capacity for 100 balls
- The battery tends to drain quickly
- The wheels are a bit small for the machine, making it difficult to move it
If you are all about portability so that you can take your tennis ball machine with you wherever you go, then the Sports Elite is a good option. With a handle, wheels, and a unique design, it’s easy to transport the balls from one place to the next. It has a horizontal oscillation feature with a speed of 20-80 mph, so you can train for any kind of game or movement.
The ball capacity is a 150 and the Lobster Elite has a feed rate of 2-10 seconds. While it doesn’t offer a great rate and speed as some options, it’s fair for its size and design. It has a full corner-to-corner sweep, so that it can also help you with foot transitions and learning how to be quick on your fit.
The Lobster Sports Elite includes a basic battery charger, so that you can make sure that it keeps working throughout your practice.
It can last on the court for around 4-8 hours, so that you can practice for long hours, if need be.
- It’s easy to take with you anywhere
- It allows you to monitor the ball level
- The handle can be removed so that you can pack it up in a small car
- It has good wheels for easy movement
- It has reasonable speed and feed rate for ball delivery
- For advanced players the ball speed might not be fast enough
- Remote control is an optional extra
If you’re a rookie, you may not yet be ready for more advanced options. To start getting used to the game and the speed, the Match Mate Rookie could be ideal. It’s more affordable than other machines. While it doesn’t have as many features as others, it has the basics to get you started.
Made from heavy-grade aluminium, it can stand up to a lot of use. It has an adjustable ball speed, and height adjustments, so you can start off at your pace.
The battery can last for up to 5 hours, so you can be sure to practice for quite a few hours before getting tired. From 18-20 mph speeds, it provides low speeds to help you work up to faster balls. Because of its size, it’s a good option for kids, as well.
If you don’t want to spend too much for a tennis ball machine, but want good quality and features, this could be the one.
- Its easy to use for beginners, so kids or adults can both use it
- The battery can last many hours for longer sessions
- It’s compact enough to take with you to the tennis court
- It’s inexpensive, which makes it ideal for those shopping on a budget
- It’s made from durable materials, so it will last for quite a while
- It doesn’t have a remote control
- It doesn’t allow users to make as many adjustments as other options do
If you like antique-looking items, you’ll appreciate the Isam’s unique design. It’s built to last and has a sturdy body, so you can use it for months to come. With random oscillation, you can use it to practice different movements. It has a variety of shot selections. You can choose ground strokes or even high lobs.
The Isam can shoot balls at the speed of up to 65 mph, so you can be sure to build up your skill. It’s decent enough for you to prepare for tough matches. With 3 different power configurations, you can use electricity, battery, or even both. This helps to ensure that you can practice as long as is needed.
With a large variety of settings, the Isam can be used for both beginners and advanced players. It may not be the cheapest yet it’s also not the most expensive.
- It has a large variety of settings, so it can be used for all types of training
- It’s relatively simple to use, so you don’t have to fuss with it too much
- The random oscillation helps you to be able to get used to the random shots in a tennis match
- It has a unique design and will especially pique the interest of antiques lovers
- It can be powered by electricity or batteries for long hours of practice
- It doesn’t fit as many balls as other machines
- It doesn’t come with a remote control
If you ever wanted a tennis machine that allowed you to have control, then the Lobster Sports Phenom is a great choice. It offers users the ability to pick and customize different drills and programs. If you’re training someone or practicing yourself, this is highly useful in learning different techniques.
With three pre-programmed six shot drills, you can get used to playing a real match. It also has a unique Forehand Plus drill that helps to add a topspin to the throw. This is great for those who are practicing their forehand shot.
The Lobster Sports Phenom also has an Attack/Defend drill for helping users to practice their foot transitions and quicker movements. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without random oscillation, which is also an essential feature for you to become highly skilled in reacting to any shot.
- It has a number of pre-programmed six shot drills, which is beneficial for getting faster in the game
- It’s ideal for those who need to train their forehand shot
- It’s easy to move around with its unique design with wheels
- The Sports Phenom can fit plenty of balls, which helps training to flow better
- Comes with remote control app for phones
- It’s a bit costly, which could affect your decision
- It’s not very portable, which could mean that it won’t be so easy to fit in your vehicle
If you’re the parent of a budding tennis player, a tennis coach, or simply want to start learning, this is ideal for getting started. It can be used on courts from 36’ to 78’. It can be used with new or used tennis balls, making it perfect for any practice situation.
It shoots from 14 to 30 mph, which helps beginners to start out slow and build up to a faster speed. It shoots balls at different speeds when you need it to, which is beneficial for learning better techniques. It isn’t the most portable option, so its best for use on courts where you normally play.
It’s also designed to be used with children, so its relatively safe, but one should always exercise caution when using machines with kids. While it is battery operated, it can also be used with an AC converter. This helps you to be able to get longer practice times in. The Match Mate is relatively affordable, so is a good choice for budget shoppers.
- It can be used with different power sources, making it ideal for long training sessions
- It is affordable, so you don’t have to empty your pocket to afford it
- It has a variety of speeds which aids in training
- It can be used with kids, making it a safe option for young tennis players
- It can shoot balls far enough for different court sizes
- It isn’t the most portable design
- It isn’t ideal for intermediate and advanced players
The Calflex is probably the lightest one around. If you don’t have much strength or want to avoid carrying a heavier machine, it’s small enough to carry easily. It’s also one of the most affordable ones that you can find.
Ideal for use at home, it’s easy for kids to use on their own so that they can practice whenever they would like. It doesn’t hold a lot of balls, so it may not be the best for those who are really looking to improve their talent.
If you are looking for a way to spend less and still be able to practice a bit, check out the Calflex Tennis Trainer. It may not be the fanciest, but its good for training anywhere and everywhere.
- Its easy for kids to use, so you can help train your kids at home
- It’s light and easy to carry, making it a highly portable option
- It is one of the most inexpensive ones you can find, so its great for budget shoppers
- It can be adjusted easily, to adapt to your skill level
- It has an attractive design rather than the ugly box shapes
- It doesn’t have the best rate and speed for advanced users
- It is somewhat flimsy, so it may not last too long
This Lobster Sports Elite machine is a good portable tennis machine for those who want to easily transport it from one place to another. It offers a corner-to-corner sweep and random oscillation, so you can practice for any kind of competitor and game.
It has a 150-feed rate and the battery can last up to 2-4 hours. It includes a basic battery charger, as well as a storage cover. It only weighs around 35 lbs but also has wheels, so you don’t have to carry it if you don’t want to. It isn’t the most affordable but isn’t too high priced either.
The Lobster Elite has space for a decent number of balls. It’s easy to move around and has a cute design that is fun for kids. If you want a simple one that offers durability, this may be the one for you and yours.
- It’s made from durable materials, so it will last for a while
- It has wheels for easy transportation
- Its compact size makes it one of the more portable designs
- It has good features for training
- It is reasonably priced, making it ideal for those who don’t want to spend much
- Its battery doesn’t last as many hours as other options
- It’s a bit noisier than many options
The Tennis Tutor has a simple and compact design, so it’s easy to take it anywhere for tennis practice. While it may be a bit more costly than other ones its size, it does offer some good features. It has a 5-second setup, so you can start using it right away and can hold up to 125 tennis balls.
Whether you’re teaching children or practicing your more advanced skill, it has various speeds. You can get started with a gentle toss or practice hard ground strokes. It also has a decent feed rate of one ball every 1 ½ seconds but can also be used at one ball every 10 seconds.
If you want a versatile option that is easy to fit in your trunk, check out the Tennis Tutor Pro Lite. It offers pro tennis quality while being easy to use.
- It has a good speed range for beginners and advanced players alike
- It is small enough to fit in small cars for easy portability
- It’s easy to set up, so you can start practicing as soon as you want
- It is made from good quality materials, so you can rely on its durability
- Balls don’t get stuck easily, which avoids downtime
- It’s a bit heavy to carry, so children may need an adult’s assistance
- It doesn’t have a remote control
While some may be antique collectors, others love modern designs. This tennis cube isn’t only cute though. It also has some good features that make a difference in practice. For example, ball speed and ball feed can be adjusted to meet your preferences.
It also has a smart battery charger that works overnight, making it easier to use whenever and wherever. If you like to spend hours on the court, you’ll appreciate the battery life. It has a side to side oscillator to help you work on your foot transitions and handling your racket with balls flying.
Its compact size makes it easy to transport it. Whether you teach tennis in different areas or you like to practice at different ones, you’ll love the portability on the Tennis Tutor Tennis Cube. It doesn’t fit too many tennis balls, but it’s enough for a decent session. It may not be the best for more advanced players, but for intermediate and beginners, it could be great.
- It is effective for training beginners and children
- It has a cool, unique design, which makes it fun to use
- It is easy to carry without need the help of someone else
- It is ideal for practicing quick movements and foot transitions
- It isn’t as pricey as some other machines
- It isn’t as fast as some other options, which could affect your sessions
- It doesn’t throw as consistently as it should for the ideal training plan
What Features You Need To Focus On
With all the options above to choose from, which one do you think is best for you and your needs? Everyone needs a tennis machine for different reasons. If you are a coach, you may need a different style than someone who is training themselves. To help you to make the right choice for you, you should consider the features below.
If you like to practice in different courts or need to be able to move your tennis ball machine often, you want one that is portable. There are some options above that can easily fit into a vehicle. Just make sure that you don’t sacrifice top features for portability.
If you want one to practice with your kids at home, you’ll want to look for a portable one that is meant for beginners. Children that are just beginning may not even be able to use the fancier options just yet, so in this scenario, small and portable is better.
Speed is important. If you’re a beginner, you don’t need one with high speeds, but you do want a good range. If you’re advanced, you definitely want to find one that helps you to get better with your speed. If you are hoping to become an extremely advanced player, the faster that you can learn to react, the better. While you may pay extra for higher speeds, it will be worth it.
Because tennis is a game where you are always looking for where the ball will fly to, you want to practice for that. Oscillation on a tennis training machine will help to provide you with the practice you need. Whether you choose one with random oscillation or one with corner-to-corner sweep, there are options. Better yet, choose an option with both random oscillation and corner-to-corner sweep.
You want to make sure that it has space for plenty of tennis balls. The more balls, the easier it is to get longer practice. Some portable ones only have a few balls, while other larger options come with up to 150 or more.
Think about what you need the machine for. If you only want to use it for helping your little one practice, you don’t need one with a lot of balls. Kids tend to get tired quickly and won’t really need to be using too many balls in one session.
If you’re going to choose a larger machine, you want wheels. Even with smaller ones, you should consider wheels. It just makes it easy to move them around. Who wants to carry a heavy machine full of tennis balls?
Of course, you still want to be careful, even if the machine has wheels. Check out the size of the wheels and the size of the machine. Some machines have tiny wheels that won’t do much good and if you have a machine full of balls, you want wheels!
Why Are Tennis Ball Machines So Expensive?
As you may have noticed above, some of these machines are quite pricey. Whether you go shopping at a store or buy one from Amazon, you may have noticed that they cost quite a bit. Is there a reason why? The following reasons could help you feel alright about spending around a grand or more on a tennis ball machine:
- What features does it have? Typically, a pricey tennis machine is going to have a lot of ideal features. This is because, if you’re serious about a sport like tennis, you most likely won’t mind spending the cash for something that will help you become great at it. Top ones that tend to cost a few grand, will have everything you need to practice technique, movements, and foot transitions.</
- How well built is it? If it’s designed to last, you can be pretty sure that it will cost a bit. While the expensive cost may be off-putting, if its going to help you to use it for months and years to come, it’s worth it.
- What is it used for? If you happen to be a coach and make a living off of training budding tennis players, you want a good machine. You want something that is going to live up to your reputation.
- The people who play tennis may have an impact on price. While it isn’t always the case, those who have the liberty to take classes or have a court in their yard, have money. This means that investing in a machine that will help them to become a good player may seem like a worthwhile investment.
Tennis Ball Machine Training Tips
A tennis ball machine can help you to get better in areas where you may not shine in tennis. For example, if your forehand is lousy, a machine with certain throws can help you to practice and strengthen your weakness.
The following tips will help you to get more out of your training with a tennis machine:
- If you’re trying to improve your speed, practice for a bit at the speed you’re comfortable at. Little by little, you can start raising the speed and rate to improve your skill.
- Some machines allow you to set programs beforehand. Go ahead and use them to help you improve the areas where you need improvement. If you have a coach, you may want to ask them to help you set the programs, so that you practice your problem areas.
- The good thing about the machine is that you can practice for longer than you would if practicing with a friend. Just make sure that you don’t just stand in one place and wait for the ball to hit you. You’ll want to ensure that you practice the game as you would want to play it.
- Try placing it in different areas of the court at different times, so that you can practice as if you were playing against different players.
Why Is A Machine Better Than A Person?
As you’re considering the cost, think about why a machine may be better than finding a person to play with. Here are some reasons why:
- Finding a person to join you isn’t always easy. Your friends may not have the same level, may not have the time, or they may not help you to improve.
- A machine can be set to throw at the speed and rate that you need to get better. A person cannot be set. You can ask them to do it a certain way, but a machine will do the program that you’ve asked it to without question.
- You won’t have to pay a coach. If you already know how to play pretty well, you won’t have to pay a coach to help you improve. You can go ahead and make an initial investment in a machine and then go ahead and practice your skill yourself. Even if you do have a coach who is training you, with a machine, you can practice in your down time.
If you are an avid tennis player or just starting out, a tennis ball machine can make a difference. It can help you practice the moves and techniques that you may not be that good at. You can increase your speed and learn how to transition and handle your racket better.
Learning how to handle your racket, react quickly, and improve technique takes practice. And, there is nothing like a machine to help you to practice and become the best that you can be.
You can choose one that will help you to fit more balls or buy the option that seems like it’s the easiest to carry. Always think ahead when choosing so that you invest in one that you can use at the court you use. From decently priced, smaller ones to pricier large ones, there is something for every type of player. Which one do you like the best?