Tennis is a game enjoyed by millions but yet there is an element of the game that seems to be missing amongst the majority of its participants, despite being such a global pastime. This aspect is the use of the tennis ball machine. Whether because of costs, availability, logistics, or just pure unawareness, millions of tennis players will never have the chance of taking advantage of the benefits of a ball machine.
Starting with this first article I will be sharing my own personal experience of the additional benefits of using a tennis machine aside from its intended purpose of improving your strokes. In future articles, I’ll continue to expand on the topic, and possibly share my other thoughts about the game of tennis as well.
Tennis machines keep you fit!
Even before you hit the courts, you’re typically lifting a 30lb machine and another 20lb basket of balls in and out of the trunk of your car. Your pre-pre-workout continues as you carry all of your equipment, plus your 10lb tennis bag, and 2lb water cooler to courtside.
Once you get going hitting against the ball machine…after you’ve properly stretched of course….those calories start to burn as you’re continually moving your feet ensuring they aren’t planted, swinging away at the balls coming at you around 70Mph. Balls which by the way, tend to be a little heavier than regular balls if you use the pressure-less ones. After hitting 100 balls and not even breaking a sweat, you now have to pick-up all of those balls. For every one you’re collecting, you’re lifting the hopper as it gradually gets heavier and heavier. That’s at least 50 biceps, or half the amount of balls you began with assuming you didn’t spray them all over the court. This is a workout by itself and after just picking up the first hopper’s worth, your t-shirt is holding more moisture than the water cooler you brought!
After going through another 2 hoppers worth/~200 balls, you decide to turn on the oscillation feature, which then spreads the ball randomly across the court. You’re heart rate has now possibly doubled just due to the running needed to get yourself properly positioned to hit the next ball. Swing after swing, you’re working on your arms, legs, and torso. After going through 6 hoppers/~600 balls since starting, and possibly 1 hr that seemed like an eternity, you’ve decided to call it a day.
You’re spent, thirsty, and your body is telling you already that tomorrow is going to be one of those must ‘call in sick’ days, and you’re ready to take a nap on the bench. The only problem is that you were ‘gently’ reminded by the other players waiting outside the fence that you’re on a public court. You have just enough energy to rummage through your tennis bag to find your car keys…and you were just reminded that you still have to lug about 60lbs of equipment back to your car which is at least 50 yards away.
What a workout! Who needs a gym membership when you’ve got a ball machine to use! But hey, did you also know that ball machines were good for your tennis game as well?