Last updated 3 weeks ago
Which ball machine(s), if any, do you recommend to practice when no player is available.
When no playing partner is available, a ball machine can be a highly effective tool for practice. We have a previous Blog on the subject. Learning Table Tennis with a robot
Here's a list of considerations to keep in mind when choosing a ball machine:
Look for a ball machine that offers different spins (topspin, backspin, sidespin) and varying speeds and trajectories. The ability to adjust these settings allows you to simulate real-game scenarios better.
A good machine can shoot balls in different directions, helping you practice footwork and positioning. Some machines have programmable drills or random settings to keep you guessing and improve your reaction time.
Consider how many balls the machine can hold at once. A larger capacity can be convenient, as it minimises the number of times you need to stop and refill.
If you need to transport the machine or have limited space, look for a machine that is compact or foldable.
Some machines come with remote controls or can be operated via an app on your phone, making setup and adjustments easier during your practice.
Since you'll be using the machine frequently, look for one that's built to last and easy to maintain.
Ball machines come in a wide range of prices, so consider how much you're willing to spend. Keep in mind that higher-end models tend to offer more features and greater durability. A few ball machines that are often recommended include:
Newgy Robo-Pong: Popular in the table tennis community, offering a wide range of models to suit different needs and budgets.
Butterfly Amicus Series: These machines provide high-quality options with extensive features, such as pre-programmed drills and fine control over ball placement and variation.
iPong: This is a more budget-friendly option for players who are looking for basic practice without needing advanced features.
Remember that while a ball machine provides consistent and customizable practice, it's also valuable to play with human opponents when possible, as they offer unpredictability and strategic challenges that a machine cannot replicate.
Before purchasing, it might be helpful to watch online reviews, read user feedback from table tennis forums, and see if you can try out a machine at a local club. That way, you can get a better idea of which machine suits your personal needs and preferences.
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