Pickleball Tutor Basic (AC)
- AC (plug in) powered version WITHOUT Oscillation
- 125-ball capacity
- Adjustable speeds up to 50 MPH
- Adjustable arc from dink to lob
- Optional remote control
- Lightweight and portable (only 12"x18"x20")
- 3-year warranty
Is the machine easy to operate?
Yes, very simple. Easier than a toaster oven!
Where should I put the machine in my car?
Anywhere it is secure. Front seat, back seat, or in the trunk. Note: Trunk storage should be for short periods only.
Can more than one person use the machine at a time?
Yes, see our "Uses Tab" for numerous fun ideas to get the most out of your new machine.
How long will the machine last?
Take proper care of your machine and it can last 20 years or longer.
Are there instructions with the machine?
Yes, detailed instructions come with each machine. Please read them before operating the machine. For example, on battery operated models, you should first charge the battery fully before use. The instructions provide charging details and much more information about the proper use and care ofyour machine.
Should I get a remote control?
This is a personal decision. The machine holds up to 125 balls. When you turn on the machine there is a built-in 10-second delay to allow you to get to the other side of the net. The purpose of the remote is to allow you to pause the machine so you are not tempted to hit too many balls in a row, which can cause excessive fatigue, sloppy hitting, stress on the body, and possible injury. You certainly do NOT want to stand there and hit 125 balls in a row! Better is to hit 20-30 balls in a row and then (if you have a remote) pause the machine. Without a remote, you can accomplish this by putting fewer balls in the machine at the start, although you will have to retrieve the balls more frequently.
Can I decide to order the remote later?
No. The machine must be fitted for the remote by the manufacturer at the time of purchase and shipped back to the manufacturer to be retrofitted for the remote later on. The decision to get a remote should be made at the time of purchase.
Does the Pickleball Tutor require assembly or additional equipment?
No, except an extension cord for the A/C models
What safety precautions should I take before/while using the Pickleball Tutor?
Never walk in front of the Pickleball Tutor or insert your hand into the machine when it is operating. Start the Pickleball Tutor at a relatively slow ball speed and adjust from there. Also, since you are using many balls, be careful to clear balls that may get underfoot and present a hazard. Hitting that extra shot is not worth a sprained ankle!
What is the ball capacity?
What is the weight?
20-29 pounds, depending on the model
What is adjustable feed control?
The interval between ball throws
How does the oscillation work?
The models that include random oscillation allow the machine to feed balls in random side-to-side patterns, making it more similar to real play. The oscillation is controlled with a simple on/off switch.
Where is the Pickleball Tutor manufactured?
What is the warranty?
3 Years on the machine and 1 Year on the battery
Which brand of Pickleball balls should be used?
All pickleball balls work well with this machine. You can also use it to keep your dog busy and fire balls high into the air and over a great distance!
What other sports or activities can be used with the machine?
The list starts with baseball (but only using pickleballs or baseball-size lightweight plastic balls. A second option is to give your dog a workout. Just increase the arc and speed and you can fire balls as far as your dog can run! Note that the warranty is no longer in effect if the machine is used with real baseballs. Due to their extra weight, the machine will get damaged.
What should I do if it starts raining?
Turn the machine off and cover it, just like youwould with any electrical appliance.
PRACTICE BY YOURSELF
Ball machines are a wonderful way to play, improve, and have fun on your own. In just 15 minutes you can get some exercise and improve your game at the same time. You can also bring it to the courts before your "match" to warm up on your own. And, if you don't want to leave your house, just open your garage door and set up the machine. You stand on your driveway and aim into your garage! It's a great way to establish your rhythm and timing for the day, since machines throw with a consistency that no opponent or practice partner can offer.
PRACTICE WITH A PARTNER
For most people, practicing on a ball machine with a partner is more fun than alone. While that's true, there is one additional benefit. With a partner, you can fill the machine with 100 balls and alternate hitting 5-10 each so you don't get so fatigued that you get in sloppy practice habits. You can also set up targets, which is a great idea whether you are alone OR with a partner. Create a little fun competition by seeing how many times each of you can hit the target area you have created. Visit www.OncourtOffcourt.com for many inexpensive and colorful ways to create target areas with cones, court shapes, or targets windows above the net.
There are virtually unlimited drills you can create, but here are a few to get you started. First, remember that the ball is not a dog! You have to move to it. It won't come to you, especially in real play! Therefore, allow yourself a little extra time in between ball feeds so you can recover to a neutral position in between shots, again move into position and on balance to hit each shot, and then recover again. Remember that practice does NOT make perfect! Perfect practice makes perfect. How many shots should you hit in a row? Ideally, make your ball sequences as realistic as possible and do not just stand in one place and hit 50 balls in a row. After all, when will that ever happen in a match? Hit 5-10 in a row with a little movement to make your practice as realistic as possible. And, remember that you should set up realistic target areas and not aim too close to the lines (or the top of the net). Matches are NOT usually won by which player or team hits more winners, but by who makes fewer mistakes!
THREE PHASES OF A GOOD PRACTICE SESSION
PHASE #1 - WARM-UP and RHYTHM:
How well you play on any given day is greatly affected by how you warm up. Incorporating a little light movement, making sure you are on balance with knees slightly bent, is your goal in Phase #1. Relax and swing freely while getting in a good rhythm while you hit your shots. Focus on one shot at a time and then switch to another shot. This is called blocked practice.
PHASE 2 - ADD MOVEMENT:
Once you have a good feel for the ball, add movement and recovery for each shot. It can just be 2-3 steps, but avoid standing in one place without moving at all. You can also have the machine feed balls down the middle and move to alternate hitting forehands and backhands. This is called serial practice. Or, set up the machine to feed wide and move to the ball.
PHASE 3 RANDOM:
If your machine has the random function, this part of your practice is like a good dessert after a meal. Your body is warmed up, you are nearing the end of your practice, and you want to challenge your skills. Hit 10 balls in a row with the machine set to random. Since you won't know where the balls will be fed, you will have to react and move much more as compared to when the machine feeds to one predictable spot.
ADD FUN TO PICKLEBALL PARTIES AND EVENTS
Contests and team competitions with prizes are easy to organize at pickleball parties and events. Compete by age groups, set up colorful targets, and your event will be talked about for months! If you use cones as targets you can even put prizes under the cones! Even small prizes make competition more fun. Get a few local restaurants to donate a meal, or come up with other creative ideas. You can even have a "pay to play" activity to raise money for a local charity or for your own community pickleball club!
SET UP A WARM-UP COURT AT TOURNAMENTS
Pickleball tournaments need to offer warm up courts. How about putting a ball machine on one of the courts for players to use? Just put up a sign that says "Please be courteous to those waiting for the machine and do not use for more than 15 minutes!"
BALL MACHINE CLUBS
Ball machine clubs are a hit with tennis clubs. Pickleball facilities are no different. Charge a certain amount for monthly Ball Machine Club memberships and use the money to pay for the machine! Sign up 20 players with a prepaid membership fee of $50 each. The fees could be $10 per month per person as prepaid "founding members" and the fee for others could be $15 per month otherwise. The monthly fee allows players to sign up for one hour of ball machine use each week. In no time, you can raise $1,000 to buy a great ball machine and plenty of balls!