Pickleball Tutor Ball Machine

Practicing with the "Pickleball Tutor" ball machine can benefit players of all levels from beginners to very skilled.  Before you use it please read the Owner's Manual.  If you really want someone to show you how to use it you can ask other players or call John Strother at 4511.   Please be aware that the Tutor can hurt you!  Never look down the chute from close up.  The ball can come out at 50 miles an hour.  You could lose an eye, a tooth or break your nose!!  It's like looking down the barrel of a gun.  Be careful any time you're passing closely in front of the machine.  Never stick your hand down the chute when it's on.  Do not use when wet.  Do not put wet balls in the Tutor.


The Tutor lives in the pickleball box outside the fence by Court 4.  There is an extension cord ready to go near the NW corner of Court 4.  There are two buckets of about 40 balls each in the box (the Tutor will hold 125 balls).  It works best with used uncracked balls. It is very easy to use.  You just have to fiddle with the settings to get height, speed, trajectory and frequency right.  Plan to waste a few balls doing that.  A good place to start is ball speed = 4, ball feed = 4, height = 4 (the adjustable knob on the front left side).  Position the tutor about 2 feet back from the base line.  There is a small folding table available to set it on as well as some blocks to raise the front if needed.  Start with oscillation off, add when you're ready.  The tutor is remarkably consistent, but not perfect.  Expect some variation from shot to shot.  Occasionally balls may jam.  Be sure the machine is off and the throwing wheels have stopped before you attempt to clear any jams.

This thing is really a lot of fun to work with.  It allows you to have an easily repeatable shot so you can perfect everything from service return, 3rd shot drop to fast reaction net play.  You can perfect returns and work on more precise placement although it does not seem to lob or dink very well.  There is a copy of the "Pickleball Tutor Drill Manual" in the box or you can download it hereThis video shows some of the different ways a Pickleball Tutor can be used to practice including from the baseline ...

... in order to practice forehand and backhand shots.

It also shows how players can practice up at the Non - Volley Zone

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