Fewer teaching tools are more effective than the high end Playmate ball machine model known as the Genie. It has a rich set of features that make it a great investment for organizations that teach several levels of tennis from beginning to advanced. These features also help make the teaching process more efficient, a huge benefit in facilities where court time comes at a premium. With benefits for any level of tennis player and instructors alike, there are many compelling reasons for considering this machine for your facility.
Tennis instructors face many challenges when teaching a class with several students. The biggest issue they have to deal with is making the best use of their time. Instructing a student on a particular shot can be a time consuming process of trial-and-error. For example, let’s say an instructor wants to teach students about forehand shots. In a typical class, the instructor would serve the ball to the student’s forehand side to practice the mechanics of this shot. The problem is that sometimes the instructor, no matter how good, will hit the ball to the wrong location often enough that the repeated attempts consume a lot of valuable class time. With the Genie instructors can control the machine remotely, allowing them to focus on observing and critiquing students’ mechanics instead of wasting so much time trying to serve the right shot during a drill. Another problem is that even if an instructor hit the right shot every time, the rate of shots they can hit in a time interval is limited.
Beginner level players are doing all they can just to return a shot in bounds. A ‘sink or swim’ approach to instruction does no more good than teaching calculus to someone who doesn’t yet know how to add two numbers together. Working on basic shots by developing muscle memory needed to hit them in bounds consistently should be the main focus for students at this level. This is where a Playmate ball machine like the Genie can be so helpful. It can hit the right shot to the student every time and deliver more shots per minute than an instructor can. This makes more efficient use of class time and it frees instructors up to observe and critique students on their shots.
For advanced players, the repetition training that beginners use might help them work on a particular weakness, but as a general rule, it’s better for them to be challenged more while training. They not only need to practice a variety of shots they also need to deal with the unexpected. This is another area where the Genie can help. It has the ability to generate random shots, making it helpful to advanced players learning to deal with conditions similar to those in competition. They can also work on returning serves using the Serve Lift or Slam units, which can be used with any Playmate ball machine.
With the challenges that instructors have in making the best use of class time, a Playmate ball machine like the Genie can be a helpful tool. It can be configured to any level of play making it a wise investment to institutions and organizations that provide instruction to all levels of tennis players.
San Diego, Calif. native and tennis enthusiast, Christopher Mohr, is a freelance writer who enjoys covering topics including sports, electronics and athletic equipment. Before becoming a writer, he worked for several years in IT and customer service.