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Gamma Tennis Trainer

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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The Bottom Line

The Tennis Trainer is an inexpensive, extremely portable practice device that offers a good workout and helps with timing and footwork, but it might require you to hit with a combination of height and power that won't keep the ball in bounds for regular tennis play.
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Pros

  • Sets up almost anywhere
  • Provides a fairly intense workout
  • Helps with timing, footwork, and coordination
  • Easy enough for many beginners
  • Can be fun for intermediates and better

Cons

  • Requires higher, harder hits than most players would use on court
  • Some beginners find it frustrating at first.
  • Elastic band breaks occasionally

Description

  • Anchor block weighs roughly one pound
  • Elastic lets ball fly around 20 feet away
  • Standard pressureless tennis ball at end of elastic

Guide Review - Gamma Tennis Trainer

The Tennis Trainer, made by Gamma, consists of a tennis ball attached to a weighted block by a long elastic band. You hit the ball around 20 feet away, and the elastic brings it back for the next hit. The Tennis Trainer helps develop timing, footwork, and racquet-ball contact; and it provides a fairly intense workout. To keep the ball coming back, though, you might have to hit it harder and higher than you would on a real court, where it could take you a while to readjust so that you don't hit everything long. For players who need to learn to hit harder and more freely, though, the Tennis Trainer's benefits usually far outweigh its risks.

Some beginners find it difficult to hit the Tennis Trainer ball more than a few times in a row, but others get consecutive hits in the double digits within an hour or so of practice. An intermediate or better player can often hit more than 100 times in a row. Part of the fun for many players is trying to set new records of consecutive hits and to hit in patterns such as alternating between forehands and backhands.

The Tennis Trainer works like an invisible backboard, and while a backboard is better practice, you can't beat the convenience of a small device that you can set up just about anywhere. When you choose a location, be aware that the elastic will break now and then, letting the ball fly. The elastic does grow more fragile with use and age, but replacement ball and elastic sets are not expensive.

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