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 A tennis ball machine is a great investment and will enhance your love of the game.

No matter how much we say we are playing for fun, recreation, fitness or friendly competition, the bottom line is still that playing better means having more fun!

Ball machine practice will ultimately make you a better tennis player.

Let’s take a look at the Lobster Grand V LE tennis ball machine in the following article. If you’re looking for a good Lobster Grand V LE review, this article will attempt to explore the Grand’s attributes, as well as any drawbacks.

According to the manufacturer’s statements:

  • The Lobster Grand allows you to customize your court drills. In addition to customizing drills, you can program shot locations, speed, spin, and feed rate.
  • Other drills available include approach, attack/defend, forehands plus, grinder, power baseliner and all-courter.
  • The Grand’s technology allows shot variations with six pre-programmed, six shot drills. With the Lobster Grand you can simulate real match play which is the ultimate goal when using a ball machine! 
  • Your most challenging opponent simulated will improve your skill-set and help you gain a competitive edge.
  • There is an optional remote that lets you control sweep, random oscillation, 2-line drills, speed, spin, and feed.
  • The machine throws balls in various directions, covering the entire range of the court while combining sped, oscillation, trajectory, and spin. This is a technologically advanced feature. For a portable tennis ball machine, this technology is the only one on the market. 

You can view the Lobster Sports – Elite Grand Five LE – Battery-Powered Tennis Ball Machine – 12 Pre-Loaded Drills & Player Styles – Fully Random Oscillation – 2-Line Feature 150-Ball Capacity at Amazon to learn more about how this product may work for your training and playing needs.

Let’s look at some of the pre-programmed court drills available on the machine as well as some suggested uses for them. 

  • Moonballer: To play the moonballer, you need patience! You also need a combination of patience and a good midcourt swinging volley to move forward and finish the point. With this feature, you can also move back and let the high bouncing ball drop to a more comfortable height. 
  • Slicer: Some of the most effective club level players are called “hackers”. Others are called “slicers and dicers”. These players can slice or chop their ground strokes, keeping the ball low and hard to return. The best strategy for playing a slicer is to bend your knees and minimize unforced errors. These players are steady and will move you around the court!
  • Lefty: Most players are right handed which makes playing a lefty an unexpected experience. Often a player realized they have played a lefty either mid way through the match or when the match is over! Most left-handed players have strong forehands, backhands and strong backhand volleys. Low forehand volleys can be a challenge for some lefties. The feeds from the Lobster Grand in this sequence are designed to simulate what a lefty opponent may look like. 
  • Beginner: Beginners need to experience a measure of success to build confidence. The 6-ball beginner drill is meant for helping beginners improve quickly and build confidence. Balls are fed into the middle 50% of the court, at slow to medium speed and are meant to land in the area between the service line and 9 feet in front of the baseline. Beginners should try to hit all 6 balls to land past the service line on the opposite side of the net. A more challenging variation is for the hitter to call out which side of the court they are aiming to hit (cross court or down the line) before striking each ball. Hit six balls and then pause the machine to simulate a long point.
  • Intermediate: Intermediate players need to be challenged to reach more advanced levels. This 6 ball drill will help intermediates improve their court coverage and execute a variety of shots. The goal for the hitter is to land 6 balls behind the service line with 4 of the 6 balls to land in the deep half of the back court area. Hit only 6 balls at a time and then pause the machine to simulate a long point. A more challenging variation is for the hitter to call out call out which side of the court they are aiming for (cross court or down the line) before striking each ball. Hit six balls and then pause the machine to simulate a long point, just as in the beginner drill. 
  • Advanced: Advanced players need to be challenged by pace and placement to reach more advanced levels. This drill is designed to help advanced players develop high shot tolerance, while learning to quickly identify “opportunity” balls that can be attacked. Hit at least 2 balls into a right-handed opponents backhand court, then on the next short ball fed form the machine, attack that ball with an inside-in forehand to the opponents forehand side. Hit it cross-court or run around a backhand to execute this shot. The only rule is the machine is only allowed to feed 6 balls in each sequence before being paused. The hitter will then be pressured to look for the first opportunity ball to attack on the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth ball fed. 

Take a quick look at the Lobster Grand in action!

Fun options

  • iPhone Remote Control: The Grand V is compatible with the Grand 20-function remote control. In addition, it is also compatible with the optional iPhone remote control. This optional remote control system uses a factory installed Wi-Fi remote control receiver to communicate with your iPhone upon downloading the free app from iTunes. 
  • Fully Random Oscillation: This feature incorporates both horizontal oscillation and vertical oscillation allowing the machine to throw balls throughout the entire spectrum of the tennis court while mixing up ball speeds, ball speed, and ball feed rate. This feature makes simulating match play very enjoyable and competitive. The Grand offers 3 positions of the 2-Line function (narrow, medium and wide settings) in addition to throwing balls alternatively to two positions (forehand and backhand). You can select the depth of the ball throws or select random for varying depth. 

Some additional specs and features include:

  • Feed Rate: 2-12 seconds 
  • Power: Battery (fast-charger included)
  • Court Time: 4-6 hours
  • 3-Line function: Narrow, medium and wide. 
  • Elevation: Electronic 0-50 degrees
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Spin: top, back
  • Max speed: 80 MPH
  • Ball Capacity: 150 

Let’s explore the most common pros as well as the most common complaints below.

Pros: 

  • Features not found on any other portable ball machine
  • Playing with the pre-loaded drills are similar to training with a tennis professional.
  • Custom programmable drills help in focusing on certain shot combinations.
  • High end portable machine with an exclusive feature in the fully random mode. 
  • Light weight, compact and easy to travel with

Cons:

  • There is a learning curve in understanding all aspects of the machine. The machine must be calibrated for the set-up to be correct. If you do not calibrate the machine properly, too many balls will either hit the net, or go long. This only takes a few moments but must be done.
  • While creating custom drills, there are some limitations or parameters within the programmable drill features. For example, if you create two sequential shots that are dramatically different in the shot criteria, more time must be allowed between each ball (feed rate).

This is to allow all the motors to make the changes required to pull-off the next shot accurately. This should pose no issue for most people due to the quick and challenging feed rate. 

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com