1. Make a list of your weakest shots, not much point in just practicing what you’re already good at.  Once you’ve got your list, practice hitting that particular stroke with 100 shots at a time. Then go onto your next weakest stroke and also hit 100 shots.  Repeat with each stroke on your list until you’ve hit a minimum of 200 shots each. This should take no longer than 1 hour performed 3 days a week.  Be sure you’re not practicing a bad habit; your technique should already be sound.

2. On non-stroke improvement days, you want to work on your conditioning.  Use the machine to vary the shots from short to long and from side-to-side.  This is all about footwork and getting to the ball quickly.  Do this in 5-minute intervals for 5 sets with a 1-minute rest in between sets.  This type of conditioning, performed at least twice a week, will help you get to balls quicker and be ready to make those great shots you have been practicing.

3. Move the machine around the court to vary the angle the ball is coming at you from and the angle you’re returning it to. For instance, place the machine on the far baseline at the corner of the court and practice returning shots directly back at that angle (25 shots to your forehand side).  After that practice returning your shots directly down your forehand-side sideline (25 shots).  Next alternate your returns from sideline to cross- court (times 25).  This way you’re varying the height of the net you’re hitting over (it’s lower in the middle) and you have to adjust the positioning of your body to change the direction of the ball you’re hitting.  Repeat all drills on your backhand side.

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