If you’re reading this is because you’re probably debating on whether getting the Billie Jean Kings Tennis Eye Coach or not. First of all, let me salute your efforts of looking into ways to improve your tennis game! Today, I’ll try to provide you with the proper information so you can make up your mind. And although I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible, I have to mention that I’m own the Eye Coach and use it as a complementary training tool.
The pros and cons of the Tennis Eye Coach:
Pros of the Eye Coach:
- Improve Point of Contact
- Improve hand-eye coordination
- Speed up the learning process
- Develop better technique & muscle memory
- Allows for practicing on topspin, under-spin, and flat shots
- Allows for practicing up to 17 different strokes
- Portable & convenient
- Tennis ball height adjustability
- Indoor practice
- Allows for various players to use it in the same practice session
Cons of the Eye Coach:
- Potentially develop and reinforce bad habits
- Can be too repetitive and boring
- No feedback on ball placement and accuracy
- Not helpful for ball control
- Doesn’t require you to work on footwork
- Potentially hurt your arm and wrist
- Potentially a string breaker
Keep reading to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of using the Billie Jean Kings Tennis Eye coach.
PROs of the Eye Coach
1. Improve point of contact.
There is a reason why is called the “Eye coach.” This training tool can help you improve your visual skills on the court, which is essential to time the ball accurately. According, to their website, practicing for 5 hours with the Eye Coach can increase your sweet spots hits by over 40%. Besides working on the contact the point, at the same time, you’re also working on your strokes.
2. Improve hand-eye coordination.
As a tennis coach, after only a few minutes of working with the Eye Coach, I’ve seen beginner players who could just not hit the ball to being able to start doing contact with it. I’m not saying that this tool makes miracles, but I believe it can truly help you improve your hand-eye coordination on the tennis court.
As a result, the Eye Coach can be very beneficial for young kids who are struggling with timing the ball correctly due to poor coordination and balance.
3. Speed up the learning process.
Practicing with the Eye Coach for about 30 minutes is equivalent to hitting on the tennis court for around 6 hours. You can hit approximately 500 to 600 balls in half hour. Imaging practicing your forehands 500 times with the correct technique. Practicing often with this tool can help you develop proper muscle memory in much less time than it will take you on the court.
4. Develop better technique and muscle memory.
Since you don’t have to worry on timing the ball properly, it allows players to focus only on the ball and technique, and not get distracted by the flight of the ball. As a tennis coach, I’ve seen how this can make a big difference because usually players, especially beginners, tend to naturally focus more on the flight of the ball than the technique or form.
As a result, this device allows for high-quality reps on your strokes, which is essential to develop good muscle memory. Besides, players can work on getting rid of bad habits during their strokes, which very difficult to do it with a live ball.
5. Topspin, underspin, and flat shots.
The Eye Coach is built in a way that allows the ball to spin, letting players know whether they hit a topspin, underspin, or flat shot. Therefore, players can practice different types of shots more realistically.
6. Practice 17 different strokes.
According to their website, the Eye Coach can help you work on up to 17 different strokes. They even have a video that shows how to work on every shot. I’ve used it for groundstrokes, volleys, slices, and serves. You can even alternate between forehands and backhands while working on your footwork at the same time. Also, the arm can be detached from the base so you can work on your serve and overheads.
Below is a video that shows how can you work with the Eye Coach on 17 different strokes.
7. Portable & convenient.
You can put the Eye Coach in your car, and drive anywhere you want and practice on your tennis strokes. Imaging improving your tennis game while being at the beach or on a day of camping at the park, or in the comfort of your house. Besides, the best part is that after you’re done with your tennis session, there is no ball picking up to do.
8. Height Adjustability.
The height of the ball can be adjusted to different height levels, allowing players to work on low and high balls. The professional version can be adjusted between 32 to 39 inches and junior version from 28.5 to 30.5 inches.
9. Indoor practice.
We all been there; you wake up, and you’re ready to start your morning with some tennis, to only find out the courts are soaking wet, and that you won’t be having tennis practice today. The Eye Coach can be an excellent practical alternative for those cold or rainy days, or whenever you can’t find open courts.
10. Various players in the same practice session.
If you’re a tennis coach, this training aid can be used in your group lessons where you can add the Eye Coach as a station or include it on your drills. Also, you can have two players alternate shots; one can hit forehands and the other backhands, and in between shots they can work in their footwork.
Check the following video to have a better an idea on how multiple players can use the eye coach.
CONs of the Eye Coach
1. Potentially develop and reinforce bad habits.
If not used correctly, the constant use of the Eye Coach can potentially reinforce improper technique and bad habits. It’s essential that when using the Eye Coach players emphasize on correct technique and form. Otherwise, you can develop improper muscle memory.
Remember, muscle memory does not discriminate between right or wrong technique; whatever type of repetition you practice that is going to be the type of muscle memory you develop.
Although ideally, you should work with a tennis coach, you can also look online on YouTube for videos on how to properly hit specific strokes. Also, practicing in front of the mirror will allow you to keep an eye on your form and swings continually.
2. Can be too repetitive and boring.
Even though I enjoy practicing with the Eye Coach, I have to admit that sometimes it can get very repetitive and boring, making you lose interest in your practice. Also, my students in some occasion get tired of using the Eye Coach and prefer to rally with somebody, which is understandable.
I think a good way not to get bored while using the Eye Coach is to play music so that your mind can relax and let your body work on developing proper muscle memory.
Moreover, it’s important to remember that the Eye Coach should be usually used as a complementary tool for tennis practice rather than as a substitute.
3. No feedback on placement and accuracy.
Even though the Eye Coach can be beneficial for working on the technical aspect of your strokes, it doesn’t stimulate your placement and accuracy skills on the court. Immediately after using the Eye Coach, I’ll recommend players to self-feed balls to practice on their ball placing while using the correct technique.
4. Not helpful for ball control.
Another drawback is that you don’t work on ball control or consistency, which is a fundamental aspect of playing tennis, especially for beginners. That’s why I suggest that right after practicing with the Eye Coach, to hit against the wall, or with another player to develop consistency while working on the proper technique.
5. Does require you to work on footwork.
Since this device is stationary, it doesn’t require players to work on their footwork to practice their strokes. And although in the instructional videos they promote the use of footwork with the Eye Coach, I’ve seen many times players practicing without moving their feet at all. So, it’s important for users to implement footwork during their Eye Coach practice sessions.
6. Can potentially hurt your arm and wrist.
Some customers have complained that using the Eye Coach for long periods can potentially cause your arm or wrist to start hurting. Although I never encountered these problems, I have to mention that I’ve never done an Eye Coach practice session for longer than 15 minutes. So, perhaps if you use it continuously for 30 min or more, you might start to experience some discomfort.
It’s recommended that each practice session be no longer than 10 minutes.
7. Potentially a string breaker.
Some of my players have broken strings while using the Eye Coach. However, I don’t think it has to do with the ball material because the Eye Coach uses a regular ball. I think the reason why players are more likely to break strings while practicing with this training tool is that they get to hit the ball many more times than if they were hitting against another player.
Remember, that 30 minutes of hitting with the Eye Coach is equivalent to hitting on the court for 6 hours.
At a price of around $170, for the average person, it can be pricey. I’ve read on forums of people complaining that the price is too high for what the Eye Coach offers. If you feel the same way about the Eye Coach, keep reading to find out how can you save money and get more bang for your buck.
Eye Coach + Wall = DIY Tennis training synergy
Using the Eye Coach for around 15 min and right after, hit against the wall and practice with the same technique and form as it was done with the eye coach, can speed up your learning process and improve your tennis game drastically. I believe this is because you are reinforcing the correct technique with a static ball, as well as, with a “live” ball. The combination of both makes for a great progression to work on your tennis game.
For example, when coaching, I ask players to hit the eye coach twice, and then I feed them balls so they can practice the same stroke with a moving ball.
Eye Coach Coupon code for up to $80?
(*Ok! I don’t really have a coupon code, but I’ll share with you a way you can save up to $80.)
So, you have decided to get the Tennis Eye Coach; however, you’re not ready to put down those 170 plus dollars that it cost. Let me help you with that…, I have an idea that could help save serious money… almost a full Benjamin! So, instead of buying the Eye Coach at full price, you should buy it for parts, and make a few adjustments here and there.
First, you’ll need to buy an Eye Coach replacement arm for around 1/3 of the Eye coach price. Then, you’ll need to buy the base; here is where you’ll be saving money. If you make the numbers, you’ll find out that the Eye Coach base is costing you about $110!! Instead of using the original base, you can use an umbrella base, which runs for around $30! This means that you could end up saving approximately $80, genius! Right?
If you’re interested in finding out more about on how you can get your own Eye Coach for less than half the price, check the following article “ How to Save Up to $80 on a Tennis Eye Coach!”
Although the Eye Coach won’t replace practicing and hitting with your coach or partner, it can be a useful training aid to add to your tennis practices that when used properly can dramatically improve your game.
To be honest, if I have to buy the eye coach for around $160, I’ll still buy it because I believe it can certainly help you improve your game in many ways. However, if the price tag is still keeping you from buying it, you can always get your own version of the Eye Coach by getting the replacement arm and use an umbrella base.
If you have other pros and cons of using the tennis Eye Coach, please share them with us know on the comment section.