Pull the glass from the (any) game for your practice session.
Metallica seems a good modern game candidate for drop catches and dead bounces. Lots of shots up the middle coming back to the flippers. Also the scoop feeds (snake and mystery) sometimes offer that opportunity.
In following what @Snailman stated, combinations of flipper tricks are often useful on certain games. Drop catches to tap pass to opposite flipper can be useful (assuming the game is tap pass friendly).
Just sayin’ - if you want to practice drop catches for five minutes or an hour straight there’s a way.
For now, if there’s an operator or owner near you with a Cannon Lagoon module you might want to see if they’re interested in getting into the early access program.
Or if you’re Henderson, Robert, or Raymond, you live catch like some sort of lunatic when the ball is coming from the opposite side of the playfield.
Funny, I’m the exact opposite… I always found drop catches easy and use them constantly, but my live catches suck. I should really take this hint to go dedicate practice time to them. Pinburgh approaches!
Tony L. He was at INDISC and I’m guessing other events you’ve competed in. He’ll of a nice guy and awesome player.
Here’s a great Crowd Source funded idea. A device that can be placed onto the playfield with a “hopper” that holds pinballs. It basically feeds pinballs onto the playfield (thinking via a remote switch or voice command), with speed that can be altered by a kicker with a potentiometer or something to that end. Sure a niche device, but it would be nice to have something I could quickly load up with pinballs and repeatedly practice the same flipper skill.
We already have that. Apollo 13.
I learned to drop catch out of the feed from the pops on Fast Break, which you get very frequently in that game, including off the plunge, which makes for a perfect skilled drop catch and then fire up the middle for your Tip-Off combo! Highly recommended.
I forced myself to learn to drop catch by playing Space Station.
I have found that the actual mechanics of drop catching are pretty easy and forgiving compared to live catches. I realized that I was already often doing drop catches on upper flippers (The Shadow feed from Khan scoop and sometimes on Spiderman). For me at least it was just a matter of forcing my brain not to automatically dead bounce.
This thread made me realize I’ve had the terms of drop catch and live catch backwards!
When is there advantage to drop catches versus live? I’m pretty good at live, sometimes I can even time it right so the ball stops dead on the flipper, but drop catches usually end with me sending the ball wild somewhere.
If you’re good at live catching and have found the live catch on a pin, always live catch.
But… it does depend on the angle the ball is approaching. Coming in line with the flipper (from its same side), then live catch. Coming across the flipper (from opposite side), then drop catch or dead bounce.
I do this fairly often on Tron - a failed right ramp shot that rolls back can often be “drop-caught” on the UL flipper and sent back up the left orbit a few inches, setting up an easy gem or ramp shot as it rolls back down.