First off, to be an excellent player, you have to have great hand-eye coordination. An F-16 pilot would make a great pinball player.
But, because I suck, I usually do this. I play a couple of single player games to warm up. Then I start all 4 players. After the first two balls, usually one or two players are well ahead of the others. Then with the third ball, for the players that are lagging behind, I use that third ball and any extras as practice balls and try to make specific shots and not necessarily to score a lot of points. I then play the leader(s) to score points and to try and get my initials on the display. If one game keeps kicking your ass, try another one, it just may not be your day for the first one. An excellent reason to have more than one. Re: The Disease.
I also lower all the High Scores To Date to the minimums. That way I am competing against someone of the same playing ability (me) and not some default guy (Tex) or some rotten devil (like Mike Frasca ) who has posted a High Score that I couldn't beat with the glass off.
So practice if you like or just bang 'em around and have fun. Pinball isn't real life, it's pinball.