As a professional Pickleball player, our key focus should be on learning those shots, which dodge and badly engage our opponent to grab points. In Pickleball, there are several shots, which are very helpful to fulfil the above-said purposes.
In this piece of writing, we will give you a detailed explanation of one of the greatest shots of pickleball play i.e., the Pickleball dink shot.
We will expound on what strategies will you adopt to learn this shot, what position can make the shot perfect, what role does patience play in the shot; when, and why do we change position before and after hitting the shot? We will also explore where the dink shot should land in the opponent area.
What does dink stand for? (Dink Definition)
The connotation meaning of dink is negative as it describes the player who has below-average proficiency in games like badminton, tennis, ping-pong, etc., in power hit smashes.
Moreover, he can neither hit powerful groundstrokes nor aggressive strokes. He prefers to simply push the power hit stroke back to its rival.
Mostly, this strategy considers ineffective when you are playing against a high-caliber player.
What is a dink shot in pickleball?
First thing first, what does dink mean in pickleball?
In pickleball, a dink is a shot that we hit on a bounce by a player from near to its non-volley line to its opponent’s non-volley zone near to net. It can either be hit right in front of your opponent or cross-court.
This shot is also known as a short drop shot or soft game hit from the above-discussed lines. This main advantage of this shot is breaking your opponent’s power hit chain and binding him to hit softer.
How to Dink In Pickleball: Pickleball Dinking Strategies
Let’s talk about the strategies we should use while dinking in the pickleball. It’s a mind game, and we need to follow some tips and tricks to find out the best dinking action:
1. Hit the ball Out of the Air While Dinking at Non-Volley Zone
Don’t ever miss this chance, while you are planning to hit the kitchen line. Hitting pickleball out of the air will stress your opponent, and he will have no time to react to it.
There may negligible space available for the opponent’s shots. The other plus point is that by following this tip you will have the capability to cut down weird bounces from various spins and any angle hit by the opponent.
Keep in mind that, don’t make it again and again, overextending yourself will permit errors and disrupt your mechanics.
2. Try to Retain Your Feet at Non Volley Zone
Stepping back by taking your feet out of the kitchen line will make the dinks harder for you, and your opponent will enjoy enough court space to hit better dinks.
More court space will give your competitor more time to react over a shot, which is against your wishes.
3. Make Purposeful Dinks by Implementing Pressure
The players hit various dinks in a play, some of those are purposeful, and others are non-purposeful.
The non-purposeful dinks will surely give a plus point to your opponent; these dinks are pressure less and simple just to get the ball to drive backward the net.
On the other hand, purposeful dinks are aggressive and powerful. These dinks are made by putting more pressure in a form of extra pace, dinks with spin or with strong placements.
In case your opponent is making purposeless dinks, it will be a bright spot for you to exert stress on him and make an aggressive dink.
4. Be Unpredictable and Mix up the Dinks
While hitting the dinks, mix up the angles, spins, placement of the dinks and depth. When you will go unpredictable, you may exert pressure on your opponent and make him confused.
To make this happen, a few common targets are;
- Crosscourt dinks
- Down the side dinks
Crosscourt Dink refers to the dink that makes in the middle of the pickleball court. It will give the player, a good margin of error because the player will have more court space, the lower part of the net, and it makes at a natural angle.
Crosscourt dink has two big advantages:
- Length Advantage
- Height Advantage
Length advantage: The biggest benefit of dinking crosscourt or diagonally is that it gives you more room to hit the ball shorter because you have more space. So, your opponent cannot jump all over the ball.
If you are dinking directly across from you, you have very little space to work with. To hit a good dink, you have to hit a shot from about 11 feet away. If I’m dinking diagonally, I can make a shot from 11 feet or 18 feet.
So, one big benefit of dinking crosscourt is that it lets you hit shorter shots so your opponent can’t smash the ball back at you.
Height Advantage: Another benefit of dinking crosscourt is that you have a lot of room for error when it comes to height, so you can miss a little bit.
If you are dinking directly across from you, you have to stay very low over the net. By dinking the ball across the court, I get an extra 8 inches to work with.
If I hit it just a little bit too high, I still have enough length to get it into the non-volley zone, where my opponent can’t smash it back at me.
Down the Line Dinks
Down the Line Dinks refers to those dinks made down to the middle or side of the pickleball court. These dinks will prevent the competitor from cheating and staying on one side for a long time.
5. Dink Battles need Persistence
Be patient and practice hard to be successful. Don’t attack the unattackable shots in an overwhelming situation.
You will lose the mechanism and rally when you try to speed up or hit an unattackable shot. Be patient and hit the quality shots that are attackable too.
6. Communication and Teamwork in Doubles Pickleball Play
When you are playing doubles and working with your partner at the kitchen line, build up the communication and stay connected. You both should take decisions by keeping both of your views into consideration.
Final Thoughts On Pickleball Dink Shots
In the light of the above-said discussion, it can be concluded that the dink shot is one of the best shots in pickleball play to break the force of power-hitting of your opponent. You can confuse your opponent through this shot.
This shot can play via different angles i.e., cross-court, down the side dink, mix dink, etc., to mount pressure on your opponent. When your opponent hit a purposeful or non-purposeful dink shot to overcome the situation, you have to hit another dink shot by your side in return.
Moreover, you should be patient while continuously defending the shot. If you lose patience and try to hit a powerful smash, you may lose your point. To perform professionally, you should regularly practice the dink shot by keeping the above-mentioned points in mind.
I am Michael Wanner, an experienced and educated expert in the field of pickleball. I hold a degree in Sports Science from Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA. My expertise lies in the technical aspects of pickleball and how to play it effectively. I have spent many years playing and coaching pickleball and have a wealth of knowledge to share with my readers. I am a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their pickleball skills and strategies.