Pickleball is a unique sport in that dinking is part of the game. So, what is a dink? It’s a soft shot you hit low over the net after the ball bounces in the kitchen or near the non-volley-zone line. The goal of the shot is to slow down the game and see if your opponent makes a mistake or you get an offensive opportunity because they hit a dink too high.
Players of all levels hit dinks but in this video we are going to focus on the technique of the pros. I’ll highlight 5 technical aspects of the Pickleball dink.
When you are in a dinking rally, the first thing is to make sure you are ready. Notice how the pros keep their paddle up but not too high. Since they are in a dinking rally, they are expecting the ball to come low over the net so their paddle is about waist high as their opponent hits the ball.
The second technical aspect you of watching pros in a dink rally is where they contact the ball. They always hit the ball in front of their body. Notice they rarely hit the ball behind them. In fact, they will step back from the kitchen line if the ball is hit at their feet. They hit a soft, controlled shot and then move back up to the line to be ready for the next shot.
Pro players have excellent timing and if you watch them hit a dink just before the ball bounces a second time. In other words, they don’t hit a dink as the ball is rising. They wait for ball to get to its highest point and then start dropping before they hit their dink. This gives them more time to set up up to hit an effective dink and they also have a chance to see where there opponent has moved.
As you watch pros hit dink, notice how they bend their knees to hit the shot and direct the ball with their body. Notice they do not use their wrist to flick the ball. Instead they keep their wrist firm. The pros also use minimal or no back swing. Since this is a soft, controlled shot there is not need to use a big stroke.
The pros aim to hit the ball just over the net by a couple of inches. It is key to keep the ball low over the net so they do not give their opponent an offensive opportunity. Pros also hit a lot of slice dinks to make sure the ball stays low on their opponents side. They do not want the ball bouncing above the net on their opponents side as they allows their competition to attack.
It’s rare for intermediate Pickleball players to have a dinking rally more than 3 or 4 shots. You will often see one player try to attack at the wrong time and as a result hit the ball in the net. The pros are skilled at waiting for just the right opportunity to be offensive. They have the patience to hit 10 or more dinks to get an opportunity to win the rally.
In this video I looked at how the pros dink in Pickleball. Follow these tips and you will have more consistency when dinking. Remember patience will lead to good offensive opportunities you can attack.