Pickleball Strategy - The Dink Shot
What is the Dink Shot?
The dink shot is a soft and controlled shot that is intended to move downward shortly after it clears the net, landing in the no-volley zone (ideally at your opponents feet). This slow moving shot can be an effective weapon that you should strongly consider adding to your game. The dink shot is heavily utilized by many of the best pickleball players in the game.
Why use the Dink Shot?
You will win more points! The dink is especially useful against overly aggressive players. Because the dink is a slow/low shot, the natural tendency in the return is to hit it upward - that way the return can clear and return over the net. If an opponent wants to play the power game they will often hit the return of the dink out or in the net - it is very hard to hit a low/slow shot upward with power and accuracy. The best return of a dink is quite often another dink. Patience is key with the dink shot - stay steady and wait for your opponent to make an unforced error or set you up for a smash.
In some circles (especially among former tennis players) dinking gets a negative rap. Some see it as a crutch for players who can't really hit and rally - instead preferring to wait for their opponent to make an unforced error. We strongly disagree! In reality this is a shot that takes skill and practice and when utilized properly can lead to more success for pickleballers.
When to use the Dink Shot?
The third shot is a common time to employ the dink. Remember it is advantageous to be at the net while your opponents are pinned to the baseline. Your opponent will often come to the net after your serve while you remain deeper in the court. If you hit a standard shot, your opponents may be able to volley and put you away or get your further on your heels. Utilizing the dink shot for your third shot can neutralize that advantage. Now that you're back on an even playing field you have a better chance of winning the point.
Just Dink It!
Next game or practice try dropping a few well placed dinks into the kitchen. You'll be amazed how perfecting this shot can take your pickleball game to new heights. Happy Pickleballing!