If you wonder how you hit a perfect dink in pickleball, here is a guide discussing when, why, and how to dink in pickleball.
Dink in pickleball is vital as it is a crucial part of the offensive and defensive strategies. A dink shot in pickleball is the shot you hit from the non-volley zone line and make the ball land in the opponent’s non-volley zone. A dink shot can be used as an active weapon against your opponents to make a mistake. Also, it is the best way to neutralize the valley and release some pressure. This guide will discuss when, why, and how to dink in pickleball.
How To Perfect The Dink Shot In Pickleball?
What Is Dink In Pickleball?
Dink is a well-controlled soft shot hit from the non-volley zone that arcs over the net and lands within the kitchen zone of the opponent’s court. It could be straight across or diagonally cross-court.
Key Steps For Hitting A Perfect Dink In Pickleball | Pickleball Dinking Drills
1. Prepare Your Body
An excellent athletic stance is crucial to hitting a perfect dink shot. You need to prepare your body to react. Stretch your body with your knees slightly bent. The feet should be shoulder-width apart. Since it is a soft hit, you cannot afford miss-hits. Only a well-controlled hit will land on the desired spot in the opponent’s court. Therefore, you need to watch the pickleball to your pickleball paddle.
Holding the line is very important in pickleball. You need to position yourself on a point from where you can hit a perfect dink shot. You can’t play a perfect dink if you stay farther from the pickleball net. Stay as close to the net as possible, only when you stay on the kitchen line.
When you step back from the kitchen line, give your opponent a wide space to return your dinks. The opponent will return your dinks through different angles, ultimately making it difficult for you to return all of them. While staying on the line, you can put much pressure on the opponent.
Though you cannot always stay on this line, the opponent may start hitting your feet. In that case, you can step back a bit, but don’t forget to return to your position (the non-volley zone line) as soon as possible. Also, you can take a small drop step back off to return quick hits.
3. Get Your Paddle Ready
It’s time to prepare your paddle once you stand in the right spot in a perfect stance. You hit the ball in front of your body in a cross court dink shot. This short is less about power and more about control. Hold your paddle slightly loose to keep your hit from being overpowered. So, you must keep the paddle face open in front of your body with a soft grip. It will help you hit the ball with a gentle lift motion.
Footwork is a key factor in all racket games, and it goes true for dinking in pickleball. Moving your feet too much is not a good idea since you must hold the line. However, you must be ready to move left, right, up, or down. Being flat-footed on the kitchen line makes it easy for your opponent to hit your feet.
Keep your body parallel to the kitchen line, but do not hesitate to step back when needed. Avoid crossover steps and try to step back laterally to create room for yourself while returning a pickleball dink shot approaching your feet. Getting back to your ready position is essential, and if you take a crossover step, you won’t be able to grab your ready position quickly.
5. Protect Your Hit
Dinks that land close to your feet are hard to return as you have minimum time to react, you need to step back, and you need to create a steep angle. Therefore, you must practice protecting your feet while dinking in pickleball. The best way to protect your feet is to hit the pickleball on a short hop.
Hitting it on a short hop means hitting the ball right after it rises from the ground after the bounce. You need to get low to take the ball on the paddle before it rises, spins away, or moves away from your body. You need to be careful as the ball has a lot of speed when it rises. You can easily power it to shoot it back over the net with a gentle push.
This way, you can return a pickleball dink shot without putting your feet in the poor position or leaving your ready position. Another way to protect your feet is to take the ball out of the air. Don’t overextend your body, and take the ball out in the air to give a quick response.
6. Making A Contact
When striking the pickleball, you need to get under the pickleball. The best way to do this is by getting as low as possible. Pro players almost touch the ground when they bend their knees to hit the pickleball. Remember, this is a soft and controlled shot; your goal is not to overpower it. It is played with movement from the shoulder and doesn’t involve a wrist break or backswing.
Now, it’s time to make contact. When you strike a dink, you gently lift and throw the pickleball. You should not swing your hip, and it should look like you are standing from a sitting position. Provide a controlled motion with the form wrist and avoid the wrist snap or jerk. Stay low through the contact. If you stand, the paddle will also come up with you and hit the ball with too much height.
7. Revert To Ready Position
As soon as you finish hitting, get back to your ready position.
Pickleball Dinking Strategy
Dink is a simple yet important shot in pickleball and can be part of defensive and offensive strategies. So before you start dinking, you must know what you want to accomplish. The most common Dinking strategy is to extend the life and wait for your opponent to make a mistake.
If you want to win a point, you must wait a lot. Dinking will not win you a point on the first hit. Plan your dinking shots first, and then start a dinking rally. Please stick to your plan, manipulate your opponents by extending the game, and wait patiently until they make a mistake. This is the best dinking strategy.
People Also Ask
What Is The First Rule Of Dinking In Pickleball?
The first rule of dinking in pickleball is control. You must hit a controlled, unattackable shot into the opponent’s kitchen zone. If your opponent hits hard, he will hit it in the net or out.
How Can I Be A Better Dinker?
You must hold the line (stay parallel to the net on the non-volley zone line), use your legs and shoulders, and never overpower your shots. Also, you must practice a lot to learn from your mistakes and be a better Dinker.
How To Hit A Dink Shot In Pickleball?
To hit a dink shot in pickleball, you must learn how to complete it, as patience and control are a significant part of dinking. It would be best to hit in the opponent’s kitchen zone for a perfect dink shot, so it should be difficult for him to return.
What Is A Dead Dink In Pickleball?
If your dink shot fails to create any spin that can stress, press, or pressure your opponent, it is called a dead dink in pickleball. Try to create maximum spin using different strategies and practices to create aggressive dink shots.
How To Practice Dinking In Pickleball?
There are certain pickleball drills that you should practice to improve yourself at dinking. These drills include footwork, target practice, dummy dinking matches, and toss-the-ball drills. You can’t perfect dink shots if you don’t practice.
So, we can safely conclude that dinking in pickleball is all about control. In dinking, doing less equals more. You must do limited footwork and add limited speed and restricted power to your hits. Also, you need to stay in your ready position to hit perfect dinks.
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I, Jeena Noven, am a renowned pickleball expert and author with over 10 years of experience playing and coaching the sport. My passion and extensive knowledge of pickleball has made me a leading authority in the game, particularly in the field of footwear. I have written countless articles for https://pickleballcard.com/, a website dedicated to pickleball, sharing my insights and expertise on the best shoes for the sport. Through personal testing and reviewing countless different brands and styles, I have developed a deep understanding of the technical aspects of shoe design that make them suitable for the demands of pickleball. In my articles, I provide valuable information for both beginner and advanced players, covering everything from the basics of shoe fit and support, to advanced tips for maximizing performance on the court. As a dedicated pickleball player and expert in footwear, I am a valuable resource for players of all levels. My articles are not only informative but also engaging, making them a must-read for anyone looking to improve their pickleball game. I am constantly researching new products and trends in the industry and my readers can always count on me to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the best pickleball shoes available.