In this article, I try to explain in a simple way about a dink shot and when to use dinking in a pickleball game. I also try to guide the basic steps involved in playing a dink shot.
What is a dink and How Important is Dinking Shot?
Every beginner wants to know what is a dink in pickleball is and how important is dinking shot is in pickleball. The term dink is very famous, and everybody wants to know about this term and is curious to know what dink means in a pickleball game. It’s a well-controlled shot in the pickleball game, where you strike the ball into the kitchen, Non-volley zone on your opponent’s side of the court. Generally, all four players in doubles will be in the kitchen when you try to hit a dink.
Dink can be used as an option for offensive or defensive shots, according to the situation in the game. An offensive shot puts pressure on your opponents to commit a mistake or pop up the ball to tuck away easily; on the other hand, a defensive shot in pickleball is a try to relieve the pressure of your opposite team.
The purpose of the dink is to strike a shot that is not playable by your opponents. These kinds of short dinks have a specific height on your side of the court and land on your opponent team’s side of the kitchen, a non-volley zone so that your opponents’ players cannot volley the pickleball; they let the pickleball bounce.
The main aim is to keep your shot low so that your opposite team has to strike the ball to get the pickleball back on your side of the net. Apparently, this shot is considered deceptive but in fact, it requires a lot of perfection in your game.
What is the Main Purpose of Dinking in Pickleball Game?
When we read so many times the word “Dink” in this article. The only question that comes into our mind is, what is a dink in pickleball and what is the main purpose of a dink in the game? Dinking in pickleball is a good weapon to defeat opponents. For opposing pickleball players, dink is a very tricky, unique, and difficult shot to return to the next shot. According to pickleball rules, a pickler can’t step past the kitchen line before the ball bounce; it means a good dink shot forces the opponent out of their position to place their next shot hit low and don’t allow them to attack you.
It becomes a cause of out of a high-powered game for opposing picklers and takes them into a slower pace. Since the opposing player can respond after the pickleball bounce, it provides you room to relieve yourself during the dinking rally. It also causes frustration for the opponent and forces them to make a mistake.
It’s the best and most beneficial strategy when your opponent team is striking the ball harder than you or is more experienced and skillful than you.
How Do You Hit a Dink Shot in Pickleball?
Remember that you are near the non-volley zone line; stand about an inch away. There’re methods to handle and grip the paddle, but the best handle for dinking shot is considered “the Continental Grip,” where you will keep your paddle at a 45-degree angle.
According to the situation, this grip lets you strike the ball with either a backhand or forehand. Take a position, bend your knees, straighten your back, and be ready to return the ball; keep your arm stiff as you swing in front of your body from a low to a high level.
The paddle pickleball should be in front of the player’s body. Remember one thing; you’ve to use your legs – push up from the bottom and use that force to hit. The force of your leg gives you more control and decreases your swing. Finally, the purpose for foot movement and a half clearance above the court net, you can place dink low for it to be considered a good one. If you keep practicing this, you’ve command of this tricky shot.
Where Should the Dink Shot Placement Be on the Court?
The shot of the dink should place inside the opponent’s non-volley zone line or the kitchen line. It can go across from you or land in the opponent’s court diagonally. A cross-court dink places the pickleball diagonally over the net to the courtside of your opponent; it causes reason for mistake for your opponent.
How Can We Make a Difference in a Drop Shot or a Dink Shot?
At the start, everyone confuses to recognize about the dink for a drop shot or vice-versa. Both shots target the opponent’s non-volley zone inside the net following a bounce. The difference is where the shot hit in the pickleball court. A drop shot can strike from any place on the pickleball court, though it usually takes from the baseline, like a dink.
What is a Dink in Pickleball and 11 Easy Steps to Play the Perfect Dink Shot
There’re 11 easy steps to play the perfect pickleball dink shot:
- Prepare Your Body – Prepare Your Body – Prepare yourself just like an athlete with your knees bent and there should be some gap in your feet. In this ready position, the pickler is ready to jump like a leopard over its prey.
- Prepare Your Paddle – Position your pickleball paddle in front of your body with a relatively loose grip. Pickleballs must be made contact with out in front of your body. As a result, you will be able to play pickleball with the greatest consistency. A loose paddle grip will also help you feel the pickleball better when you strike it. Last but not least, make sure you take short, compact backswings and follow through with your dink shots. Resultantly, you’re in a position to maintain control and be prepared.
- Watch the Pickleball – Always remember, practice makes perfect. The player who wants to be an experienced player. He should follow the senior players, watch the pickleball match, and observe how they play and grip the paddle.
- Move Your Feet-Move Your Feet-Foot movement is very important in a pickleball court. It proves more beneficial while dinking at the Kitchen line. Remember to keep your body in the same direction as the non-volley zone line while dinking. When you need to reach for a dink shot, take a lateral step with your foot closest to the pickleball rather than a crossover step. As a result of a crossover step, you will not be prepared for your next shot since you will be out of your important ready position. If you must reach for a dink shot, take a lateral step with the foot closest to the pickleball, strike it, and immediately step back into your ready position.
- Hold the Line – Always remember to place your feet at the Kitchen line. If you try to step back, your feet will expose an easy target for your opponent to apply pressure, provide more space court for your opponents to place dinks, and more angles to strike a better pickleball net. Provide opportunities to your opponent players with more time to react to a shot, which is the opposite of what you wish. Make a struggle to place your feet at the kitchen line. As a result, if your opponent player hits a better quality shot and targets your feet or perhaps even a more fastball, take a small drop step back off of the kitchen line to space yourself more time to react. If you wish to do this, stay calm and active, strike your shot, move fast to your ready position, and step back quickly in the kitchen line. Also, keep in mind not to retreat and hold the line. Always try to stop the pickleball not to go toward your feet while dinking. Dinks that go near your feet are not easy to react to and strike an unplayable shot off of.
- Protect Your Feet –Try to Avoid letting the pickleball move towards your feet while dinking. It is difficult to react to dinks that travel near your feet and hit an unattackable shot from them. While dinking, keep your pickleball paddle out in front of your body to save your feet. When the pickleball is easy, try to take it out of the air. Your opponents cannot react to your shot if you take the ball out of the air at times, which gives you a better chance to save your feet. A lack of aggression and errors will result if you go overboard.
- Get Under the Pickleball –Place your paddle under the pickleball when striking it for a dink. As long as you stay compressed in your ready position, you should be able to see the pickleball’s underside striking your paddle.
- Gently Lift Through the Pickleball – Once you try to strike the ball for a dink shot, gently raise the pickleball. The pickleball lift comes from your shoulder instead of your wrist or elbow (for example, ponder your shoulder should be a pendulum swing ). This strike of the pickleball should be with force and should be well-control instead of a sharp jerk with any wrist snap. With the help of practice, you will be able to use the right force and lift to strike the unplayable dink shot.
- Respect the Net –The apex height matters greatly in the dink. Over the top of the pickleball net, provide yourself with some space and margin of error. It’s crucial to keep your dink shots low and unplayable; if you try to strike the pickleball too low, you will strike your dink shot straight into the pickleball net and keep yourself out of the point.
- Stay Low Through Contact – Stay compressed by finishing your dink. There’s a balance by engagement of legs for stability and control, but you should not stand completely up on your specific shot. Your paddle will move with you while you stand up, which will cause the pickleball to strike with too much height and be unplayable. Engagement of your legs during dink thoroughly, but get low during contact, so you can handle the height of your dinks.
- Revert to Ready – Move fastly back to your ready position after finishing your dink. You must be prepared for the next pickleball shot, whether it is another dink shot, a surprising fastball, or a kind of lob.
In the last, I hope you understand what is a dink in pickleball and how important this shot is. A dink seems like a simple shot, but it requires a lot of experience and skill to play a dink shot. It’s a great way of playing pickleball to change the speed of play against your opposite team. Changing the pickleball game’s speed can work to your benefit because it can defeat your opponent’s timing and strategy out of whack.
Drop shots and dink shots have close similarities but happen from the non-volley zone, kitchen line rather than the baseline. There’s a need for patience and more practice to get it right. When you want to become a master of this specific shot, it can lead to more points for you during games. Finally, a good dink shot occurs with minimum swing and pace from your legs.