Recreational activities are a part of our life. In a life full of the hustle and bustle, healthy recreational activities act as a source of calmness in a hectic routine. Individuals prefer many traditional sports and games to spend their leisure time productively, but as our mindset has shifted to a fast pace mode, we select those sports and games that can act as a source of pleasure, just like pickleball games!
Pickleball is an emerging game played worldwide due to its easy rules and regulations. Dink is our discussion’s primary concern, a unique shot associated with pickleball. What is a dink in pickleball?
In pickleball, a dink is a shot that is hit from the kitchen line and lands into the opponent’s non-volley zone. The dink shot is an excellent and soft shot directed to move downward immediately after it crosses the net and eventually falls into the non-volley area on the other side.
Dinks are shots that land close to the net and are difficult to return as they require steep angles for getting the ball over the net.
Crosscourt dinks are more accessible because you can force your opponent off the court, potentially opening a hole. The shot is soft and controlled with movement from the shoulder, no wrist break, and minimal or no backswing to avoid overpowering the ball.
Why Is The Dink Shot Made?
The primary purpose of making a dink shot is to score more points. If players choose to play careful and calculated shots, they will come across a good score.
Apart from this, dink shot is also used as a lethal weapon against aggressive players. Since the dink is a long and low shot, it is challenging for the opponent to play the shot accurately in return.
Whenever the opponent would play the shot in return, they mostly would hit the return of the dink either over the net or in the net, which would eventually lead to a negative score in their favour.
The Cross-Court Dink:
This dink type provides more length to work as the ball travels at a greater distance. It provides a wider margin of error if the ball is hit in a high position. If you are playing doubles, then hitting the cross-court can draw both of you towards the net.
Cross-court dink is hard to get used to, although it may seem a simple concept but is not in execution. There are several ways of performing cross-court dink, among which you can opt for underhanded and backhanded options.
If you are playing a simple cross-court dink, you can go for an underhanded dink to face your opponent. It allows you to observe your opponent along with the ball and net simultaneously.
If your opponent makes a great cross-court dink, then this could break down in a much quicker way and can hit the kitchen sideline. In such a situation, you’ll have to make a semi-blind shot without being able to look at the net. This thing is possible to achieve and requires practice.
Land the ball as close as to the opponent’s sideline and the net for hitting the dinks. The higher you hit the dink, the more is the opportunity for your opponent to drive back the ball at your partner.
There is always a downside if you are playing against an experienced player or a very young player. If you are playing or played against a young player, you might know that they can play and handle the pickleball game outstandingly.
They can get the balls that seem impossible to most people, and when playing cross-court dinking, they give quite a challenging game to their opponent.
If you try to provide them with a hit of cross-court dink to their forehand, they will eventually let it bounce away, and the ball will hit around the post to your backcourt. While cross-court dinking, be careful to their forehand.
The Straightaway Dink Shot:
Straightaway dink shot is considered the most specific type of dink shot that goes straight ahead of the players. These shots are usually played during the warm-up session before a pickleball game.
Straightaway dink shot is an easy shot and does not require much focus. If your opponent makes a tough cross-court dink, you can use the straightaway dink as a fallback. Cross-court dinking battles are expected in a good pickleball game if you play against advanced and experienced players.
Sometimes the opponents hit the shot with such an extreme angle that it becomes impossible to return a cross-court dink, and in such a situation, straightaway dink is the only option left. It helps to slow the game back down and keep it in control.
How to Properly Play A Dink Shot in Pickleball?
The correct key to playing a dink shot properly is patience, as patience is the key to playing a dink shot in return accurately. While playing, the player has to stay steady and wait for them so that the opponent can make an unforced error.
In basic terms, if the player cannot hit down on the ball, they are supposed to do so with force. If one cannot hit down on the ball, they would utilize a dink shot.
Some athletes (especially former tennis players) believe that dinking gets a negative rap. Some people see it as a crutch for players who can't hit and rally. These players do not play aggressively. Instead, they prefer to wait for their opponent to make an unforced error.
Professional pickleball players will disagree with this point of view. In reality, this shot requires skill and practice and, when utilized correctly, can lead to more success for pickle ballers.
|Tips for Dinking||Features|
|Tip #1||Before hitting the dink, a player should wait till the ball bounces a second time to hit the dink. It will provide some extra time and a player can assess the opponent’s position and get in its position.|
|Tip #2||A player should be aware of the fact that dink and drop shots are different shots in a pickleball game. A player should know about these shots to improve the overall game.|
|Tip #3||Dink shots help the player to set up a winning shot. It forces the opponent to hit the ball at an awkward angle providing them to play a weak return shot.|
|Tip #4||Dink shot must be played in a soft way so that the ball can be avoided popping up too high. It will eventually give your opponent a chance to slam back the shot at you. A player must ignore the rush while practising the dink shots.|
|Tip #5||It is advisable that a player must not act impatiently. Dink shots allow the player to use a patient steady shot for overcoming the opponent.|
Hitting a Good Dink Shot:
Playing a dink shot might seem simple, but it requires a perfect strategy for hitting a good dink shot to win the game. Let’s discuss some strategies regarding hitting a good dink shot.
- Changing the knee position
- Implementing the continental grip
- Exploring a consistent stroke
- Playing the game in the kitchen area
- Giving the net clearance
1. Changing the Knee Position:
To hit a dink perfectly, it is good to change the position of your knee, and bending the knee while hitting the dink becomes much more accessible.
Being a pickleball player, you need to get under the ball to hit it properly, and it is an excellent exercise for your calves and thighs. You should manoeuvre the paddle with your shoulder muscles during the entire game.
2. Implementing the Continental Grip:
Continental grip is devised from tennis and is also called a chopper. It is often seen as a person is holding an ax, and this grip is specially designed for hitting the balls which are low for underhand hits. You should grab the paddle just like you shake someone’s hand.
A player can use such grips in a forehand and backhand way. The light grip should also be implemented, and gently hold the paddle to adsorb some of the ball’s energy. It will cause it to bounce off the paddle more easily.
3. Exploring a Consistent Stroke:
It is essential to practice the dink shot to get a steady stroke to hit dinks consistently. If you want to hit the dink with a low underhand stroke, let the ball bounce and reach the apex, and then you can beat it. Dink shots work best against the players which hit-hard.
4. Playing the Game in The Kitchen Area:
A dink shot is designed to land in the no volley zone called a kitchen. It will force the opponent to concentrate on the footwork and ensure that the ball does not bounce in the kitchen and should need to focus on stepping back out for the next shot, and if the ball lands in the kitchen of the opponent, he won’t be able to hit a hard return shot.
If they try to hit the ball, the ball will either go straight into the net in a pickleball game.
5. Giving the Net Clearance:
It is impossible to hit with an acIt is impossible to hit accurately as a perfect dink goes over the net. Instead, you should aim a reasonable distance above the net and give yourself a margin. Let the opponents make some mistakes.
When Is The Dink Shot Used In Pickleball?
We would direct a flow chart to elaborate on this point to make it easy for new readers to understand. The flow chart would start from the very first shot to the shot, which results in a matter against any of the two players.
|Shot #1||It is called as serve|
|Shot #2||It is the return of serve in which the shot is returned back to the serving team deep and down the middle player. The receiving team charges to the net.|
|Shot #3||This is the drop shot. The serving team tries to drop the ball in the kitchen for equalizing the play and will try to come to the net after the successful execution of the third shot drop.|
|Shot #4||This is a dink shot and is a great shot to utilize if the serving team properly executes the drop and is at the net.|
|Shot #5||This shot is a good spot to use another dink if the dink shot is well-executed.|
|Shot #6||If you want to go cross-court and to the backhand of the opponent you can work in the dink shot as appropriate.|
Utilizing the dink shot can act as a great neutralizer. if a player is better at dinking than that of the opponent, then they would recognize this and go for a power shot when it may not be warranted, resulting in difficult management and control of the score.
However, it is possible that the opponents would make several errors in that case. After all, it’s no fun getting into a prolonged dinking battle with players who can out-dink! These players are often prone to take more chances.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What is the meaning of dink in pickleball?
In pickleball, dink means to simply execute a shot around your own kitchen line which can land in your opponent’s non-volley zone also called the kitchen. The next likely shot of your opponent is to simply dink it back to you.
What is the main purpose of the dink shot?
A dink shot is a soft and controlled shot that intends to move in a downward position shortly after clearing the net and landing in the no-volley zone ideally at the opponent’s feet. It is a slow-moving shot which is an effective weapon and you should consider it adding to your game.
How can we consider that dink is included in our game of pickleball?
Dink shot is an essential element to bring the play to the no-volley line. It is a defensive strategy and you will quickly lose the game if you’ll give your opponent a cream puff.
Where should a player place a dink shot in pickleball?
Dink shot which is slower and a soft hit from near the no-volley line should drop downwards once it crosses the net and lands in the opponent’s no-volley zone. It makes the opponent let the ball bounce before hitting it and usually forces the player to hit it upward on the ball.
I am Suryashankar, a passionate pickleball player with over 3 years of experience. I created this website to share my knowledge and experience with others just starting or looking to improve their game.
My mission is to provide you with the most unbiased and comprehensive information about pickleball.
Through my experience and expertise, I have curated this article to offer valuable insights, tips, and tricks to help you become a better player.