How to play the Pickleball Dink shot
The Pickleball Dink shot is also known as a Pickleball drop shot.
This shot is a soft play to land the ball in your opponent’s non volley zone (kitchen) so it must bounce before they can return the shot.
The strategy behind this shot is that your opponent will generally have to hit the ball in an upward swinging shot giving you the ability to then return it with a long power drive. When hit across court, this shot will also make your opponent run to one side opening up a winning shot.
The Pickleball drop shot is a really good technique to master as it can change the play of the game and open up your opponent’s court.
Pickleball is a unique sport that mimics tennis. Although the court setup and the common rules might seem similar, pickleball is different with it’s own rules and strategies. If you are considering playing pickleball, knowing about the dink or drop shot is crucial. This is one of the most unique and toughest shots to master, especially if you are just starting out.
If you are a beginner at Pickleball and you want to know more about the Pickleball dink or drop shot, we have sorted out all of that information in this article for you.
What is a Pickleball Dink?
The dink shot in Pickleball is a very unique shot. You hit the ball from your kitchen line ensuring that the ball ends up in your opponent’s non-volley zone.
The reason why this is a shot that should be mastered is that the dink shot is extremely hard to hit back. The rules of pickleball are that the ball can’t be hit from inside the non-volley zone without bouncing first. This leaves your opponent with less potential to hit back high enough for the ball to move across the court.
Once the dink shots start, it can continue for a few hits until one player hits back the ball hard enough to get it to the back of the court.
How to Dink? Learn the Basic Techniques
Now that you know what a Pickleball dink is, let us talk about the simple way to do it.
To execute a Pickleball dink correctly, you must stand in the correct position. Typically, you should stand 1-2 inches behind the kitchen line to make a clean shot across the net.
When you are about to hit the ball for the dink shot, make sure you leave your hand loose and relaxed and don’t put a lot of force into the hit. You want to make a simple lifting motion with your shoulder for a soft hit instead of full-on swinging your arm to hit the ball to the back of the court.
Typically, you want to play a dink shot when you both are standing next to your kitchen line. If your opponent has hit you with a dink shot, you may need to respond with the same.
Your response needs to be a measured shot. Do you return with a drop shot? Do you hit high and further back on the court? Are you able to hit across the court with a dink? This is where practice and strategy come into play with a dink shot.
What are the tips to make a successful pickleball dink?
Now that you have a basic idea about Pickleball dink and what it entails, your next thing would be to master it gradually. Here are important tips for you…
Focus on the grip
We can’t stress this enough but if you want to implement a successful dink, you must focus on the grip. You want to keep the grip in a way that you easily hit the forehand dink as well as the backhand dink.
The continental grip is considered universal and provides a more comfortable grip. The continental grip is basically a full hand grip that has the face of the racquet in line with your palm. Generally, most people use this grip when doing a forehand stroke. This type of grip gives the most versatility to your game.
Dink swing path
Besides the grip, another factor worth considering when it comes to the dink shot is the swing path. You need to hit the ball in a way that it doesn’t end up coming from behind your body. This makes the shot less effective.
When you are hitting the dink, start the dink low and keep a short backswing to it. Doing this will ensure that the dink lands on the right part of the opponent’s court instead of flying out. It is a forward swinging shot.
Focus on your stance
Even during a dink shot, you need to focus on your legs and prioritize your movement accordingly. If you are bending down at your waist and hitting the ball to your opponent, you are already putting a lot of strain on your back, and that reflects on the intensity of the shot.
Instead, what you need to do is channel your energy from the legs to push the ball across to the other side of the court. This also reduces the swing and flick needed by your wrist, enabling you to make a comfortable shot without any complications.
Dinking net clearance
Many players have the wrong notion that to make a successful dink, you need to hit the ball low and tight to the net. The key to making a successful dink is to keep the shot soft and lowkey without putting all the pressure and force on the ball. Hit the ball just enough to clear the net to make it to the opposite side of the court.
Also, try practicing to dink across the court. This allows a higher, stronger shot as the ball can travel further but still lands inside the kitchen area on your opponent’s side.
Focus on the kitchen
Last but not least, keep the dink short in the kitchen. You need to ensure that your opponent doesn’t have enough space to hit the ball high to the back of the court.
This is a great shot to use when strategy matters. Keep your opponent running and generally, you will win the point.
The Pickleball dink or Pickleball drop shot is hands down one of the best shots that you can throw at your opponent.