Dinking in Pickleball: Some Important Tips for Success
Hello pickleball enthusiasts! I am Coach Sarah Ansboury, Education Consultant and Lead Clinician for the Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR), and I have had the privilege of working with many talented pickleball players and helping them improve their skills. Today, I want to talk about one of the key skills in pickleball - dinking.
What is dinking in pickleball?
Dinking is a type of shot in pickleball that is used to place the ball in a strategic position on the court. Unlike a power shot, a dink is a soft, low shot that is hit with control and precision. The aim of dinking is to place the ball in a position that makes it difficult for the opponent to reach and return, giving the player an advantage in the rally.
One of the important aspects of dinking, as I mentioned earlier, is being able to hit anywhere on the court from the same position. When dinking, players want to be able to hit crosscourt, down the line, or down the middle, all from the same stance. I always emphasize the importance of proper positioning, paddle control, and follow-through to improve the dinking game. By focusing on these technical components, players can hit accurate shots and place the ball in a difficult position for the opponent to return.
Paddle control is the biggest factor in dinking, and players should line up their paddles, hips, and shoulders with the ball to improve accuracy. This will ensure that the paddle is in the correct position to hit the ball and will also improve the player's ability to control the shot. Follow-through is also incredibly important, as I always say, "Follow through, follow through, follow through." It is the key to going from down the line to crosscourt and still staying consistent. Players should make sure that they follow through with their shot, keeping the paddle connected with the ball until it has landed.
Adjusting to Ball Position
Another important aspect of dinking is adjusting to the ball's position. This means that players should focus on shifting their weight and opening up their body to adjust to the angle of the ball as they hit it. This allows players to transfer their weight toward the ball and stay closer to the target, making it easier to take the next shot in the air or off a bounce. I also always emphasize the importance of keeping the head still, keeping the line of sight on the opponent, and seeing the ball in front of them.
It is also important to keep in mind that less is always more when it comes to pickleball. Players should focus on practicing control and minimizing unnecessary movements, as this will improve accuracy and consistency in their shots. I always remind my players to focus on the face of their paddle, as this is where the ball will go. If the paddle face is pointing in the right direction, the ball will follow. And remember, try to make it simpler versus harder, and practice as much as you can.
In conclusion, dinking is an important aspect of pickleball that requires proper technique and positioning to be executed effectively. By focusing on paddle control, follow-through, and adjusting to the ball's position, players can improve their dinking game and take their pickleball skills to the next level. I hope these tips and techniques will help you dink like a pro in pickleball. Happy playing!