Dink, Dink and Dink Some More
In pickleball, the game is really won at the net. Playing at the net gives you higher percentage shots and less room for errors. Don’t stay at the baseline and just bang the ball all day long. The better players will beat you. They will keep you back at the baseline until you make a mistake by hitting the ball out or just make a silly unforced error. The goal is to get to the net and out dink your opponents. Be patient, in control and wait until they make a mistake or pop that ball up for a nice put away shot. Stay as consistent as you can and wait for the opportunity to strike. Try to outlast your opponents and they will lose patience.
When you dink with your opponents, keep the ball shallow in the opponents kitchen so they can’t volley the ball at you. Just remember, you are safe when they can’t volley the ball in the air. They need to let the ball bounce if it’s a good dink.
Start off by keeping the face of your paddle open. Hit the ball from the bottom up with a slight follow through. Don’t choke up on the paddle at this point. After some experience, you can practice hitting with some more spins but keep it simple to start. Don’t try for too much. Keep the ball in the first half of the kitchen.
Stay patient and wait for the opponent to miss the dink or make an error. Remember, you can still move the opponent around with a dink and create an opening. The goal of the dink is to stay more patient or wait for the opponent to pop the ball up. Always be ready for a kill when the ball is reachable for a volley.
Six-time National Champion
Pickleball Hall-of-Fame Nominee
Former USAPA Vice President