Dinking is one of the most important shots in pickleball because it is used to soften the ball. A dink is used to create an opportunity to take your opponent away from his/her high-powered game and force him/her to play at a slower pace. We have here the ultimate guide to dinking in pickleball.
Use the continental grip
Continental Grip is the best for dinking because you can hit underspin, sidespin, and topspin if you need to, depending on what kind of dink you want to hit. It is the best grip to use up in the non-volley zone line as it allows you to hit a variety of dinks and shots. The game could be really slow when you are dinking, but anyone can speed up the ball at any time. The continental grip allows you to be ready to defend or counterattack with a volley. The volley grip is the same grip as the continental grip.
The continental grip is very versatile. you can use forehands and backhands with the same grip. All you have to do is go back to your ready position. So, make sure you practice your continental grip.
Control your grip pressure
When you are dinking in the non-volley zone, make sure you have a good feel and touch because you are hitting soft shots to your opponent’s non-volley zone. On a scale of 1 – 10, the perfect grip pressure for dinking would be 3 or 4 so that you will be holding the paddle tight enough but loose enough to generate a good feel and touch.
Have a short, compact, and consistent stroke
In dinking, you must have a short backswing and short follow-through. Make sure that everything is nice and short so that even when you finish your follow-through, you can get back to your ready position very quickly. Make sure that you have in your mind a low to high swing path. Always try to get the ball to drop in the front low of your opponent’s feet. Whether you are taking the ball into the air, hitting it with a forehand or backhand, make sure that your strokes and swings are compact.
Have a good solid foundation — use your legs
Another guide to dinking is to use your legs. Having a solid foundation is necessary when dinking in the non-volley zone no matter what shot you hit. Put weight on the toes of your feet, then bend your knees a little, and chest forward to form a good athletic stance. Your feet should be a little bit wider than your shoulder width. Whether you’re dinking with forehand or backhand, you’ll be ready to go. Slightly lifting with your legs will give you easy power and helps develop your touch.
Give the ball clearance over the net
Dinking is not how close you are to the net as it is the ball that makes it a good shot. What matters in dinking is where the ball is dropping or landing. A good dink clears the net and descends into your opponent’s non-volley zone. A six-inch to 18-inch clearance over the net should be enough to keep your ball dropping in front of your opponent so they cannot attack it. The key is to give some margin to cut down errors. Remember that your target should not be a few inches above the net, get that target a little bit higher and hit it softer so it can drop in front of your opponent.
Focus on forcing your opponent to have a low contact point
When you are dinking, just focus on getting the ball down to force your opponent to contact the ball at a low contact point instead of where the ball is landing. Whether your opponent is bawling the ball out in the air or letting the ball drop then bounce in front of them and then hitting it, it is still a good dink as long as they are contacting the ball fairly low.
Lastly, remember that the most important thing about dinking in pickleball is to keep practicing it till you get better. Comment below if you learned something from this guide to dinking.