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What Is A Dink Shot In Pickleball? – A Gentle But Reliable Jab

What Is A Dink Shot In Pickleball
Written by Alex

Have you ever spectated or found yourself in a Pickleball session where the opponent is constantly repelling the ball all over the place only to catch you off guard right at the center with a minimal push of the paddle?

Well, if you weren’t aware of such a maneuver, then it’s time for you to roll up your sleeves and hit the court to practice because you have clearly found yourself far behind in the skillset department otherwise be prepared to become dominated more than usual.

Speaking of practicing, here in this article, if you are interested in learning a thing or two about such a magnificent shot, I would highly advise you to scroll right down below and attain knowledge corresponding to why it holds such importance in the court.

What Is A Dink Shot & What Is Its Significance In Pickleball?

In the midst of a session when a ball is hit right across the net with a simple low-effort nudge so that it barely makes its way across and lands on the Kitchen zone which is also known as a Non-Volley zone is called a Dink shot.

It’s a safe and effective method with low risk and high reward status as you barely need any form of skill set in order to replicate it. However, the catch here is that Dink Shots work only well in situations if you have timed it correctly, otherwise, it become predictable and easy to counter.

Importance Of Dink Shot In Pickleball?

If you find yourself stuck in extremely fast-paced back and forth and action and simply want to break the immersion all while putting your opponent in a rough spot, a Dink shot can come in handy since it is the perfect counter that requires minimal force.

In fact, it effectively transitions the match from aggressive to defensive playstyle in a matter of seconds and if your opponent isn’t paying attention you could catch them off guard and even turn the tides of the session.

Furthermore, it also lets you create an opening for different shot variations such as smash or splice without breaking your rhythm. In addition to that, it’s the perfect strategy to cause fatigue to your opponent since Dink shots have less window to repel as compared to a standard shot.

How To Execute A Dink Shot?

Once you have lured your opponent to an aggressive playstyle, it’s time for you to execute A Dink shot, here is how you can do it.

  1. Get as close to the kitchen zone as possible and make sure you completely extend your arm in the direction of the ball.
  2. With a continental grip, apply a little bit of arch motion on your wrist while ensuring the ball makes its way across the net and lands into the opponent’s non-volley Zone.
  3. Keep your legs wide open and make sure you maintain a broad stance so that you can have perfect balance throughout the shot, otherwise, you will lose accuracy and your ball might not make its way across the net.
  4. You could also apply a slight nudge while keeping the face of the paddle closed, however, if you are a beginner I would highly advise against it.
  5. As for advanced players, Dink shot effects can be maximized if used in conjunction with a top or backspin to keep the ball as low as possible.
  6. While groundstrokes and smashes might prove effective in this situation, they may increase the risk factor, so if you aren’t confident in your execution, feel free to examine this technique.

What Is the Non-Volley Zone In Pickleball?

Knowing the zones such as Kitchen can be extremely important since that’s exactly where you want the ball to land, any further and it nullifies the effects of the Dink.

A non-volley zone is a 7-foot-long area right across each side of the net where the ball cannot be volleyed directly, although bouncing the ball on it is perfectly fine. 

The volley zone breaks the aggression of the opposition and allows the player to relocate back to their initial position and if the opponent does not comply with the Kitchen rules, it Will end up in a fault.

A few Things To Keep In Mind 

Although it may seem lucrative, you may need to be mindful of a couple of factors.

  • A Dink must not be performed in repetition and should only be used in moderation, otherwise, you will suffer a high arching counter, putting you in an awkward spot.
  • A Dink must be executed with a slight nudge, so avoid using force or swing exaggeration at all costs.
  • Never push your body and integrate a “fake” maneuver to amplify the effects of a Dink. 
  • Keeping your body steady and the face of the paddle closed will help you perform a successful shot because if you do cross your own Non-volley zone, it might trigger a fault.

Some of these techniques might feel easier said than done which means if you don’t spend time in court and partake in drills, you won’t be able to master this skill set. While dinking might not seem like a harder feat to achieve without practicing you would have a horrendous trajectory.

On the other hand, you also need to build enough hand-eye coordination and muscle memory to ensure you don’t overdo the nudge needed to pull off your shot across the net.

What Is A Dink Shot In Pickleball? – Conclusion 

A Dink is a sight for sore eyes, it’s the perfect comic relief in a court after aggressively going back and forth only to put your opponent in an awkward position whenever they are expecting it the least.

While being known as an absolute Godsend, it’s only effective if timed correctly otherwise all your efforts are in vain, henceforth, I would highly advise you to focus on finding the perfect spot to execute it.

That being said, feel free to comment below if you want to see more guides relating to strategic playstyle and techniques and esoteric information relating to it.

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

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