by Jenny Foster
One of the common shots in pickleball is dinking and volleying, which basically come hand in hand during pickleball games.. Now, when it comes to dinking, the usual counterattack is taking out the ball (or the dink) out of the air.
There are certain tips that pickleball players can abide by to play better with dink–volley shots. First, instead of backing away from the kitchen line, a pickleball player should stay in their position just beyond the non-volley zone line and instead of making a punch-like shot to the incoming ball, they can dink the ball back to the opponent’s court.
In this case, the series of shots should be one short dink and another deeper one (after the opponent’s counterattack). While doing this shot, the pickleball player should ensure that they are holding their paddle with a soft grip tension, the paddle face is slight open, and the ball should only hit the sweet spot of the paddle.
The reason behind letting the ball hit the sweet spot, which is smart strategy in pickleball games, is that the ball will end up dropping just over to the kitchen, which is basically unattackable. In addition, the player gets to improve their “touch” and “feel” when doing the dink–volley.
The dink–volley shots, when done correctly, can force the opponent to move from the non-volley zone line up into the kitchen, which can lead to a possible error such in footing and allow the player to control the point. In addition, this shot prevents hard-hitters from smashing or making a hard volley.
Another important point remember with the dink volley is to avoid over-extending the arm to prevent making an error shot. The player should ensure that their arm is out at the front and that the ball bounces in front of them.
The soft dink–volley can be done by forehand or backhand, but it will do players good if they practice this shot using both.
Lastly, when practicing the dink–volley shots, pickleball players can use tape to mark the point where they want their ball to land. The markers will also help in them gauging the strength of their shot, that is, when if it soft enough to make their opponent move from their position.