Consistency is incredibly important in your pickleball dinking strategy, but sometimes in an attempt to be consistent at the net, we dink without purpose and we hit what are called dead dinks.
Today we’re going to cover how to resurrect those dead dinks and turn them into strategic shots that help you win more points at the net.
When you’re at the non volley zone, you may be tempted to just get the ball over the net to be consistent, but when you do this, you run the risk of hitting shots that are predictable, straight to your opponent, that apply no pressure on them. This is the definition of a dead dink. Instead, your goal should be the opposite: to hit shots that are unattackable, unpredictable, that put mental and physical pressure on your opponents. You can do all of this by using what I like to call the DAW method. It isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but rather an easy reminder of what to do at the net instead of reacting to your opponent or defaulting to dead dinks.
Watch the full video here.
Pickleball Dinking Strategy: DAW Method
The DAW method stands for depth, angles, and weakness. When you’re at the net, you can definitely do more than 3 things but the goal here is to do what has the highest probability of being unattackable and winning the rally. Here’s a breakdown of the DAW method, a pickleball dinking strategy.
Pickleball Dinking Strategy #1: Depth
When dinking for depth, one of your primary goals is to make your opponent think and decide whether or not to take the ball out of the air. The more time they spend thinking and deciding, the less time they have to react. A few practical ways to win with depth are to:
- Force them to overreach for the ball
- Make them hit the ball closer to their body
- Force them off the kitchen line
- Find their feet with your shot – this pickleball dinking strategy works even better if you find their nondominant foot.
Be sure to vary the depths of your shots that way your opponent is always thinking and deciding.
Pickleball Dinking Strategy #2: Angles
When dinking, you want to use angles that force your opponents to move and stretch so that you can apply physical pressure on them. A few ways to win with angles are to:
- Vary your angles that way your opponent is always moving and never perfectly balanced. After all, they are less likely to attack you successfully if they are off balance or chasing the ball
- Try and get the ball behind your opponent that way they have a delayed contact point
- Hit the ball to the corners or to the middle to force confusion between partners
Be sure to mix up your angles in your pickleball dinking strategy that way your opponent is constantly moving.
Pickleball Dinking Strategy #3: Weakness
It’s always helpful to know your opponent’s weakness, so that you can include it in your pickleball dinking strategy. For example, do they have a weaker backhand and try to run around it at the net? Do they tend to stand back from the kitchen line?
- One practical way you can use dinks to exploit a weak backhand is to hit the ball to your opponent’s nondominant foot. This will force your opponent to either step around their backhand, step away from the NVZ, or hit with their backhand.
Pickleball Dinking Strategy: Putting It All Together
Sometimes your opponent will push you deep or wide and force you to move. If you choose not to take the ball out of the air, you may be tempted to hit the ball from behind your body or outside of your optimal contact zone. This can easily cause a pop up. Instead, choose to take a step back, keep the ball out front, and return an unattackable shot.
This rule also applies for shots that stretch you to the side. If you overreach to the side, this can throw you off balance. Instead, take a step and establish your feet before you swing. Always remember to keep the ball out front and establish your feet first before you swing.
Were These Pickleball Dinking Tips Helpful?
Which tip was helpful for you? Let me know in the comments.
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