If your dinking technique still makes you a liability at the NVZ, it's time to get back to basics.
Pickleball Journey (PJ) is here to show you the way. According to these gurus, your dink game should become more aggressive over time. In other words, your dink game should follow a journey.
The Journey of the Dink:
- Consistency - minimize errors
- Placement - targeted, accurate dinks
- Spin & power - create opponent errors
Before you think about 2. and 3., your focus should be consistent dinks. How long can you hang in a dink rally? Three shots? Ten shots? Twenty or more?
Only once you've mastered consistency should you move to 2.
At this point, you're picking targets based on your opponent's positioning.
You're beginning to think about the 81 dink combinations at your disposal by leveraging shot depth, pin-pointing your opponent's weak side toe, and varying the angle of trajectory.
Once you're comfortable with 2), you can introduce power and sprinkle in some spin. All 81 dink combinations are available to you.
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But all of this comes in time. It requires practice. It requires a journey. As tempting as it is to hit risky dinks, you will see more success by first mastering the basics. It sounds obvious, we know, but it's worth devoting some extra attention to.
In a recent video, PJ shares a couple of other tips to help build a consistent foundation:
Limit your step count - Fitbit says to step more, Pickleball Journey says to step less. Limit yourself to one step, or a slight shuffle-step, at the NVZ when possible.
Paddle face at 45 degrees - A slightly open paddle face and smooth pendulum arm motion (hinge from the shoulder) are vital for dependable dinking. When more variables are added (wrist movement, chop motion), mistakes are made.
Be patient - A good setup shot can be just as valuable as an outright winner. Avoid high-risk, all-or-nothing shots. Go for dinks that place pressure on the opponent while maintaining some margin for error.
Your goal for the week? Out-dink the competition. Go head to head with your cross-court foe and dink them to death.
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