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Pressure Zone Pickleball

by The Dink Media Team on

Not all dinks are built the same.

A small difference in the placement of your dink could win the point or set you up for failure.

Selkirk pro Dominic Catalano talks about finding the Pressure Zone in a new video.

Catalano divides the kitchen into three equal parts based on their distance from the net creating an upper third, middle third and back third.

The back third is where you want to land your dinks. It puts the ball at the opponents' feet and creates pressure on their next shot.

It forces them to either short-hop the ball off of the bounce or take a low volley out of the air. Both of those options are a win for you.

It is a shot they can't attack you with and is another chance for them to make a mistake. Remember you don't always have to hit a highlight reel worthy offensive shot to win the point. Sometimes you just have to keep the rally going until they make a mistake.

Catalano also stresses that the zone spans the width of the kitchen. He recommends not targeting the same location more than three times in a row to prevent your opponent from getting into a rhythm.

Move the ball laterally while still keeping it in the back third of the kitchen. Change your target from their outside foot to their inside foot or vice versa.

Defending the pressure zone

What do you do if a ball lands at your feet in the pressure zone? Catalano explains that it is alright to step back in this scenario. You don't want your feet set in stone.

A step back helps to relieve some of the pressure and gives you more time to return the ball. When stepping back it is better to return with a safe unattackable shot rather than attempting to speed up.

Just remember to get back up to the line when you can.

Check out more from Coach Catalano here:

The go-to dink that works at every level
Watching dink battles can feel like watching paint dry. Two players trading unattackable shots is unlikely to make any highlight reel.

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