Higher levels of pickleball are all about creating a small advantage in a tight space. You need to find a way to get your opponent off balance or catch them moving.
This can be hard to do on such a small court. That's why the best depend on precise dinking to create an advantage.
One drill you can use to improve your dink game is the Z Drill.
Zane Navratil outlines the Z Drill in a new video below:
Here's how the dinking drill goes:
- One partner sends their dinks straight ahead and the other partner dinks at an angle.
- This moves the ball in a Z-shaped pattern.
- The pattern alternates forehands and backhands for each player and covers a variety of shots you will see at the kitchen.
The key is to practice being aggressive with a target. Get reps in where you are trying to win the point with your dinking. You're going to need it.
Be sure to switch roles with your partner. By the end of the drill, the small kitchen space should feel large. There should be a variety of shots you can hit straight ahead or at an angle, varying pace, and spin.
For more kitchen line strategies, check out: 81 dinking combinations to win at pickleball.