Dinking in Pickleball: Mastering the Art in Pickleball

Dinking is a fundamental skill in pickleball that every player must master in order to succeed in the game. It is a short, low-speed shot that is played close to the net and requires finesse and touch rather than power.

In this blog, we will explore the concept and technique of dinking in pickleball, its importance in the game, and provide tips to improve your dinking skills.

Dinking In Pickleball

The Purpose of Dinking in Pickleball

Dinking in Pickleball primarily serves two purposes in pickleball:

  • Control: Dinking allows players to maintain control over the ball, keeping it in play and minimizing the risk of making unforced errors.
  • Setting Up the Point: Dinking is often used strategically to set up opportunities for a winning shot. By forcing your opponent to hit an upward trajectory shot, you can create openings to attack the ball with a powerful volley or overhead smash.

A well-executed dink can keep the opponents on the defensive and force them to make mistakes, giving you an advantage in the game.

Technique and Execution

Proper technique is crucial to successfully execute a dink shot. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


Hold your paddle with a relaxed grip, allowing for better control and touch during the shot. Avoid gripping the paddle too tight, as it can result in a less controlled shot.

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Soft Hands

Keep your hands soft and flexible while making contact with the ball. This helps in absorbing the ball’s energy and preventing the shot from going long.

Contact Point

The ideal contact point for a dink shot is slightly above your wrist, allowing for precise control over the shot. Aim to hit the ball with the center of your paddle’s sweet spot.

Angle and Placement

When dinking, try to aim for a shallow angle over the net. The ball should clear the net by a few inches and land softly within the non-volley zone (kitchen). The objective is to make it difficult for your opponents to attack the ball.

Importance of Dinking

Dinking is a crucial aspect of pickleball gameplay, and its importance cannot be understated. Here are some reasons why dinking is a valuable skill:

Maintaining Control

By dinking, you can keep the ball in play and reduce the risk of making a mistake. It allows you to reset the point and regain control over the game.

Forcing Errors

A well-placed dink can put pressure on your opponents, forcing them to hit difficult shots or make unforced errors. This gives you the opportunity to take control of the point.

Dinking as a Strategy

Strategically using dinks can set up opportunities for more aggressive shots. By consistently dinking, you can create openings for powerful volleys or overhead smashes, allowing you to dictate the game.

Tips to Improve Your Dinking Skills

Here are some tips to enhance your dinking abilities:

Dink In Pickleball

Practice Precision

Focus on accuracy and aim to consistently hit the ball within the non-volley zone. By practicing precision, your opponents will find it challenging to return your shots effectively.

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Vary the Pace

Experiment with different speeds and tempos while dinking. Mixing up the pace can keep your opponents off balance and make it harder for them to anticipate your shots.

Use Angles

Master the technique of dinking at different angles. By varying the angle of your shots, you can exploit gaps in your opponent’s positioning and create opportunities for winning shots.

Anticipate Your Opponent’s Shots

Read your opponent’s body positioning and be prepared to react accordingly. Anticipating the trajectory of the ball will allow you to position yourself for better dinks.


Dinking in Pickleball is an essential skill in pickleball that can greatly enhance your game. By mastering the technique and understanding its importance, you can effectively control rallies, force errors, and create opportunities.

Remember to practice regularly, experiment with different techniques, and adjust your shots based on your opponent’s reactions. With time and dedication, your dinking skills will improve, greatly contributing to your success on the pickleball court.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is “dinking” in pickleball and why is it important?

Dinking in Pickleball is a strategy used in pickleball where players engage in soft, controlled shots over the net, keeping the ball low and close to the net. It is an essential skill because it allows players to play a strategic game, controlled rallies, and aim for precision rather than power, forcing opponents into making mistakes.

3. What are the advantages of incorporating dinking into my pickleball gameplay?

Incorporating dinking into your pickleball gameplay offers several advantages. Firstly, it puts your opponents on the defensive, forcing them into uncomfortable positions and making it difficult for them to execute powerful shots. Secondly, dinking helps control the pace of the game, allowing players to slow down the rally and wait for an opportunity to capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes. Lastly, it enhances teamwork in doubles play, as dinking requires coordination and strategic placement.

4. Are there any specific techniques or tips to improve my dinking skills?

Certainly! Firstly, focus on using a soft paddle grip and keep a relaxed wrist to generate a controlled shot. Secondly, practice hitting the ball slightly off-center, using the paddle’s sweet spot to achieve more consistent shots. Additionally, try to avoid hitting the ball with excessive force, instead aiming to gently redirect it over the net. Lastly, pay attention to footwork and positioning, maintaining a comfortable distance from the net to react quickly to your opponent’s shots.

5. Can dinking be used as a winning strategy?

Absolutely! Dinking may not result in immediate points like powerful shots, but it can be an effective winning strategy. By consistently placing the ball near the net, you force your opponents to make difficult shots, increasing the likelihood of them committing errors or hitting balls that are easier to return. Dinking can also tire out opponents as they have to constantly be on their toes, increasing the chances of them losing focus and making mistakes in the long run.