3 Advantages of Dinking Out of the Air

3 Advantages of Dinking Out of the Air

When I first started playing pickleball 4 years ago, I fell in love with the skill of dinking in the game. I don't know why it came so naturally to me, but I figured out early that I could be really good at it if I worked hard...that was until I started trying to dink out of the air. My first response to balls that I could take out of the air was to attack, which is a very important skill set, but I struggled with keeping balls that I wanted to dink out of the air down. I kept popping them up and getting I and my partner creamed at the kitchen line, so I stopped trying. I became very accustomed to stepping back and taking dinks off the bounce, even on balls that I could have taken out of the air. As I became more advanced, I realized (for several reasons) that I would need to work on dinking out of the air and make it a part of my game. I want to share 3 things that I have learned about dinking out of the air and why we should incorporate it into our play. 

Take time away from your opponents - This is the first thing we should take into consideration when dinking out of the air. If there's one thing that gives me confidence in the game in pickleball, it's when I have as much time as I need to make a shot. When my opponents dink out of the air, I lose that time, and my confidence drops. I want to be sure that when I am in a dinking rally, I'm leaning in to take as many dinks out of the air to catch my opponent moving back into position and rush them to take their next shot. The more I dink out of the air, the more pop-ups I tend to get from my opponents. 

Aggressive dinks and dink winners - As I developed the skill of dinking out of the air, I learned that the higher the ball, the more aggressive I could be with my dinks. I didn't always have to attack balls out of the air. When dinking out of the air, I can roll my dinks a little more aggressively at my opponents feet, and in the right situation (especially when one of my opponents is pinching middle), I can hit dink winners out of the air that my opponents can't get to. 

Retaining the element of surprise on your attacks - This is my favorite. I love the tactics of pickleball. One of my favorite things to do is attack out of the air, but it becomes dangerous if every ball I take out of the air is an attack. Opponents pick up on that pattern and know to be looking for an attack if I'm taking it out of the air. When we dink some of those balls instead of attacking, we keep the element of surprise alive. If we can make our attacks out of the air look like or dinks out of the air, we can become more effective attackers. This is all set up by learning the skill of dinking out of the air!

In your drilling sessions, crowd the kitchen line and start working on taking some of these dinks out of the air. It isn't an easy skill to learn, but the more you do it, the more confident you will become. You'll become a well rounded dinker and begin taking advantage of these three tips in no time! 

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1 comment

I’m gonna practice this at rec lOL

Sheila Washburn

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