Slice Dink or Top-Spin Dink...or Both???

Slice Dink or Top-Spin Dink...or Both???

If you have read any of my previous posts or articles, you have probably realized that I talk a lot about how much I enjoy dinking. The first few weeks of playing, I spent countless hours looking up YouTube videos on how to dink. And then I would spend even more hours practicing it. I couldn't get enough of it. Even as the game has gotten faster and less amateur players are utilizing dinking efficiently, it's still my favorite part of the game. I love to dink.

When I first picked up a paddle and started dinking, my go-to dink was the slice; on both backhand and forehand sides. It's what came natural to me and all the professional players were slicing their that's what I got really good at. It wasn't until I saw a friend of mine using the top-spin dink that I even knew something like that was possible. I was shocked and amazed all at the same time. So it was back to YouTube and the drilling wall for me. I was terrible. It was one of those things that you feel is almost too impossible to get, so you almost decide to give up...yeah it was that bad. I just couldn't get it. 

I knew in order to take my dinking to the next level and achieve what I wanted out of my game, I needed to incorporate the top-spin dink into my arsenal. Since then, I have done so and it has opened up a whole new realm of offensive weapons I can use when I play. I want to share with you some of the reasons I like using the slice and the top spin dinks and the benefits of both. Don't get complacent using just one. Add some variety and begin working on both!

The Slice - The biggest benefit I find using a slice is that it gives me extra reach for balls that move me from side to side. The only way to effectively hit a dink (without it being dead) that stretches your arm away from your body is to use slice. This is the case on the forehand and backhand sides. It's hard to cover as much court with the top-spin dink because your arm needs to be a little closer to your body so you can brush up the back of the ball. Slice is perfect for staying offense even when you get stretched out. Another benefit is that this spin on this ball when hit correctly keeps the ball from bouncing up as high, making it much more difficult for your opponent to attack it. The down side is that sliced balls can get a little floaty, so you have to hit them low for them to stay unattackable. But with practice you can mitigate that "floaty" risk. 

Top-Spin - Top-spin is fun. Once you get the hang of hitting it, you can add a lot of variety to your game and begin being a little more offensive. The thing that I like the most about the top-spin dink is that it sets up my top spin attack. Backhand and forehand sides alike. When we attack, for the most part we want to do it with top-spin so we can keep it in the court. By using the top-spin dink, we can make our attacks look like our dinks and be more effective when we speed up. Another benefit of the top spin dink is that we can hit really aggressive dinks with less risk of leaving them too high. Be careful of the net though, but once you dial in the top-spin dink, you can be pretty creative and aggressive with how you use it. 

Timing - An aspect between the two that isn't talked about enough is the timing that comes into play with both. When we use top spin dinks, we can usually increase the pace of the point and cause our opponents to play quicker. If we want to slow the game down a little, we can use slice (the ball stays in the air longer) to decrease the pace. Anything that we can do to disrupt our opponents timing can work heavily in our favor. Play around with the pace of each dink and see if you can make your opponents feel uncomfortable by making them play at a speed they would rather not play at!

Both are great options and have their place. Like I said, learn to hit both so you can have more tools to use to beat your opponents, win points, and ultimately win more matches!

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