Mix It Up

We’ve previously talked about the dink because it is a foundational shot in pickleball that is crucial for point construction. However, not all dinks are created equal. This video below from PrimeTime Pickleball talks about two types of dinks — flat dinks and spin dinks — and how they can be useful for creating opportunities.

Flat dinks are standard dinks with no spin. These are key scenarios when flat dinks are applicable:

  • You’re relatively new player and just learning the dink game. Until you’ve mastered dink control and consistency, it’s best to primarily use flat dinks. When using spin, there are more moving parts and therefore more things to go wrong.
  • If you’re short on time and space. For example, when your opponent has hit a really good aggressive shot, hitting a safe, flat dink to keep the ball in play is often the best option because you’re more likely to commit an error by trying to execute a spin dink.
  • When you want to be more aggressive and shorten the amount of time that your opponent has to respond, flat dinks are great because they take up less time to execute than spin dinks.

Spin dinks are useful for the following reasons:

  • Dinks with underspin (slice) tend to bounce lower and are more likely to be unattackable. They’ll allow you to keep the rally going longer before a player pulls the trigger and decides to attack or speed up the ball.
  • Dinks with topspin kick forward after the bounce. These dinks are more aggressive and give your opponent less time to react.
  • Sidespin can be added particularly on slice dinks to create some skid or bend towards the left or right which, if your opponents aren’t paying attention, can catch them by surprise.
  • In summary, dinks with spin are more likely to cause your opponent to make a mistake or accidentally lift their next shot a little too high, and are more likely to give you an opportunity to attack.

Bottom line, there are a variety of dinks that you should have in your toolbox. It’s important to master these shots and know the appropriate times to use them. Mixing it up is a good strategy to use during a dinking rally. You can mix it up not just by moving your opponents around and adding spin dinks, but also using flat dinks at appropriate times to get out of a bind or to surprise opponents and catch them off guard.

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