In pickleball, a “dink” refers to a soft and controlled shot that is hit over the net and lands within the non-volley zone (commonly known as the kitchen) on the opponent’s side of the court. Dinking is a fundamental technique in pickleball, especially in the kitchen area, where players are not allowed to volley the ball (hit it in the air) unless the ball first bounces.
Key characteristics of a dink shot include:
- Soft Touch: A dink shot is executed with a gentle touch and minimal power. The objective is to place the ball softly over the net and into the opponent’s non-volley zone.
- Low Trajectory: Dinks are hit with a low trajectory to prevent opponents from attacking the ball aggressively.
- Controlled Placement: The goal of a dink is to place the ball in a strategic location that makes it challenging for the opponents to return effectively.
- High Percentage Shot: Dinking is considered a high-percentage shot in pickleball, as it reduces the risk of making errors and helps maintain control of the rally.
- Strategic Play: Players often use dinking as part of their strategy to set up advantageous positions on the court, gain control of the net, and force opponents into making mistakes.
Dinking is a key element of the game, especially in the kitchen area, where players engage in soft exchanges close to the net. It requires finesse, precision, and patience to execute effectively, making it an essential skill for players of all skill levels in pickleball.