What Is a Dink in Pickleball?

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Nearly 5 million people play the pickleball game in the US, making it the fastest-growing state sport. It’s becoming increasingly popular around the world. Strategy and skill are required to play the game. Pickleball dinks: What are they? Let’s find out.

What Is a Dink in Pickleball?

In pickleball, dink, known as “the soft game,” is the act of striking the ball into the kitchen line area after bouncing. The ball bounces into the opposing team’s no-volley zone. Upon crossing the pickleball net, the ball will arc downward, crossing the non-volley zone or landing straight across. Initially, a dink may seem easy, but the player must be skilled to pull it off.

Why Do Pickleball Players Dink?

In pickleball, dinks are primarily used to distract the opponent’s attention from the game. The distraction makes the opponent play at a slower rate.

If a player dinks, what happens? There is a high probability that the ball will land either in the no-volley zone or close to the feet of the opponent. Playing a high-powered game becomes impossible in both cases. As soon as the ball lands in the kitchen area, your opponent has no choice but to let it bounce, whereas if the ball lands close to their feet, the opponent will be required to play a volley to get the ball back up and over.

As a result, pickleball opponents are forced to either hit the ball into the net or throw it over the baseline due to this technique.

Dropshots vs. Dink Shots

There are several differences between the drop shot and the dink shot. The main difference is that the dink shot is made within the no-volley zone. The drop shot comes from the half back of the court. Despite being similar, the dink and drop shots differ. They both head downwards after they have gone over the no-volley zone. It’s the way you hit them that sets them apart. A drop shot is generally more difficult to execute than a dink shot.

A pickleball dink during outside play

The Dink Technique

Making a dink shot can be easy, but mastering it is not so easy. One of the easiest dinks to make is a cross-court dink. With a dink shot, the ball needs to go over the net and then land back as close to the net as you can. As the dink gets closer to the net, it becomes increasingly difficult to return.

To master this technique, follow these basic steps:

  1. The paddle face should remain open.
  2. Your paddle should be held before your body as you hit the ball.
  3. A steep angle should be used when lifting the ball with the paddle. By doing this, the ball will drop quickly into the opponent’s court.
  4. It would be best if you moved from the shoulder with a lot of control and softness. You mustn’t strike the ball too hard; if you do, the chance to hit that dink will pass you by.

A soft shot dink is essential. Being overly hard will cause the ball to bounce, giving your opponent a chance to return it. Softer shots can make it harder for the opposition to hit back.

Offensive Dinking

A good offensive dinking game requires you to be balanced, have good control over the ball in front of you, and get a ball that does not spin too much from the other side.

By using your offensive dink in these conditions, you can potentially create an error by putting strain on the other team’s players.

When you are out of position or your opposition is playing violent dinks, a defensive dink can prevent errors and help your team get back in neutral.

Defensive Dinking

Slowing down the game can be achieved by defensive dinking. In the event that an opponent hits you with a hard and low ball, it’s important that you can slow it down without making a mistake.

Cross-court dinks work well in defensive dinking games. Since you have a longer shot, you have a greater margin of error.

Types of Pickleball Dinks

Tips for when you dink in pickleball

Follow these tips to help you learn how to hit like a professional:

  • Dink the ball before it bounces a second time. The more time you have allows you to analyze your opponent’s position and get into a ready position.
  • Work with a push instead of a swing. Rather than swinging the pickleball paddle at the ball while dinking, you should “push” the ball over. Many people swing too hard when dinking, leading to the ball sailing out or sitting too high, allowing the opposition to attack.
  • Dinks rarely win you a game of pickleball; rather, they serve as a springboard to a winning play. When you dink the ball, you force your opponent to hit it under an unusual angle, allowing you to take advantage of a weak return shot.
  • A dink shot is aimed at wearing your opposition down and causing them to make errors, so it requires patience and rhythm. Dinks can also prevent power hits from returning. Keeping your opponent’s feet in mind when returning the ball will help you control the game.
  • Try to hit the ball when you are down low. You will see players bend their knees quite low and use the momentum of their bodies when they move up and hit the ball.
  • When dinking, your legs are essential. Most players have rigid, straight legs, constantly bending their backs and waists. Moving when the dink is hit away from you is extremely difficult, causing back pain and injury when you don’t move your legs.
  • Try to aim for softer shots before working up to the leading power shot.
  • As you play different players more than once, you will start to know their moves and be able to work out an effective strategy. You will be able to make more controlled shots.


In pickleball, dinking is an important technique. It’s possible to win a game by dinking well. From the very beginning, you must master those dinks. Wearing out your opponent is much more likely if you can do that. By wearing them out, you can force them to make mistakes and gain a point. It won’t take long to land the perfect dink and use it as an effective weapon to win the game.