Pickleball Dinking Drill | Improve Your Skill With Better Control

Greetings, enthusiast of pickleball. You are endeavoring to master the complex dinking drill, correct? This task presents a challenge, yet it hinges on discovering the optimal balance between control, agile movement, and strategic gameplay. Whether positioned in the kitchen area or asserting dominance at the baseline, precision and understanding of the game's essence remain crucial. This article serves as your comprehensive manual for enhancing your drill performance. It aims to augment your pickleball skills, enabling you to excel on the court. Quite beneficial, wouldn't you agree?

Pickleball Dinking Drill - Better Control To Improve Your SkillKey takeaways:

  • Drill 1: Maintaining Your Position – Focuses on footwork and positioning to enhance control during dinking.
  • Drill 2: Toss the Ball – Helps in understanding the feel of dinking, essential for precise shots.
  • Drill 3: Target Practice – Aims for precision in dinking, improving accuracy and consistency.
  • Drill 4: Play a Dinking Match – Simulates real match scenarios, enhancing real-time dinking skills.
  • Drill 5: Dink for Points – Adds a competitive edge to practice, making dinking more engaging and challenging.

5 Pickleball Dinking Drills to Control Your Game

There are 5 pickleball dinking drills that help you to improve your skills and win the game:

Drill 1: Maintaining Pressure and Position

Importance of footwork in dinking

Footwork plays a vital role in dinking. It’s not just about the wrist and paddle; it’s about how you position your body. Your knees should be bent, and your head should be at a low level. Proper footwork helps you maintain balance and control, allowing you to execute precise shots that land in the non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen. It’s a dance, a rhythm that you must master to become a proficient dinker.

Drill description and practice tips

Here’s a drill to help you perfect your dinking footwork:

  • Stand opposite your partner on the court, on the edge of the non-volley line.
  • Spend 5 minutes dinking to your partner, focusing on having the ball drop into the non-volley zone.
  • Aim at their feet to make it more difficult to return.
  • Keep rallies long to test your accuracy, coordination, and endurance.Understanding Pickleball Dinking Drill

For more effective practicing, try this pickleball training equipment

Drill 2: Toss the Ball

Understanding the feel of dinking

Dinking in pickleball isn’t just about hitting the ball; it’s about feeling it. The soft touch, the gentle flick of the wrist, the trajectory of the ball as it arcs over the net. It’s a delicate dance between power and control, where finesse wins over force. Understanding the feel of dinking is essential for mastering this critical skill, and it’s something that comes with time, patience, and practice.

Drill description and practice tips

Here’s a drill to help you get the feel of dinking:

  • Stand close to the net with your partner on the opposite side.
  • Toss the ball back and forth, aiming for a soft landing in the kitchen.
  • Focus on your wrist control and the angle of your paddle.
  • Experiment with backspin and topspin to see how it affects the ball’s movement.
  • Repeat for 10 minutes, concentrating on the feel of the ball and the rhythm of the dink.

Drill 3: Target Practice to Improve Accuracy

Aiming for precision in dinking

Precision in dinking is a game-changer. It’s not just about getting the ball over the net; it’s about placing it exactly where you want it. Whether you’re aiming for a specific spot in the kitchen or trying to catch your opponent off guard, precision is key. It requires focus, control, and a keen understanding of angles and spin. It’s a skill that can turn a good player into a great one.

Drill description and practice tips

Here’s a drill to help you hone your precision in dinking:

  • Set up targets in the kitchen area of the court.
  • Stand at the non-volley line with your partner on the opposite side.
  • Aim for the targets, focusing on control and accuracy.
  • Experiment with different spins and trajectories.
  • Switch sides to practice from different angles.
  • Repeat for 15 minutes, keeping track of successful hits.

Drill 4: Play a Dinking Match to Practice Backhand

Simulating real match scenarios

In the heat of a real pickleball match, dinking becomes a strategic play, a dance of the mind and body. It’s not just about hitting the ball; it’s about reading your opponents, understanding their weaknesses, and using your dinks to create openings. Simulating real match scenarios in your practice sessions can elevate your game to the next level, giving you the confidence and skill to outmaneuver your opponents.

Drill description and practice tips

Here’s a drill to help you simulate real match scenarios:

  • Pair up with a partner and stand on opposite sides of the net.
  • Play a mini-match focusing only on dinking.
  • Use various dinking techniques such as forehand, backhand, and topspin.
  • Implement strategies like positioning and soft touch.
  • Reflect on the match, identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement.

Physical and Mental Preparation

Here are a few more Pickleball Drills For Two that you and your partner can do. Take a look!

Drill 5: Dink for Points

Adding a competitive edge to dinking practice

Dinking in pickleball isn’t just about control and precision; it’s about outsmarting your opponents and winning points. By adding a competitive edge to your dinking practice, you can simulate the pressure of a real match, sharpen your focus, and enhance your ability to score crucial points.

Drill description and practice tips

Here’s a drill that will add a competitive edge to your dinking practice:

  • Pair up with a partner and decide on a scoring system.
  • Start a rally with only dinks allowed.
  • Score points for successful dinks and penalize for errors.
  • Incorporate different dinking techniques like slice, spin, and drop shots.
  • Play multiple rounds, keeping track of points.


Where do you aim dinks in pickleball?

When aiming for dinks in pickleball, it is important to focus on hitting a defensive shot that is difficult for your opponents to attack. Instead of going for aggressive shots, aim to land the dink close to the net on your opponents' side of the court and ensure it has a low bounce off the court.

What does opa mean in pickleball?

In pickleball, the term "OPA!" is a cheer that is shouted out after the 3rd shot has been hit and open rallying has started. It signifies the transition to a more competitive phase of the game. Another term, "nice setup," is used to compliment a player who has successfully manipulated their opponent's movement, creating an exposed area on the court that is not covered by the opposing team

Where do you aim dinks in pickleball?

When hitting a defensive dink while facing pressure in pickleball, it is advisable to avoid taking excessive risks. Instead, focus on executing a dink that is difficult to attack. This involves aiming for a spot close to the net on your opponents' side of the court and ensuring the ball bounces low off the court.


Mastering the art of dinking in pickleball takes time, patience, and consistent practice. These drills, designed to enhance your control, precision, and strategic gameplay, will guide you on your journey to becoming a dinking pro. Embrace the challenge, enjoy the process, and see your game reach new heights. Keep practicing, and never stop learning!

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