Pickleball 101: Dinking Form and Technique

By working on your grip pressure, form and swing, you can help improve your dinking ability.

May 17, 2018

To find success on the pickleball court, players need to hone their dinking skills.


“The keys to good dinking are grip pressure, form, contact point and swing,” says Founder of Level-Up Pickleball Camps Wayne Dollard.


You want to use a low to mid-pressure grip while keeping your feet parallel to the non-volley line. You don’t want to be back too far, as the ball can drop in front of you, and being too close can cause you to enter the kitchen and hit the ball on the fly.


It’s also important to make contact with the ball in front of your body. Move your feet parallel to the line and turn your torso to avoid the ball coming to your sides. You may need to shuffle your feet to keep your torso in the direction of the shot. Dinking from the side of your body can lead to losing the feel of the dink and other errors.


You’ll also need to work on the backswing and form of your dink. Many pickleballers are converts from other racquet sports and this can translate to long backswings and deceleration while striking the ball. Instead, in pickleball, it can be important to have little to no backswing when dinking. Your paddle should be in front of your body, and you should accelerate into the ball. This should be a short, simple swing.


“You should be able to hit your dink 100 times with the same repeatable motion,” Dollard says.


Once you are able to master your technique through a little practice, you’re ready to unleash your dink on your local pickleball court.


Looking for more tips on dinking? Learn how to grip your paddle when dinking and also understand the importance of placement and depth when dinking.