The Best Drill to Improve Your Dinking - A SelkirkTV Instructional Video Breakdown
In a recent SelkirkTV instructional video, professional pickleball player Susannah Barr walks us through one of her favorite drills—dinking at the kitchen line. This is an essential skill for any pickleball player hoping to level up their game. Susannah shares her tips and tricks with us, demonstrating how a focused and deliberate approach to this drill can help improve various aspects of our game.
Setting Goals and Picking Targets
Susannah begins by emphasizing the importance of setting clear and precise goals for each drill. These goals can range from improving footwork and enhancing consistency, to looking for opportunities to adopt an aggressive stance. By deliberately choosing a target for the drill, players are given a clear focus and purpose for their practice.
During her demonstration, Susannah chooses to work on her dinking strategy. She decides that if the ball bounces, she will aim to strategically place it, and if it's in the air, she will look for opportunities to be aggressive. She encourages viewers to select a goal that best suits their needs—whether that’s keeping the rally going for as long as possible or focusing on footwork.
The Warm-Up and Scoring
After setting the goals, the players start with some cross-court dinking as a warm-up. The aim here is to prepare for the main drill while also starting to implement the goal they have chosen. They then move into rally scoring, treating each rally as a point, similar to a regular game, up to 11.
One crucial part of this drill is the opportunity for players to reflect on their performance after each rally. If a player realizes they've made a mistake, they can take a moment to process what went wrong before jumping back into the drill.
In-Game Feedback and Reflection
Throughout the drill, Susannah provides live feedback and shares her thought process in real-time. She advises her partner on footwork and shot selection, encouraging them to hold onto their forehand a little longer to add more pressure. The score serves as an immediate form of feedback, allowing players to gauge their performance based on their ability to win points.
Reflection plays a key role in this drill. After each point, players are encouraged to consider why they may have missed a shot or failed to achieve their goal. By taking the time to reflect, players can identify areas for improvement and adjust their strategy accordingly.
Drill Recap and Next Steps
At the end of the drill, Susannah highlights the importance of taking a moment to think about what worked well and what didn't. She points out that her partner made quicker decisions between forehand and backhand shots, resulting in stronger placement options on the forehand side.
The real value of this drill lies in the ability to focus on small, incremental changes and to reflect on their success or failure. For future drills, players can choose to work on a different aspect of their game, or continue to refine the skills they focused on in this drill.
Susannah Barr's instructional video is a great tool for pickleball players looking to enhance their skills, particularly in the art of dinking. By setting clear goals, reflecting on performance, and focusing on deliberate practice, players can take significant strides towards improving their game. As Susannah says, this drill can be practiced from any direction on the court, making it versatile and adaptable for any player's needs.
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