Selkirk Sport - We Are Pickleball


Dinking Straight Ahead: A SelkirkTV Instructional Video Breakdown

By Kyle Whatnall

on Apr 17, 2023

In this blog, we’ll break down a fantastic instructional YouTube video featuring professional pickleball player Susannah Barr. Susannah demonstrates a valuable drill that focuses on straight ahead dinking, a vital skill for any serious pickleball player. So, let's jump right in and learn from the best!

The Importance of Straight Ahead Dinking

While cross-court dinking is more common, mastering the art of straight ahead dinking is crucial for an all-around strong game. Susannah emphasizes the importance of practice and drilling to become comfortable with dinking in any direction. Key goals for this skill include:

  1. Clearing the net consistently
  2. Making your opponent move and keeping them off-balance
  3. Avoiding popping up the ball, which allows your opponent to attack

Drill Setup and Execution

To practice straight ahead dinking, Susannah suggests staying close to the kitchen line and maintaining an athletic stance. Focus on consistency, patience, and lateral movement. Here's a step-by-step guide to her competitive drill:

  1. Warm up by dinking straight ahead and staying close to the kitchen line.
  2. Keep score to simulate game pressure. Points are "bad" in this drill:
    • 2 points for hitting the ball into the net
    • 1 point for hitting the ball out
    • 0 points if someone wins a rally with a winner
  3. Play only on the single court straight ahead, and keep moving your feet.
  4. Play to a designated score, such as 7 or 5 points.

Key Tips and Takeaways

Susannah offers valuable advice throughout the video to help you improve your straight ahead dinking:

  • Watch the ball off your opponent's paddle to recognize any spin they apply.
  • Practice to build confidence and reduce hesitation.
  • Focus on taking the ball out of the air and maintaining a low stance.

By setting goals and making adjustments as needed, you'll see your pickleball game soar to new heights!

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