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When and how to execute aggressive dinks: Tips from pro Catherine Parenteau

By Catherine Parenteau

on May 29, 2024


Catherine Parenteau stands at the kitchen line of an indoor pickleball court. She leans to her left to complete a slice volley dink.

Enhancing your pickleball game with aggressive dinks can significantly challenge your opponents, leading to unforced errors and winning opportunities. 

There are various techniques to make your dinks more aggressive, including the use of spin, depth, and strategic placement. In this Selkirk TV original, pickleball professional Catherine Parenteau shares tips on when and how to dink aggressively.

How to be more aggressive with your dinks

Aggressive dinks can put your opponents on the defensive, making it difficult for them to return the ball. Here are several strategies to create more aggressive dinks:

  • Adding spin: Incorporating topspin or backspin can alter the ball's bounce, making it unpredictable for your opponent. Topspin helps the ball stay low, while a slice dink with backspin can cause the ball to bounce erratically.
  • Deep balls: Hitting the ball deep into your opponent's kitchen can disrupt their balance, often forcing a weak return or a pop-up that you can capitalize on.
  • Placement: Strategically placing the ball towards the sidelines or your opponent's non-dominant foot can push them into uncomfortable positions, increasing the chances of errors.

  • When to hit an aggressive dink

    Timing is crucial for aggressive dinks. Ensure you are in a stable and ready position before attempting an aggressive dink. 

    Your body should be comfortably positioned, facing the net, with your paddle out in front of you. Avoid aggressive dinks if you are off-balance, lunging, or turned away from the net as this reduces your ability to react to your opponent's returns.

    The types of aggressive dinks

    There are four main types of aggressive dinks each with a few key tips to keep in mind. 

    The slice dink

    To execute a slice dink, undercut the ball with an open paddle face to create backspin. Keep your wrist firm and use your shoulder to complete the motion. If you use your wrist to execute the shot, it will likely result in you hitting the ball into the net.

    The topspin dink

    A topspin dink helps maintain a low trajectory over the net. Momentarily unlock your wrist as you lower the paddle face below your wrist, then lock it again as you brush the ball from low to high.

    The shoelace dink

    If you notice your opponent does not like to take dinks out of the air, aim your dinks toward their feet. This will force them to back off the kitchen line, putting them in a defensive position. Follow through with your dink swing to maintain depth and accuracy.

    Mixed locations

    Varying the placement of your dinks keeps your shots unpredictable and forces your opponents to move consistently. Aim for different areas such as the middle line, sidelines, and your opponents' feet in varying patterns to increase the likelihood of a weak return.

    Download the Selkirk TV app HERE to watch the complete episode and many other Selkirk TV original shows, podcasts, lesson series from the pros, and much more.

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