In pickleball, you’re of course seeking to win. We all know that. But since winning is not something you can actually work on, you have to focus on the things that will help you get there.
You win by doing these 2 things:
1) You keep the ball in play in such a way that also prevents you from getting attacked.
2) You attack when the opportunity presents itself.
There are very specific areas you want to hit your shot in order to maximize your ability to achieve the above to scenarios.
In this video, we’ll cover the main shot you want to be hitting up at the non volley zone line when dinking in order to make that happen.
We’re going to talk a little strategy. Specifically, cross-court dinking and how it’s the smarter play.
I really want to highlight the advantages of dinking cross-court.
We’re going to specifically talk about why it’s a lot more higher percentage play when you dink cross-court.
We’re going to talk about the specific advantages that it has as opposed to dinking straight on.
Reason #1- Hitting Over The Lowest Part Of The Net
The first thing I want to note is that if I’m dinking close to the sidelines, this is where the highest part of the net is. If you’re drinking straight on with your opponent your margin of error will be less than if you’re dinking cross-court.
The lowest part of the net is in the middle of the net which is about two inches lower than the net near the sidelines.
If you dink cross-court, you’re going to give yourself a lot more margin for error.
Reason #2 – Greater Distance Between Your Contact Point And Your Opponent’s Contact Point
The second reason why it’s the smarter play to dink cross-court is that if I’m dinking straight on from the non-volley zone line I only have about 14 feet from my contact point to my opponent’s contact point.
The reason why it’s 14 feet is that if I’m at the non-volley zone line it’s 7 feet to the net and then another 7 feet from the net to my opponent’s non-volley zone line.
So, I have less than a 14 foot margin to pop this ball up or get it a little bit deep.
If I hit it cross court I have a longer distance from my contact point to my opponent’s contact point which gives me a larger margin for error.
Reason #3 – Easier To Add Spin To the Ball
The third reason why dinking cross court is a smarter play is that it’s much easier to hit an unattackable ball hitting a ball cross court. The reason for that is it’s a lot easier to put spin on the ball.
If I’m dinking straight I’ll most likely not have a lot of spin on the ball due to the lower margin of error I have. My ball might sit up there a lot more for my opponent to attack than if I was cross court.
It’s a lot more natural dinking cross court where I could put a little bit of spin, a little bit of slice, on the ball so that the ball stays lower and it makes it harder for my opponent to attack.
Especially on this backhand side, you’ll see most players put slice on their backhand dinks because it’s just a natural shot and it’s going to keep that ball lower to the ground and harder for my opponent to attack and speed up the ball.
Reason #4 – It Makes The Ball Less Attackable
The fourth reason why dinking cross-court, rather than down the line, is a smarter play is that it’s harder to attack a cross-court ball than a down the line ball for your opponent.
If I’m dinking straight on and the balls are coming straight at my opponent. They could just wind up and hit the ball. It’s very easy to track a ball that is coming straight at you.
If I’m cross court, on the forehand side, and now the ball is coming across the net and across their body, it’s going to be a little bit harder to attack for my opponent because they have to redirect that ball.
If they hit it hard to where the ball came from, that ball might be going out. But, if they want to attack middle or down the line, what they’re going to have to do with this ball is change directions of the ball. So, it makes it a lot harder to attack a cross-court ball than a ball that’s coming straight down the line from your opponent.
Reason #5 – Takes Out The Option For Your Opponent To Hit and Ernie
The fifth reason why dinking cross score is a smarter play is it totally takes out the Ernie.
This is an advanced shot that happens in high-level play. This is why you see the top pros play most of their rallies cross-court to keep this shot out of play as well as the previous reasons I have you before.
If you don’t know what the Ernie is we have a video on that but I’ll explain briefly right now.
The Ernie happens in two ways. It either happens in the air as you jump around the non-volley zone (kitchen) or after your you run around/through the non-volley zone line and establish your feet out of bounds (to the side of the kitchen).
If I’m thinking cross-court my opponent is never going to be able to do that shot.
So, remember, those are the five reasons why dinking cross-court is definitely the smarter play.
I hope this video helped. Leave a comment on our YouTube video (at the top of this post) and let us know what you think!