In today’s blog we’re going to talk about creating offense with the step-back dink.
A lot of blogs that we share and teach with you, and for the majority of the time, we want to educate players to make sure that they’re up at the non-volley zone line so that they can take advantage of being closer to the net and trying to hit the ball down.
However, in this blog, we’re specifically going to talk about a way that you can create offense by stepping back. We call this the step back dink.
It’s going to help you create offense when you’re dinking.
Let’s say you are playing doubles against your opponents. You’re going to be dinking right up at the line. Let’s say you and your partner are having good dink rallies but you can’t seem to create any offense because your opponents are hitting unattackable dinks which force you to contact the ball below the net every time. In this case, the step back dink is something that you can try to implement in your game.
Step back into a closed position, where your chest if facing sideways (90 degree angel to the net). For example, if you’re a right-hander, you’re going to take your right foot an step back into that closed position.
This way, you have a variety of options. You could either try to dink it back or try to kind of roll the dink to your opponents’ feet. Or, you would also be in a position to hit a fast little flick groundstroke.
These are things that can really create that offense and really mix it up with the shots that you’re giving your opponent.
Now your opponents will start noticing you stepping back in this position and now they’re not sure if they just try to defend and block the ball. Because, you could either send it at their feet, dink it again or speed it up down the line or towards the middle of the court. So now your opponents are going to have a lot of different scenarios which they’re going to have to defend.
If your opponent is a little bit off the line, you could either push it more out to their feet. If you think that they’re not ready for a fastball, you could try to speed it up.
The important thing is if you do step back, you don’t want to get into this mindset where you stay back off the non-volley zone.
You’ll see the top players do this step back dink to create shots but one thing that separates them from lower level players is if they step back at all off the non-volley zone they’re always back every time after that shot.
It also works from the outside of the court. You’ll see a lot of players doing this from the odd side of the court as well. In this scenario you would dink backhand or cross-court.
If you’re a regular player your forehand is probably going to be stronger than your backhand side but if it’s the opposite, then you’re the rare case.
Usually, it’s a lot easier to create offense off your forehand so this is what we’re talking about here. Stepping back and really highlighting your forehand side. This could create a lot of offense.
It’s something you’re going to have to practice.
We’re not saying that this is something you should do every time. But, you will see top players using this this footwork tactic to really initiate and create their offense.
You’re not trying to hit a winner from this step back but it’s going to create some sort of space between you and your opponent so that the court opens up.
For example, you can choose to speed up the ball to your opponent’s left or right hip or you can just act like you’re going to speed it up and then end up rolling it at their feet. This might then lead to a pop up, a really high ball, that you could then put away.