Pickleball Drills-Shuffling Dink
Even if you aren’t really into practice, something we call the shuffling dink is a great warm up before you play. It gets your heart rate up and leaves you huffin’ and puffin and ready for some stretching.
You can use pickleball drills to help you with several different key fundamentals, just don’t try to focus on them all at once!
Pickleball Drills-Shuffling Dink
1. Paddle Up
The more I play the easier it has become to spot when someones paddle is down or out of position and angle a shot to take advantage of it. As I watch this video I like that I am bringing the paddle back quickly to the ready position preparing for either another dink or to block.
A strong athletic position is important for any sport. When I was teaching golf I spent a lot of time working with students to create consistent posture. Posture along with grip was like the basement of a house and the club swinging was like the house itself. If the basement construction is solid the house on top is stable. (Can you tell I was from the Midwest? Most homes don’t have basements in Tahoe!)
My knees a flexed and my balance is good during the shuffle from side to side. There are a couple of times where I bend a little more from the waist than the legs. If I need to get lower, in order to be in position for the next shot, my legs should be doing the work. Often times you will hear me remind myself to get my butt out fo the air!
3. Ball in Front of the Body
A shot with the ball in front of the body is easier to return than one that sneaks behind you. One of the focus items for me is to keep the paddle and ball in front of me. A couple of times on the forehand side the ball gets a little behind me. Not only is that much tougher to hit but ultimately my opponent could push me away from the Non-Volley Zone or catch me off balance.
4. Move Back and Forward but stay close to the Kitchen Line
The goal is to stay as close to the kitchen line as possible as it puts you in the best position to hit the next shot. In this drill the idea is to step forward or back to make the volley just like you would in a real game. I take an occasional step backward but find my way right back to the line.
5. Eye on the Ball
During warm-up, it’s good for me to begin to focus on the ball and see it in detail. The better I am seeing the ball the more consistent my shot making. Looking for it on the paddle and watching as it comes off the other paddle are points that help me to start dialing in my focus for the day.
I like to turn on the camera and see if what I think I am doing is what’s actually happening. Slow motion is another great tool to help break down and refine the movement. Everyone has a camera on their phone and YouTube makes it easy to upload and slow down. Give it a try!
Pickleball Drills Shuffling Dink
What’s your favorite pickleball drill? Leave a comment below.
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Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)
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