Level Up Your Dink Game: Matt Manasse Reveals His Secret Sauce

We all know Matt for his mind-blowing rallies and strategic genius. Today, he's here to to supercharge your pickleball arsenal with the third shot drop (aka the dink).

Here's the secret: a great dink isn't about brute force, it's about control. Forget swinging for the fences; focus on a light touch generated from your core and shoulders.

So, how do we unlock the dink? Let's dive into it:

  • Toss Like a Boss: Picture yourself gently tossing a ball to a kid. Feel that smooth shoulder motion, not a jerky wrist flick? That's the golden feeling. Release the ball close by, right where you want it to land, with your fingertips pointing downwards – mimicking the grip on your paddle.
  • Paddle Power: Now, grab your paddle and mimic that same throwing motion. Shoulder doing the heavy lifting, paddle tip nice and low, contact point right out in front. Boom! That's your dink technique in a nutshell.
  • Court Coverage: As you move back on the court, you'll need to add a bit more juice. But the core principle stays the same: shoulders are the engine, keeping the paddle low and the contact point ahead. Your legs will naturally kick in for extra power, but the shoulder hinge remains the master.

Practice Makes Perfect

Remember, mastering the dink takes dedication. Start by practicing close-up dinks, focusing on that smooth shoulder hinge. Gradually increase the distance as you gain confidence. Here are some additional tips:

  • Footwork is Crucial: Stay light on your feet and shuffle side-to-side to maintain good positioning for the dink.
  • Keep it Soft: Aim for a gentle touch that just clears the net and lands deep in the opponent's non-volley zone (kitchen).
  • Mix it Up: Don't be predictable! Alternate between angled dinks and straight-on shots to keep your opponent guessing.

Ready to dominate the court? Stay tuned for more pickleball wisdom from Matt Manasse. We've got your back (and knees, and ankles) so you can conquer every rally!