Bangers and Dinkers
Dinking vs Attacking
Here are a few common questions I get about dinking when I give a clinic:
- What do you think about when you are dinking?
- Do you just keep dinking till someone makes a mistake?
- How do you know when to attack?
Frankly, to answer all these questions fully for a student I would need to spend a few days with them. Dinking can be excruciating mentally. Often people have developed playing habits that need to be overcome. They dink 2 or 3 times, then rip it. Others dink so long they don’t recognize that they have backed their opponent off of the line, or the ball is high enough for them to hit a quick punch shot.
Recognizing What’s Happening
The challenge is there is so much going on around you at all times on the court. You have three other people and a ball. You want to be able to see the entire court and you want to be consciously thinking about where you want to hit the ball.
This is where my mantra, balance-breath-believe, comes in. When you are balanced you are in control of your movements making it easier to direct the ball to your intended target. If you take the time to breathe, you will be relaxed and calm. (The best possible scenario is that you exhale as you hit the ball!) Finally, believe in yourself. Having confidence in your abilities is so important.
Too often things seem to be whirling around us at lightning speed. As the ball speeds up, we rush through points. We stop thinking, we only react to the ball. We can’t control our shot selection and often don’t have a target. At these points, it is critical that we slow things down.
When to Dink
We dink to be able to slow the game down. This is critically important when:
In these instances, continue to dink. However, if your opponent is in a defensive position, look for an opportunity to attack. You see there is nothing wrong with banging the ball. The best players are both bangers and dinkers. In my next post next week, I’ll share how to better identify when you can attack and how to capitalize on those opportunities.