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Friday, June 24, 2016

The Dink Game

I have previously written about the dink game in the post Dinking Drills. A simple description of the dink game is that it is played just like a regular game except that all play occurs with players positioned at the non-volley zone line. All shots, including the serve, are dinks and scoring is identical to a regular game. Deb Harrison takes the game to the next level in her video The Dink Game Pt 1.

Deb wants players who have already developed basic dinking skills to take the next step and use the game to work on a specific objective - moving opponents out of their comfort zone. But first, she wants players to know how to defend during the dinking phase by discussing triangulation, a concept that we introduced in yesterday's post Triangulation in the Dinking Phase.

Deb's emphasis on triangulation is that must players protect from a shot between them by staying close enough together to overlap paddles. Then, players coordinated movements are dependent on where the ball is in the opponents' court. The following photo shows Deb and her partner protecting their right side of the court when the ball is in the left side of the opponents' court. Their weak area, the left side of their court, is also the shot farthest from the ball and the hardest shot for their opponent to make.

The next photo shows Deb and her partner's position when the ball is in the center. They protect the center 2/3 of the court and expose the outside lines on each side.

The next photo shows their positions when the ball is on the right side of the opponents' court. They protect their left side of the court and again expose only the farthest sideline to the opponent. Deb also points out that, as the partner not directly in front of the opponent hitting the ball, she turns her body angle to face that opponent.

The next photo explains Deb's triangulation theory.

Deb follows by describing a player's comfort zone as the area the player can reach on each side without moving or stretching. The objective is to hit dinks that target spots outside that comfort zone, remembering that this particular game has no hard hits. It is all dinks. 

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