Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Time Out, Dinking, Ego

We are continuing our series based on Jeff Shank’s YouTube video about pickleball strategy. In this segment Jeff explains why, when playing in a tournament, it is important to take time outs at certain points, the importance of dinking and how to handle your ego.

Dinking – A love-hate relationship

There are those who do whatever they can to avoid the dinking game. Sometimes this leads to unforced errors because although a return dink may be the best option, a player may lack confidence or run out of patience and try to hit a hard line drive return.

The good news and bad news about dinking:

Bad news first…It is a big part of the game when your skill set gets you into the 3.5 and above playing levels. Skilled players dink to win.

The good news…It isn’t that hard to gain proficiency in dinking.

Jeff offers a number of tips:

  • What type of foot movement does he suggest?
  • What stance should the player have when waiting for a return dink?
  • What is the problem with cross-stepping?
  • What is the best dink option that provides the largest margin for error?
  • What are the advantages to taking a dink as a volley if possible?

No room for ego

After the dinking lesson, Jeff explains why pickleballers (as well as other team sport members) need to play with no ego. What that means is, recognize when other players (i.e. your partner) are better and let them take certain shots. Also…listen to information that other players might have about your opponents.

NOTE – When I play doubles, I will usually discuss our opponents with my partner. I try to tell them who has a spin serve, who is good at lobbing, etc. I also like to explain that if I run to their side of the court to cover a lob, they should move over to my vacated side. I will often yell “switch.”

Weak partner, strong partner relationship

If you play in tournaments or at very competitive venues, listen to what Jeff has to say about the weaker-stronger partner relationship.



For a refresher video about how to perfect the dink shot, click HERE

NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE


To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

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