Downside of Deep, Deep, Dink
In the way that a good chess player learns to perform standard openings (sets of moves), a good pickleballer learns that the textbook way to play in pickleball doubles is to serve deep to the opponent’s baseline, return deep, and then the third shot is dinked into the kitchen. At that point, a gentle kitchen rally continues until someone makes a mistake. Watch the 5.0 players and that’s what you’ll see in the majority of their rallies.
There are a couple of problems with this deep, deep, dink technique.
If your teammate does not come up to the kitchen line in time, or doesn’t know how to respond to sharp forehand returns, you’ll die.
The other problem is that a dropshot from the back of the court into your opponent’s kitchen is a hard thing to do accurately. A bit too high, and you’ll loose the point immediately. Just a touch short or low, and of course the ball hits the net.
So what I’m proposing, is that you try to observe the game. Slow it down in your mind. When you might normally do the dink into the kitchen, consider the alternatives. What part of the court is your opponent not covering? Who is running at the wrong time to handle a long groundstroke? Right, maybe an alternative to deep, deep, dink is deep, deep, deep, dink, or even deep, deep, deep, deep, deep…. well, you get the idea.
I’m not suggesting that intermediate players don’t even try to drop the balls gently into the kitchen. This is a required skill for high level pickleball. What I am saying, is that after you have mastered the drop shot into the kitchen, you don’t have to use it every time. In fact, using it every time will cost you many, many points.