This is a game my wife found on Tyson McGuffin’s YouTube page. After she attended a McGuffin camp in California, she became a big fan and found that he gives away a lot of free advice on YouTube. He also has a podcast that can be informative and entertaining.
McGuffin likes to refer to the “gamification” of drills, a way to take the monotony out of practice drills by turning them into a game. This “Exploding Cones Dink Game”, which I introduced at the Blairsville, Georgia pickleball complex, will help you work on your dink volley and recognize which dinks you should be taking out of the air versus when to step back.
Here is how the game works: You set up the three cones, each topped with a pickleball, about 8 inches to a foot inside the NVZ on both sides, spread evenly across one side of the pickleball court. Then you play a dinking game where all dinks must land in the kitchen. Your goal during each rally is (1) aim for your opponent’s cone and “explode” it, (2) guard your cone from your opponent’s attacks by taking a dink out of the air when necessary, and (3) make sure you get your dink back into your opponent’s NVZ.
You this game to 10 points with bonus points awarded for “exploding” pyramids. If you miss a dink it’s worth one point for your opponent, but hitting an opponent’s cone and knocking the ball off is worth three points for you. That’s why you want to take dinks out of the air as much as possible so as not allow your cones to be hit. It is also why you want to be sure you get your dinks back. Not getting your dink back is like hitting your serve out – it is a free point to your opponent. We modified the game a bit to award two points to a player who hits a cone, but does not knock the ball off.
Here are some videos of the games at Blairsville:
Here is a link to Tyson McGuffin demonstrating the game:
Finally, here is a link to the Blairsville, GA Pickleball Club page: