The Volleyball Pepper Drill: Partner and Three Player Pepper Drills

The Volleyball Pepper Drill | Improve Your Volley` ``

The Volleyball Pepper Drill: Partner and Three Player Pepper Drills 

The volleyball pepper drill is a ball control drill using setting, digging and hitting skills usually done as a partner or three player person drill in warmup.

The volleyball pepper drill is used in various forms when in warmups and in the main part of my Breakfast Club and Happy Hour practice to improve technique.

Usually the volleyball pepper drill involves two players start a sequence of volleyball attack and defense skills alternating the performance of each skill while controlling the ball between each other in order to keep the ball off the ground.

One partner starts by setting the ball to their partner that's 6-8 feet away  who returns the ball with a pass high enough for the first partner to control a hit back to their partner who digs the ball back high enough so the receiving partner can set the ball back and the whole sequence starts again.

Throughout my playing and coaching career I've learned and created all sorts of two, three, and four person volleyball pepper drill variations in order to improve

  • ball control skills
  • eye hand coordination speed
  • arm swing speed and arm swing technique
  • digging control skills
  • setting to the target accuracy

Three Man Volleyball Pepper Drill Variations

Check out some of the various ways I like to use the volleyball pepper drill that we do in my advanced Breakfast Club trainings and Happy Hour classes. 

  • Start with a controlled hit to your partner
  • Partner digs to themself
  • Sets to Themself
  • Then control hits to the partner who digs to themself and then repeat the cycle

What I really like about pepper when you dig or set to yourself, is that if the last contact you have is a get to work on reaching high like you would during my spiking technique. 

For those who hit the ball in the net because they drop their elbow when they hit ..this is a good variation of the pepper drill that will help you reach high during your arm swing.

Two vs One Over The Net
Volleyball Pepper Drill

In this three person volleyball pepper drill one person is cross court deep behind the ten foot line on one side and two other players are in cross court positions on the other side. 

The single player on one side digs to themself, sets to themself and hits a down ball deep over the net to the other side. 

The other two play the ball out with one digging to their partner, the other setting back to them and the hitter hits it back cross court towards the single player. 

You can make this a "controlled drill" or what some call a cooperative drill where all the players hit right to each other trying not to make each other move but still hitting the ball with pace. 

If done this way the pepper partner players can set a goal as to how many touches or how many times the ball has to cross the net before they can finish the drill. 

Working on 

ball control while in the air if you add a spike approach to each hit

The Volleyball Pepper Drill
Three Player Pepper Drill
One hitter, one setter one digger

Three Person Pepper drill .

Here’s a variation of this popular volleyball pepper drill that keeps two players moving at ALL times.


Hitter stays while only the digger and setter switch after each touch.

Moving from setter to digger working on a quick back pedal with fast feet .. . moving until hitter begins their armswing...

...then being STOPPED in a balanced position .. .. before you dig.

The Volleyball Pepper Drill
One Hand Jump Set Pepper Drill
One hitter, One Set to Yourself

For a different variation of your partner volleyball pepper drill ..try a one hand jump set .. then hit to your partner like we do to vary our ball control warmup skills in Breakfast Club.

Can you do this?

Try a one handed set ... set yourself a two ball.. then hit to your partner. (Watch out Carm!)

In Breakfast Club Working on keeping elbow high and swinging fast .. while still controlling the ball to your target.

Too easy? Then.. add the last two steps of your approach jump before hitting to your partner

Do You Follow Me on Pinterest?

Follow me on Pinterest Volleybragswag to improve your game even faster!

I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 

The Volleyball Pepper Drill: 
Where Do You Go From Here?

Your three options are: 

  1. You can learn more about Drills by visiting the Related Links below.  
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page  Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the How to Play Volleyball section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started. 

Learn more about volleyball drills on these pages!

  • Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  •  ›
  • Best Volleyball Drills For Setters, Hitters, Liberos, Passers and Blockers
  • The Pepper Volleyball Drill: Partner and Three Player Pepper Drills

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