What Is Peppering In Volleyball? A Pregame Defense Ball Control Drill

What is peppering in volleyball? A pregame or practice ball control drill with two players using pass, set, hit variations while keeping the ball off the floor.

What is peppering in volleyball?

Pepper is a warmup drill usually done by two players but can be done with three or more, at the beginning of practice and/or matches which focuses on controlling the ball using pass, set and a controlled hit variations without letting the ball hit the floor. 


How do you pepper with your partner in volleyball?


One of the two pepper partners begins the drill by setting the ball to their partner who returns the ball with a bump set that's high enough so that their partner hits the ball back at them in a controlled fashion and then the bump set hit sequence begins all over again

Variations of the pepper drill include:

  • three person pepper as seen in the video above
  • controlled pepper over the net
  • full court pepper
  • deep court pepper
  • close to your partner pepper

What is Peppering in Volleyball?

Check out  the

One Arm Pepper Drill

Check out this fun variation of the pepper drill we do In Boot Camp class....just use one arm to improve your ball control skills.


What does pepper do to improve your volleyball skills?
What is peppering in volleyball?


Volleyball pepper drills are the key especially, if you want to improve your defensive game and be a six rotation player who can play the entire match without having to come off the court.


I've chosen these two pepper skills that we regularly do in our Vegas Boot camp classes and clinics because they emphasize our type of volleyball training designed


Here are two tips on how to get the most out of peppering in volleyball 


1. Practice with someone bigger and better than you are

2. Use the Pepper drill to increase spiking and digging intensity while maintaining ball control

Let's dig deeper into these tactics...



Practice With Someone Bigger and Better Than You Are
What is peppering in volleyball?


When you get the chance to pepper with a guy or girl with good ball control skills, do it. Always.  

Playing with a player or someone bigger, better or stronger than you are, you learn how to be a better, stronger, faster defensive volleyball player in a shorter amount of time.


I have coed Boot Camp classes on purpose so that girls learn to pepper and defend against bigger faster guys their age or older. 

Guys hit harder and move faster and have an aggressive attitude that girls need to adopt while digging and playing defense.

Surround yourself with people/players who are better than you are, learn from them and have them make you work hard and challenge you and you will become a better volleyball player alot faster.


What does pepper mean in volleyball?
What is peppering in volleyball?

Villanova team does the pepper drill during their pre-game warmup. (Char1lieJ)What is peppering in volleyball?: Villanova team does the pepper drill during their pre-game warmup. (Char1lieJ)

The Pepper warmup drill is one of the best opportunities for you to practice the individual volleyball digging and hitting skills using the correct technique you need to improve your game.

Every opportunity you have to touch the ball should be used to contact the ball correctly.

Many players take pepper for granted and since the ball is coming at them slowly, they flake, and ignore using the proper technique.

Hitting the ball with a low elbow in pepper means you increase the chance you’ll hit the ball low in hitting warm-ups and continue hitting the ball low in a game.


Watch how we do the Volleyball Pepper Drill in Boot Camp class. 

Volleyball Ball Control Drills: 30 Second Pepper Warmup Drill For Conditioning


They start hitting the ball lowering their elbow instead of hitting the ball the way they would when they are at the net. 

In boot camp classes we make sure players remember...

  • Bending your knees so your hips are below the level of the oncoming ball,
  • Keeping a straight platform with shoulders over your knees while digging


Passing the ball with your legs, setting the ball high giving your partner time to swing and reach high to hit back at you... all these volleyball pepper techniques should be practiced in your pepper warmup so that at game time-- you've already performed these skills so many times that that your muscle memory is automatic and you begin to perform these skills the same way you need to perform them in competition.



Thanks for visiting. Be sure to check out more of my volleyball passing articles by clicking one of the links below! (April Chapple)Thanks for visiting. Be sure to check out more of my volleyball passing articles by clicking one of the links below! (April Chapple)

Do You Follow Me on Instagram?


Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap 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. 

What Is Peppering in Volleyball:
Where Do You Go Now?


Okay here's where you need to go now! There are three options: 

  1. Learn more about Digging and Defense by clicking 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. 
  4. Before leaving this page Say "Hi" to Miss O.I Gotchu the Octopus wearing the #8 jersey below.  Miss O.I. is the libero for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star team.



You might like these volleyball digging pages. 



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