How to Pepper
Volleyball Partner Drills

Learn how to pepper to warm up in volleyball. Learn how to pepper so you can get better at volleyball just by doing drills with a partner. No net needed. 

Peppering is a great opportunity to improve your volleyball skills. However, many people don’t do it correctly. This can actually make you worse. 

You don’t want to create bad habits by peppering incorrectly. 

The key to good peppering is focus. 

You need to have a focus on what you are doing. 

How You Pepper Should be How you Play

Always pepper with a purpose. 

You want to develop good playing habits when you pepper. 

Here are the 4 main goals of pepper.

  1. Work on Technique
  2. Warm Up the Body
  3. Improve Focus
  4. Improve Volleyball Conditioning

Pepper Warm Up Drills

  • Overhead Volleyball Slams – 5 to 10 reps
  • One Arm Overhead Throws – 5 to 10 reps 

Mimic the spiking motion by bringing your arm back then forward like you would for the spiking arm swing.

  • Arm Swing Toss and Hit – 5 to 10 Reps

Toss the ball to yourself and then hit the ball to your partner. 

  • Front Row Spike Arm Swing – 5 to 10 Reps

Toss the ball to yourself and then hit the ball down to the floor so it bounces to your partner. You want to work on fully extending your arm so you have a vertical arm at contact. Focus on wrapping your hand over the top of the ball to create topspin. 

  • Forearm Passing – 1 to 3 minutes

Get feet behind the ball. As you forearm pass, focus on as little arm swing as possible. Try pushing the ball without swinging the arms. 

  • Partner Setting – 1 to 3 minutes

Get behind the ball and take the ball in at hair midline. 

Partner Pepper Drill

Alternate pass, set, hit with your partner. When you spike to your partner, remember to aim at about waist level. You want to have as much control as possible. Make it as easy as possible for your partner to pass the ball so the drill can continue. You don’t want to be spending time shagging the ball because the hits are wild. When you pepper, focus on making it as easy as possible for your partner.

The goal for pepper is to achieve as many pass, set, spikes as you can without the ball hitting the floor.

As you advance in skill, you can spike the ball to your partner to make the drill more challenging. 

How to Pepper to Improve Your Skills

Every chance you get to pepper is an opportunity to improve your volleyball skills. Don’t think that just because you don’t have a net, that you can’t work on your skills. When done correctly, peppering is a great way to improve at volleyball fast. 

Work on Individual Skills

If you would like to improve a specific skill, you can do this when you pepper. 

For example, for setting, set back and forth with a partner. For each repetition, focus on moving the feet and also focus on the hand position. With each rep, finish your steps left right as you set. 

For passing, focus on consistent last steps as you passing. Make it as easy for your partner as possible so they can work on perfect technique. For example, finish stepping left-right as you forearm pass the ball. Do this back and forth to each other and try to get in a rhythm passing. 

The next progression for forearm passing would be to pass short followed by moving backwards to pass the deeper ball. 

For this drill, one partner stays in the same spot while the other person is moving short and deep.

Remember, keep it easy for your partner. In the beginning, just start working your partner to move forward a few feet then backward a few feet. Everything is easy and controlled. The player moving forward and backward is learning how to anticipate the ball, develop consistent footwork and consistent forearm passing technique.

If you enjoyed these tips on how to pepper and would like to keep it close to you at any time, just save this pin to your Pinterest Volleyball Training Board.

Volleyball Pepper Tips

› How to Pepper