Drill: 3-Person Pepper (In-Line)

Synopsis: This is fairly simple multi-player pepper drill which can be used for warm-ups and general ball-handling practice. (Saw this one while watching the University of Rhode Island training)

Age/Skill Level: This is a drill for all levels.

Requirements: Three players, one ball

Execution: Begin with 2 players on one sideline and 1 player on the other. One of the two players hits the ball to the 1 player, who digs it. The hitter sets the dug ball back to the digger, then runs around behind them. The digger hits the set ball to the other player, and the cycle continues.

Variations:

  • More than 3 players can be used with little problem
  • Advanced players can be required to jump set and/or jump hit

Additional Comments:

  • Having the hitter wait and set the dug ball rather than run around behind the digger right away slows the movement down, which will help less skilled player keep from chasing all over the place.
  • One of the coaching points of this drill is for the digger to play the ball only part way back to the hitter rather than all the way as is normally done in pepper. This is a more realistic approach since the player does not want to dig a ball in match play all the way back to the hitter, but somewhat short of that for the sake running a transition attack.
John Forman
About the Author: John Forman

John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women’s team. This follows a stint as head coach for a women’s professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women’s Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

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