Synopsis: This team pepper variation is good for working on both defense and controlled attack across the net.
Age/Skill Level: This is suitable for intermediate to advanced players
Requirements: 6+ players, balls, court
Execution: Place a setter on both sides of the net in target, along with players in positions 1 and 5 on both sides. Initiate a ball to one of the back row players to dig/pass to the setter, who then sets either one of the players on their side. That player hits a cross court standing attack (down ball) to the player in their same position (i.e. 1 to 1, 5 to 5). Play continues from there.
- If you have more than 6 players, the hitter/defenders can rotate by having the player who “attacks” the ball goes to the back of the court on the other side to eventually re-enter the drill there, with someone taking their vacated place.
- Instead of hitting cross-court, players can hit line.
- With more advanced players you can make it actual attacked balls, front or back row.
- An additional defender could be added in 6, especially for less advanced teams to get more digs. If so, you can continue to have the players in 1 and 5 be the attackers, and have the player from 6 rotate in for the player who just hit the ball.
- In order for this drill to work well, players must be relaxed executing a standing down ball. If they are not, there will be many, many errors.
- Have balls on-hand to initiate them fresh quickly when a rally ends.
- I saw this drill used in SC Potsdam training.