What Is Peppering in Volleyball?

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Peppering refers to the off-court practicing technique in Volleyball. Like in Football or Cricket, where players net practice before the game, peppering in volleyball helps players come into action. Pepper is a get-to-go tool to improve your volleyball skills. This guide shares information on what is peppering in volleyball that will help you understand the term better.

What Is Peppering in Volleyball?

Peppering is more of a technique than everyday practice. It helps in improving focus and increases the confidence to play on the court. It involves various drills and exercises that are meant to be done in a particular manner. Even the best of best players pepper before their game with their teammates to perform better on the court.

Volleyball team practicing in pairs

Benefits Of Peppering

  • Learning becomes fun- Even the youngest of players can learn volleyball by peppering.
  • Helps in analyzing the ball movement.
  • Increase accuracy and self-confidence.
  • Builds quick decision-making skills.
  • Doesn’t require on-court practice.

How To Pepper in Volleyball?

The very first thing everyone should before playing is a quick warm-up. Start warming up your body. It will help you get away from the sloppiness in your body and make you active.

After a good warm-up, one should focus on three aspects of peppering, i.e., passing the ball, setting the ball, and hitting the ball. To practice the passing technique, grab your volleyball and follow these steps carefully.

Passing The Ball

  1. Keep your feet shoulder level apart with your dominant leg forward.
  2. Bend your knees. Your knees should be in front of your toes and, your heels should be above your ankle. In short, you have to stand in a squatting position with your arms extended.
  3. Then lean downwards in such a position that your shoulders lie just above your knees.
  4. For hands, there are two common positions you should try. First, your left palm is down, and your right palm is above it, club your thumbs inward to make a flat platform to receive and hit the ball. It is done so that the ball can bounce off smoothly without applying too much power.
  5. Another way to utilize your power effectively is to club your finger together with your left hand in a fist and wrap your right hand around it.
  6. Keep your thumbs out of the wrist so that a flat surface is formed to hit the ball.
  7. Stand with your partner at a distance of 10-15 feet.
  8. Ask your partner or teammate to toss the ball for you.
  9. Next, practice passing the ball with your partner. Polish your technique and then move further to advance stages which involve intensive practice as if you are playing on the court.


Don’t cross your thumbs, as the hit won’t be effective. Instead, keep your thumbs parallel to each other, stick together while pointing downwards. In this way, you will be able to pass the ball with more power than before.

Setting the Volleyball

After practicing the passes, it’s time to work on setting volleyball.

First things first, work on hand movements and how one needs to receive the ball. For this,

  1. Sit on the ground with your legs crossed with your back straight.
  2. Relax, and ask your partner to set the ball for you. Next, focus on the trajectory of the ball and try to receive the ball above your hairline. Once you get well versed in calculating the course of the ball, ask your partner to speed up.
  3. After analyzing the ball’s movements, work on your body movement. Combine everything and proceed further. Use different combinations of setting techniques like jump set or back set to improve your skills.
Volleyball player passing the ball to partner

Hitting the Volleyball

Lastly, one can brush up their hitting skills with a pepper game. To upscale yourself via peppering in hitting the ball,

  1. Raise both your hands in the air and stand straight with legs at a shoulder distance.
  2. Stand at a distance of 10 to 15 feet.
  3. Use your non-active hand to assess the movement of the ball.
  4. Pull your non-dominant arm down and smash the ball with your active hand.
  5. For a better smash, bend your knees and hop in your position to hit the ball with more power.
  6. Practice again and again. Gradually increase the speed from 1x to 2x and so on. It will boost your accuracy and self-confidence.

Here is a detailed elaboration on how pro players pepper before their game to upscale their performance on the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Select a Partner for Peppering in Volleyball?

Your partner should be the player you aspire to be. For peppering, you can pick up one of your teammates who has played at least 10 – 15 matches or has experience playing volleyball for 2-3 years or above.

Can I Pepper Without a Partner?

Yes, you can pepper even without a partner. However, to pepper by yourself, you must focus on three basics, i.e., pass-set-hit and practice them against a wall. Here is a detailed video that elaborates on how one can pepper without a partner.

What Is 2 Ball Pepper Variation?

In 2 ball peppering, two balls are involved instead of training with one. This technique helps enhance the player’s visual capacitance and allows him to grasp multiple things at a single time. Here is a video that explains the two ball pepper variation in detail.


A study shows that a quick warm-up before the game of volleyball can minimize the risk of fractures and injuries to a great extent.

The technique referred to as ‘Volley Veilig’ focuses on increasing the flexibility and durability of the player. One can benefit from this study by inculcating such warm-up routines in their peppering hours.

By doing this, they will reduce the risk of having musculoskeletal injuries and train themselves to be better performers on the court.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.