There are multiple versions of ball control pepper games that are very useful and can be incorporated into a training session. In the clip below Tara Cross-Battle, 2x NCAA Division I Player of the Year at Long Beach State and a bronze medalist for Team USA in 1992, demonstrates a drill she uses called Nine Person Pepper.
This is a cooperative drill that works on movement control, ball control and communication. The drill is set up as follows. A setter, middle back and left back are placed on each side of the net. One side will begin with three hitters at the net.
The three hitters will move from one side of the net to the other each time the ball passes over the net. They will, in effect, be playing the front row for each team. In other words, they will always be on the same side of the net as the ball.
The back row will stay in their position for the entirety of the drill. The setters may set whoever the want.
The nine pepper person drill, which can also serve as a conditioning drill, is either played for time or you may require the players to make a specific number of plays in a row without an error.
Tips to help make the drill more successful include have the two hitters not playing the ball move to the other side the ball is hit and having a setter that recognizes which hitter is less prone to error and playing a higher percentage of ball to that player’
For more information about the DVD that this clip was taken from click the link Ball Control Drills & Tips for Reading and Reacting
The YouTube video below has audio, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. Please note that some schools block access to YouTube. Click the arrow to play the video.