Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

The Volleyball Libero Attitude

Published on April 7, 2010 by   ·   1 Comment

Because the libero is by far the newest position in volleyball, players who find themselves playing as a libero (either by choice or by default) can be unsure of how to excel. I’ve seen dozens of questions littering the Internet asking how to become a better libero, so today here’s a primer on what I think is one of the most important libero attributes: the attitude.

USA's libero makes a dig

Rich Lambourne gets a one-armed save

To be a good defender it’s important to conquer any fear you’re harboring. You should be confident that you can get almost any ball that comes over the net, and you should really want the ball to be hit your way.

To get this kind of attitude involves a lot of training, however, because only with a solid foundation of defensive moves can you be sure that you’re going to be the amazing defender that you want to be.

There are several things you can work on:

  1. Court awareness: Know where the court boundaries are so that you can confidently call the ball in or out.
  2. Quickness and agility: Plyometric drills are great for this, as is jumping rope and sprinting. If your team does sprints in practice try to always be the first one done.
  3. Ball control: This one is crucial. Come early and stay late to practice while having your teammates, coach, or whoever you can bribe throw/hit balls to you all over the court. Always have a target in place that you’re aiming to pass to, either a real setter or a basket.
  4. Touch everything: No matter where the ball is on the court try to at least get one hand on it. As you get faster you’ll be amazed at the passes you’re able to keep in play.
  5. Learn to dive and roll properly: Liberos spend a lot of time on the ground, so make sure you know how to fall correctly. The shoulder roll is the preference for most defensive players, and the pancake (illustrated in the second photo) is a must-have move for all liberos!

    libero rich lambourne gets a pancake

    Pancakes for everyone!

If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide to libero success, check out my weekly skills newsletter. You get a year of volleyball instruction (one e-mail per week) absolutely free!

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. […] going to be called upon to pass the ball at some point in their career. Since the addition of the libero, who has unlimited substitutions, taller, less coordinated hitters have been passing less often, […]

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