September 4, 2014

The Tall Libero and College Recruiting

My daughter has been playing club volleyball since she was very young, and is still obsessed with the sport.  She has always made the #1 team at her club, was playing outside until 13s when the coaches decided she wouldn’t be very tall.  At first she was upset about moving to defense, but over the last few years she has grown to love the position and is a strong defensive player.  

Our problem is that she is getting very tall, she is already 5’ 8” with a 10 1/2 shoe and appears to be a late bloomer.  Her pediatrician said she will end up anywhere between 5’10” and 6 feet tall.  Her high school is playing her outside because of her height, but she feels very weak at hitting and still wants to try out for Libero for club season.  Her club coaches don’t seem to think this is a problem and are encouraging her to stay a libero.  

We are wondering if staying DS will this hurt her chances to play in college?  How tall is actually too tall for this position?

Thanks for your help!


Glad to help!  Your question is the invert of the usual Libero question about height, which is VolleyFamilies being concerned that their future All American Libero is too small.

With the Libero position, height is not a determining factor - the ability to pass and play defense is.  If the talent level is the equal, some college coaches prefer a shorter libero because they can be quicker, while other college coaches prefer a taller libero because they have a longer reach/wingspan.

I would STRONGLY encourage you to encourage your daughter to play the Outside hitting position, especially if she does hit that 5'10-6' height.  She is still young and developing her attacking power, so give it time - An OH that can pass, attack, block, play defense and serve, who is also 6' tall will have more collegiate options than a 6' Libero.

Now, that being said, if she is happiest just playing Libero, and wants to focus on that position, then keep her there and promote her abilities to the appropriate level of colleges.  

Athletes will be more successful when they are playing/competing in their specific comfort zone - If an athlete is playing in a position they don't wish to play, they will not be as successful and won't have an enjoyable experience.

Talk with your VolleyPSA and try to determine which position she feels the most comfortable playing or wants to play, and then move forward.

Good luck!



  1. May I point out the obvious - a club who pigeon-holed kids into a specific position at the ripe old age of 12-13 years old!

  2. If she is (or could be) a good hitter, that would be a great addition to her skill-set. Any coach would love a good hitter who plays great defense and can play all around. Who wouldn't want 2 libero-level defenders on the court at all times? She would still get to play a lot of defense, but just not libero. Nice problem to have.

  3. Bottom line = more full rides for hitters.


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