Greetings coach. This is our 3rd year of club volleyball (age 13) and our daughter has played libero each year. We recently had a parent meeting to discuss various topics and one common theme that arose is that our DS and Liberos are struggling.
Now, I grade my daughter's passes on a scale of 0-3 each game, and while she can always improve, her average pass is around 2.0 for most tournament days, which means that the setter CAN set it with relative ease and has at least a couple of options. I would like her average to be 2.25, but I still think if your libero is delivering the average serve to the setter with 2 options, that's pretty good. What do you think? We played against a couple of teams in Denver that I judged had better liberos. and 1 in Austin, but other than that, she's as good as I've seen this year.
I also find it amusing that a front row player can dump 3 attacks in the net or out of bounds and everyone says "keep swinging", but when a libero misses a pass or two she's immediately the reason for the team's poor play.
I told my daughter not to pay attention to the criticism - she is in a pretty thankless position - play well and no one notices, make a few poor passes and you're the scapegoat. Is this the plight of DS and liberos in the world of volleyball?
Yes, this is the plight of the Liberos and DS's in the world of Volleyball.
Much of this critical view is due to two things - 1) There is a huge depth of liberos in club, 2) There has been a drop off in the number of elite level setters.
These two observations lead to the L/DS position getting criticized because the coach can always sub in another L/DS and the club can always have more L/DS's on the roster. In addition, average setters are going to remain average with average passes. An average setter needs a good pass to succeed. A good setter can take an average pass and deliver a good attack ball.
From the good old days of my collegiate coaching, I would not have been satisfied with a Libero passing a 2.0 on a 3 point scale. I would expect the Libero to be at a 2.5 simply because this is their primary job in volleyball (above defense and serving). If the Libero does not hit that mark (over the course of matches), then I would look to replace her with a L/DS that could.
A good pass means my setter can run all three attack options with ease; that is a good pass. An average pass, means the opposing MB has a much better opportunity to go double block my hitter. I always want 1 on 1 attacks for my hitters. It all starts with the pass; if passes are average (from the Libero and the team), then the offensive attack with be average and the team success will be average.
Granted, life is easier for the 6'2" OH and allows her to make multiple hitting errors - I am not arguing that. But, those 6-2 OH's are hard to find; good L/DS's are not.
Keep encouraging your daughter to improve, to focus and to train to achieve higher statistical results - This is the nature of the position.