June 8, 2020

Libero and Attitude Adjustment

This past year I’ve really struggled to find the position that I want to play and I spent my club and high school season on the bench (I’m a freshman). I’m pretty short 5' 4", so I know my best bet for now is Libero. But how do I get better at home and gain confidence in myself again for next year? I’m not entirely sure about college right now but I’d like to give it my best shot.



I realized I had yet another question that I wanted to ask you. After lots of time thinking and replaying scenarios during quarantine I know that my attitude had a huge impact on my playing time. While changing my attitude wouldn’t have given me a starting position I know my coaches would’ve tried harder to put me in. 

How can I let my coaches know that my attitude has improved and that I’m working on my coach ability? I have a goal to start as a Libero by senior year and would appreciate any tips to show my improvement and attitude. I’ve played since 7th grade (that was the earliest I could play) and I’ve always been a setter. But I know if I continue to be a setter not only will I be riding the bench my chances of college ball might be out of reach. 

How do I introduce my self as a Libero?


The best way to improve is to practice and play; in any sport, the way to get better is to practice.  For instance, I enjoy surfing and I only get better by getting in the ocean and falling off my board.  With your height, the libero position would be your best fit.  Your time as a setter will help in your transition to a Libero, as the setting position also includes a focus on ball control and game intuition.  

To improve as a libero, you have to train as a libero with the focus on on passing and defense; and passing is the critical skill (too often back row players get hung up on their great digs and defense, when it is passing that the coaches need the most).  Use this summer to transform yourself into a libero by attending as many camps/clinics as possible (college/high school/club) and only train in the libero position.  Use this summer to play as much as possible on the sand or the grass or indoor pick up games. If you can't get out, then pass the ball against the wall a thousand times a day, set the ball against the wall a thousand times a day, grab a buddy or parent or sibling and play pepper as much as possible.   You are trying to achieve as many touches as possible, especially since you did not garner much playing time this past season.  

I commend you for taking a step back and evaluating that your attitude was holding you back - Not too many athletes, myself probably included, have the maturity at a younger age to realize an attitude adjustment can be needed for success.

Attitude is something which must be demonstrated, not talked about.  Even if you approach your coaches and say your attitude has changed, they will not believe that until they see the change.  A few attitude improvement suggestions; always be a bit early to the gym, always keep eye contact when the coach is talking, always be the first to jump into a drill, always be the first to shag a ball, compliment team mates (verbally, high five, pat on the back) and never demonstrate negative body language no matter how tough the drill/match.

As a libero, your attitude is huge - The two best liberos I ever coached in college had 2 vastly different styles of playing.  One was the silent assassin and the other was non-stop talk but both shared critical attitudes - They went after every single ball no matter now near or far from them, they always got dirty by going to the floor to keep every ball off the ground, they worked extremely hard in training, they always paid attention in games and practice, they were instantly supportive of their team mates, and they never ever ever had anything but positive energy no matter how tough the situation.

Because of your graduation year, you have time to transform in to a collegiate level libero by maximizing your touches and your positive, hard working attitude!

Good luck!

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