How to Be a Good Libero in Volleyball

by Rachel Murray
The libero wears a different color shirt than her teammates.

The libero wears a different color shirt than her teammates.

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A volleyball team's success depends largely on the libero's ability to move quickly and hit hard-driven balls. The specialist position, added to the game in 1998, requires a high level of agility and defensive skills to keep plays alive after a spike, or a serve, from the opposing team. A good libero understands her responsibilities on the court and correctly performs defensive techniques such as digs, rolls and dives.

Step 1

Understand the rules liberos must follow. Restricted to playing the back row, the libero cannot block or attack a ball above the net. Only liberos playing at the college or high school level may serve the ball. As a libero, you are free to replace a back row player without following the regular substitution procedure of notifying the officials.

Step 2

Practice digging, the ability to stop the ball from touching the court after a serve or spike from the opposing team. Prepare for a dig by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent in a low stance and arms loose in front of you. As the ball comes toward you, bring your hands together and allow the volleyball to hit your inside forearms. Instead of swinging, angle your arms and hips toward your target.

Step 3

Learn to roll, a technique used to help dig a low ball. To perform a roll, step out of your low stance and extend your arms in front of you to dig the ball. After contact, lean to your side on the floor and roll backwards over your shoulder back to a standing position.

Step 4

Practice diving, another technique used to dig a ball. To dive safely, keep your shoulders low, body parallel to the court and chin up.

Step 5

Prevent the ball from touching the court by doing a pancake, a technique used when the ball is falling far from the libero. Dive toward the ball and slide your hand palm down on the court so the ball bounces off the back of your hand instead of the court.

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