How to Get Your Libero to Talk More

Your libero is the quarterback of the defense.

Because they are so deep and often in the center of the court, they can see everything from an angle that others cannot. Also, because they are the most-skilled passers, the most adept at reading an arm swing or tip, they can save a point or three a match simply by communicating with their team. By yelling “tip” or “out” or otherwise, they give a split-second head start to a team member who might have a slower read on a play.

So, what do you do if your libero is skilled, but quiet?

Here are a few ways to get her to talk:

1. Talk to her, tell her why you want her to talk and ask her to help the team with her expertise.

2. At the beginning of every play, have her call out the hitters to watch and whether the setter is up or back. Pretty soon that will become habit.

What if you do this and she still is too quiet?

3. In practice, have only the libero on the court, and the rest of the team step just outside an open gym door. Have the libero call out the numbers of imaginary hitters. Then go to the players outside the door and see how many heard the exact numbers. If you have 12 players and 8 get it right, then 4 don’t. Then the outside girls run 4 laps. Repeat the exercise, and however many girls can’t hear the libero is the number of laps they run.

Also, let the libero know that during a match you will be keeping count on how many times she doesn’t call out the defense. Then at the beginning of the next practice the team can run the 20-40 laps for the times the libero forgot to call out the other team. Be sure to do this at the beginning of practice so everyone understands the importance.

Now, many wonder why it isn’t the libero who should run. The other players run so that the libero realizes that she is penalizing the team when she isn’t loud or vocal enough.

After you repeat this exercise two-three times each day, pretty soon there will be the added peer pressure of the other players having to run because the libero isn’t loud enough.

And, whether the libero likes it or not, she will become more vocal, and, it will become a habit.

The end result, the libero acquires a skill which is required of this position, and the team benefits by having someone call out plays.

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