I was recently asked to create a training regimen for a high school girls volleyball team, and I am looking for creative/effective exercises. I plan on using more stabilization strength and plyometric type workouts to start with because I am assuming I need to lay a foundation with their performance. (I don't think they have been training for optimum performance prior to now)
Any suggestions specific for volleyball players?
Lots of plyos that combine jump and short sprints with some full body movement (pushups etc). The game is all about quick, short bursts of movements, they need to be able to transition from hitting approach, to blocking, to get down to defense, to the floor and back up again - and all very fast. Lots of footwork, running around cones etc...quick feet = less time to get to the ball = less time on the floor going down for the ball. Also as you said, work their core and work it heavy - lots of players will end up injured because their core is not strong enough. No grueling endurance session, no stairs running, no hitting hundred balls...knees, ankles, shoulders are typically the one getting overused and injured. Talk to them about nutrition as well - most high school females do not eat enough protein.
Short training sessions in sprints and squats would seem most appropriate.
I skateboard a lot and I know how key it is to be able to absorb impact suddenly.
Your responsiveness and balance are very important. I actually learned a couple volleyball exercises from the internet when I injured my ankle many years ago. I kept doing them to keep my balance on point. Standing on one leg with closed eyes works very well for building balance, as well as doing one leg squats while maintaining balance.