Sometimes you have to get angry
I have many athletes that I have worked with that have trouble stepping over that mental hump. I see all of their potential, the awesome player they could be but something is holding them back.
Volleyball like all other sports takes needs some aggression. Being aggressive allows you to release all of that power you have been developing in training and conditioning. Let me give you an example:
An athlete has been working on their skills and conditioning for over 6 months but displaying the explosiveness the coach wants. The athlete makes mistakes but doesn't really have a reaction to those mistakes. Coaches have been giving them tips and corrections during practice and games but nothing is working. It is almost like they have may be scared to show some aggression.
You have to get angry!!
I know as an athlete we hold onto some anger but only express it after practice by talking to friends. I believe you should express it on the court in your play. Take the anger from your coach not playing you the day before. Take the anger from not being able to play your desired position. Take the anger you have toward a family member that kept pushing your buttons the night before. Most importantly, take the anger you have from you yourself not competing at a level you know you can. Use that anger to help you generate the aggression you need to get better, to perform better. When I compete or even just during my daily workouts, I visualize myself pushing harder, playing at 110%, completing every set of every workout. That self visualization is my motivation, it is what drives my aggression. And when I do not feel I pushed hard enough, that anger I have for not meeting my own expectations is what I use in my next workout or game.
Don't hold onto the anger too long
But in saying that, please do not hold onto the anger longer than until the next practice. Use your practice or your game as your release. I wrote this post for those players who have a hard time being aggressive on the court. Some are too shy or scared of what people might think if they show some aggression or toughness. Don't be shy, you love this sport; it's okay to get angry at yourself for not putting in 110% or because you feel your coach is not putting you in the right position. But use it push yourself to be better and leave it on the court. Soon you will realize that you are beginning to play more aggressively because now it has become natural. At your next practice I want you to yell, grunt or scream when you contact that ball. Watch the difference it makes in your play and feel the mental difference after you release that aggression, that anger.