Rules to take to heart in the future:
1. No excuses. If I play badly, I will not blame it on other factors like the kind of ball, the lighting, the floor surface, the net...a good player can compensate for all these things.
2. Respect the refs and other team. I won't argue with the line judge. If I completely disagree with a call, I'll ask the captain only approach the ref and quiety discuss the issue. Yelling, "Are you kidding? That guy was totally in the net!" is counter-productive. Pointing out foot faults and rotation errors on the other team looks petty. The response to a double-contact call on the first hit is not "What the hell?!?!?!" but rather "I'm sorry, I understood the rule to be that a double-contact is allowed on the first contact."
3. Play as a team. Even if one person is a better passer or hitter, they shouldn't steal balls from nearby teammates. It either makes them collide, or others start to assume that the other player has got it covered and will let balls in their area drop. Use "we" instead of "you" when cheering the team on. Congratulate teammates on good plays. Console them when they make mistakes instead of scolding them or offering advice that they already know.
4. Keep your own spirits up. Teammates can tell when someone is pissed or despairing. I will smile and relax. Optimistic, energized teams play better than dispirited ones. I will shake off bad plays before the next serve. I won't give up in the middle of a play because it didn't go perfectly.
5. Remember that the game is supposed to be fun. Of course, winning is more fun than losing. But given that there is no money or career at stake at recreation tournaments, there is absolutely no reason for tantrums.
I wish a few of my former co-workers had thought like this.